Sweetness is a basic taste most commonly perceived when eating foods rich in sugars. Sweet tastes are regarded as a pleasurable experience, except perhaps in excess. Fructose is sweeter than glucose and sucrose. This has made possible the production of sugar syrups with the sweetness and certain other properties of sucrose starting from starch. In addition to sugars like sucrose, many other chemical compounds are sweet, including aldehydes, ketones, and sugar alcohols. Some are sweet at very low concentrations, allowing their use as non-caloric sugar substitutes. Such non-sugar sweeteners include saccharin and aspartame. Other compounds, such as miraculin, may alter perception of sweetness itself. The chemosensory basis for detecting sweetness, which varies between both individuals and species, has only begun to be understood since the late 20th century. One theoretical model of sweetness is the multipoint attachment theory, which involves multiple binding sites between a sweetness receptor and a sweet substance.
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