Sweetness pp 33-47 | Cite as

Is Sweetness Unitary? An Evaluation of the Evidence for Multiple Sweets

  • Linda M. Bartoshuk
Part of the ILSI Human Nutrition Reviews book series (ILSI HUMAN)


The nineteenth century concept of sweet as a “basic” taste implied that sweetness was psychologically unitary. But if sweetness is unitary, then why don’t all sweeteners taste alike? One possible answer is that various sweetener molecules can be discriminated from one another by non-sweet attributes (e.g., bitterness, slow onset, persistence of sweetness, etc.). Another possible answer is that sweetness itself varies across sweeteners.


Squirrel Monkey Sweet Taste Psychophysical Function Receptor Mechanism Gymnemic Acid 
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  1. Blakeslee AF (1935) A dinner demonstration of threshold differences in taste and smell. Science 81: 504–507PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hahn H (1949) Beiträge zur Reizphysiologie. Scherer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

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  • Linda M. Bartoshuk

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