Chemosensory Perception

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 48-57

First online:

Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Sweetness

  • John E. HayesAffiliated withCenter for Alcohol and Addictions Studies, Department of Community Health, The Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University Email author 

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Sweetness is classically considered a single perceptual experience. However, diverse compounds can elicit this sensation, suggesting the existence of multiple pathways toward this end. This paper presents an overview of chemical theories of sweetness, reviews the phylogenetic and behavioral evidence for multiple pathways, and presents a summary of recent molecular advances regarding the sweet receptor. Potential sites for signal integration are discussed, and implications for nutritionists and food scientists are presented.


Taste Sweeteners Individual Differences Receptors G-Protein-Coupled Carbohydrates Structure–Activity Relationship