What are some chemical properties of saccharin

SaccharinAuxiliary materialsSweetenersSaccharin is a synthetically produced sweetener that was discovered by chance in the 19th century. It is up to 500 times sweeter than table sugar, does not cause tooth decay and has no calorific value. Saccharin is used for foods, beverages, cosmetics and medicines, among other things. Like all sweeteners, saccharin is controversial - but manufacturers and authorities classify it as safe.

Synonymous: SaccharinumPhEur, Saccharinum natricumPhEur, Saccharin-Sodium, E 954


Saccharin is available in the form of small tablets, drops and powder (e.g. Assugrin®, Hermestas®). It was discovered by accident in 1879 by Constantin Fahlberg at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Structure and properties

Saccharin (C.7H5NO3S, Mr = 183.2 g / mol) is usually in the form of sodium saccharin, a white, crystalline powder or colorless crystals that are easily soluble in water. Saccharin itself is poorly soluble in water.


Saccharin has a sweet taste. In contrast to table sugar (sucrose), saccharin does not cause tooth decay, has no calorific value (no calories) and is eliminated unchanged. It is heat-stable up to 450 ° C and can therefore also be used for cooking, baking and canning. Saccharin is about 300 to 500 times as sweet as sugar and has a long shelf life. It is often combined with other sweeteners such as cyclamate or aspartame.

application areas

As a sweetener for food, sweets and beverages. Saccharin is also used in medicines, cosmetics, and medical devices. Numerous drugs that contain saccharin as a sweetener are approved in Switzerland.


According to the manufacturer's specifications. Compared to sugar, a much smaller amount is required because saccharin has a much greater sweetness.

unwanted effects

Like all sweeteners, saccharin is controversial. In a study in the 1970s, it was found that saccharin can cause bladder cancer in rats. However, this study does not appear to be relevant to humans. According to the manufacturers and the authorities, saccharin is safe and non-carcinogenic in the permitted quantities.

  • Arnold D.L., Krewski D., Munro I.C. Saccharin: a toxicological and historical perspective. Toxicology, 1983, 27 (3-4), 179-256 Pubmed
  • Cohen S.M. Saccharin: past, present, and future. J Am Diet Assoc, 1986, 86 (7), 929-31 Pubmed
  • EFSA
  • FAO
  • Handbooks and encyclopedias of food technology
  • Manufacturer information

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on 9/27/2020.
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