Saccharin was discovered in 1879 by Constantine Fahlberg,
while working in the laboratory of Ira Remsen, quite by accident
as were most other sweeteners. While working in the lab, he spilled
a chemical on his hand. Later while eating dinner, Fahlberg noticed
a more sweetness in the bread he was eating. He traced the sweetness
back to the chemical, later named saccharin, by tasting various
residues on his hands and clothes (unsanitary conditions) and
finally chemicals in the lab (not a safe lab practice).
By 1907, saccharin was used as a replacement for sugar in
foods for diabetics. Since it is not metabolized in the body
for energy, saccharin is classified as a noncaloric sweetener.
By the 1960s it was used on a massive scale in the "diet"
soft drink industry.
Saccharin is the foundation for many low-calorie and sugar-free
products around the world. It is used in table top sweeteners,
baked goods, jams, chewing gum, canned fruit, candy, dessert
toppings and salad dressings.
Saccharin also is one of the most studied food ingredients.
Although the overall evidence indicates saccharin is safe for
human consumption, there has been controversy over its safety
in the past. The basis for the controversy rests primarily on
findings of bladder tumors in some male rats fed high doses of
sodium saccharin. Extensive research on human populations has
established no association between saccharin and cancer. In fact,
more than 30 human studies have been completed and support saccharin's
safety at human levels of consumption.
Saccharin Web Site
Saccharin - Chime
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