saccharin

Definitions

Food

  • A synthetic chemical which weight for weight is 400 times sweeter than sugar. It is approved for use in the UK for soft drinks, cider and diet products. It does not have an E number and is therefore not universally approved in the EU.

Medical

  • noun a white crystalline substance, used in place of sugar because, although it is nearly 500 times sweeter than sugar, it contains no carbohydrates

Origin & History of “saccharin”

Medieval Latin saccharum ‘sugar’ belonged to the same word-family as the ancestor of English sugar. Its original contribution to English was the adjective saccharine ‘sugary’ (17th c.); and in the late 1870s the German chemist Fahlberg used it in coining the term saccharin for the new sweetening substance he had invented. English borrowed it in the mid 1880s.
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