# How do you measure sweetness?

In the Guieness book of World records, it says there is a plant in Africa that is 6,720 times sweeter then table sugar. But how do they know its 6,720 times? What makes it different from just 6,700?

-PK

In foods, the measure of sweetness is called Brix. More specifically, Brix is the measure of the amount of sugar in a substance. I would imagine they used this to determine the sweetness levels of each substance. It’s kinda like Scoville units for chili peppers.

Robin

Brix is just percent sucrose, as measured by density. It has nothing to do with sweetness.

I don’t know how the sweetness in the above post was measured, but it’s usually done by dilution; a sweetener is diluted until a certain fraction of panelists can no longer taste it. You then compare this to the dilution required to do the same for sucrose, and that’s “how many times sweeter” it is.

The same sort of testing is done to get Scoville units for peppers.

There is no absolute standard of sweetness. Sweetness is measured relative to sucrose, which is arbitrarily set as 1. The sweetness quotient for some common sugars:

``````

Fructose	1.73
Galactose	0.32
Glucose 	0.74
Lactose 	0.16
Maltose 	0.32

``````

If it takes 1/200 gram of a substance to equal to sweetness of 1 gram of sucrose, then that substance is said to be 200 times as sweet. If it takes 1/6720 of a gram, then that substance is 6720 times as sweet. How do you know it’s not 6700 times? Trust your apparatus, I guess.