Quiz: Artificial Sweetener or Fictional Element?

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Artificial sweetener or fictional element: lead(II) acetate

Lead(II) acetate, also known as lead sugar, is a salt that is sweet and deadly. It may have been the very first artificial sweetener, but today lead acetate, a compound called litharge mixed with acetic acid, is used as a color additive in certain hair dyes.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: ethyl aculose

Ethyl aculose is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: sparassoline

Sparassoline is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: saccharin

You may know it as Sweet'N Low, but saccharin was first discovered in 1879. In recent decades, this artificial sweetener, which is 200-700 times sweeter than sugar, has had a controversial link with bladder cancer.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: 5-Nitro-2-propoxyaniline

Also known as P-4000 and Ultrasuss, 5-Nitro-2-propoxyaniline is 4,000 times sweeter than table sugar, but you may not have heard of it because it's banned in the U.S.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: cyclamates

You could find cyclamate in American diet foods until 1970, when the U.S. banned the artificial sweetener.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: florolose

Florolose is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: vorticulose potassium

Vorticulose potassium is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: aspartame

You may know aspartame as NutraSweet or Equal. This synthetic sweetener is composed of approximately 50 percent phenylalanine, 40 percent aspartic acid and 10 percent methanol.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: mucosamate

Mucosamate is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: sucralose

You know this sweetener as Splenda, which hit the U.S. market in 1999. It starts out as sugar (sucrose), but in a five-step process of making sucralose, three hydroxyl (those are the molecularly bonded hydrogen and oxygen atoms in sucrose) are swapped with chlorine atoms, which is what makes sucralose 600 times sweeter than sugar.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: glucalose acebitol

Glucalose acebitol is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: dulcin

Dulcin, which is made by adding potassium cyanate to p-phenetidine hydrochloride, is about 250 times sweeter than sugar.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: glucin

Glucin, an artificial sweetener similar to saccharin, is about 300 times sweeter than sugar. It isn't used in the U.S. because it's considered unsafe.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: fruticoline

Fruticoline is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: munchnones chloride

Munchnones chloride is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: advantame

Advantame, considered a high-intensity artificial sweetener, is an astonishing 20,000 times sweeter than sucrose and about 100 times sweeter than aspartame. It's a general purpose sweetener derived from aspartame and vanillin; it's also used as an artificial flavor.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: sodium cyclamate

Sodium cyclamate, an artificial sweetener that's 30 times as sweet as sugar, is a cyclamate. As we know from an earlier question, it's banned in the U.S.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: talcitame acetate

Talcitame acetate is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: jocolose

Jocolose is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: aspartame-acesulfame salt

Aspartame-acesulfame salt is also known as the sweetener Twinsweet. It's made of a 2-1 mixture of aspartame and acesulfame potassium, and it's about 350 times sweeter than sugar.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: cefaloridine cyclamate

Cefaloridine cyclamate is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: mithril

Mithril is a fictional metal from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" books.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: neotame

You might not have heard of this sweetener, which its manufacturer (NutraSweet) claims is between 7,000 and 13,000 times sweeter than sugar, because it's mostly used by food producers in baked goods.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: thiotimoline

Isaac Asimov invented this fictional compound.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: acesulfame potassium

Acesulfame potassium, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, is composed of potassium salt containing methylene chloride. It's sold under the names Sunett, Sweet One and Sweet & Safe.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: alitame

Alitame is composed of the amino acids aspartic acid and alanine. Chemically similar to aspartame, this artificial sweetener, known as Aclame, is 2,000 times sweeter than sugar.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: narcralose

Narcralose is fictional.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: neohesperdine

Neohesperidine (NHDC), is a bitter compound that, through processing and hydrogenation, becomes 1,500-1,800 times sweeter than sugar. It isn't used in the U.S, but it is approved as a sweetener in the European Union.

Artificial sweetener or fictional element: Butterworths cyclamate

Butterworths cyclamate is fictional.

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About This Quiz

Some sugar alternatives, such as honey, are produced by nature. Others, called artificial sweeteners, are synthetic creations. Sometimes their names sound a lot like fictional elements. Take this quiz to see if you can tell the difference.

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