The Emergence of Saccharine Sweet

The sugar that people often eat in daily life is extracted from sugarcane, sugar beet and other plants. There are also some substances in the plant kingdom that are sweeter than sucrose. Stevia, native to South America, is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sucrose; the West African bamboo skewers in the tropical forests of Africa are 3000 times sweeter than sucrose; there is also a vine plant of Dioscorea nigra with the sweetness of the fruit. 90,000 times that of sucrose.

However, these substances, which are thousands of times sweeter than sucrose, are rarely seen. The sweeter substance that we usually use is saccharin, which is 500 times sweeter than sucrose. So how was saccharine sweet discovered?

saccharine sweet

How Saccharine Sweet was discovered?

One afternoon in 1879, in the laboratory of Hopkins University in the United States, the Russian chemist Farid Belg was happily weaving through the bottles. Today he is in a particularly good mood. First, the synthesis experiment of aromatic sulfonic acid compounds he is doing is going well, and the results will come out soon; second, today is his birthday, and his wife Natasha has prepared it. Dinner, wait for him to get together.

Twilight fell on the earth, and the laboratory gradually dimmed. Farid Belg focused on watching the solution tumbling in the flask under the gas lamp, and had forgotten everything about his birthday dinner that night. Finally, the experiment had an eye on it, and he happily picked up the pencil on the table and wrote down the results of the experiment in the experiment log. At this time, the wall clock on the wall struck “Dangdang”, “Oh, it’s already 6 o’clock.” Then he remembered that it was time for dinner, and hurriedly put the pencil in his pocket, put on his coat and ran home. . The wife and husband are busy together. The husband put out wine glasses and cutlery, while the wife brought plates of dishes. The dinner began in a cheerful atmosphere. Farid Belg forked a steak and stuffed it into his mouth. Suddenly, he stopped chewing and asked a little surprised: “Natasha, you put sugar in the fried steak today?” “No, I have never heard of adding sugar to steak. But,” his wife. He also said strangely, “Today’s dishes are a bit wrong. If you try, this salad also has a sweet taste.”

After dinner, Farid Berg was still thinking about this strange sweet steak and sweet salad. Out of the habit of a scientist, he wants to find out the reason. After checking the kitchen supplies, he stared suspiciously at the tableware. He licked the edge of the plate, thoughtfully, licked his hand again, and then immediately pulled out the pencil in his pocket. I licked it with my tongue.

“The problem is with the pencil, it’s with the pencil!” Farid Berger yelled madly, “Natasha, you see, all the tableware I have touched with my hands are sweet, and this sweet The smell comes from the pencil that I have written with it. It is certain that the sweetness on the pencil is stained in the laboratory. It seems that there must be a strange and particularly sweet substance in the laboratory, I want to check What is it.” 

Farid Belg rushed to the laboratory in a hurry, and after lighting up the gas lamp, he carefully checked the utensils used in the experiment one by one. Finally, he discovered that the sweetness came from a chemical substance called sodium saccharin. This accidental discovery opened up a path to new inventions for Farid Belg. From then on, he concentrated all his energies on studying the substances extracted from this coal tar. He extracted toluene from the black, sticky, and smelly coal tar, treated it with sulfuric acid sulfonation, phosphorus pentachloride and ammonia, and then oxidized it with potassium permanganate. Finally, it was crystallized and dehydrated. Especially sweet white crystals. He called it “saccharin” and measured it was 500 times sweeter than sucrose.

Farid Belg immediately announced his invention and obtained a patent in the United States. In 1886, the chemist moved to Germany, where he established the world’s first factory to extract saccharin from coal tar. Saccharine sweet began to break into people’s lives.

saccharine sweet

The second statement: In 1879, Ira Lemson and Konstantin Fachberg, who were working in the laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in the United States, went home to eat and were eating, when they suddenly stopped. Down. Fachberg forgot to wash his hands before meals. Most chemists would die as a result of this situation, but Fachberg accidentally discovered an artificial sweetener-saccharine sweet.

Regarding this discovery, the two of them jointly published a paper, but the saccharine sweet patent only had Fahberg’s name, and he secretly applied for the saccharine sweet patent. Later Lemson said: “Fahberg is a rascal. It is disgusting to let my name appear with his.”

Saccharine sweet is a sweetener without any nutrition to consumers. At present, experts and scholars at home and abroad and some consumers have basically reached a consensus. Under the situation that sugar production exceeds sales, the status of saccharin in the national economy and how long it will take to eat saccharin need to be re-understood and evaluated.

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