How sweet is my tooth?

How sweet is my tooth?

You now may ask yourself: How sweet is my tooth?

Well, let me suggest you to try this simple experiment described in Scientific American to test you sweetness thresh hold:

  1. Preparation
  • Pour 6 tablespoons (tbsp.) of distilled water into a paper or plastic cup. Add 10 grams of sugar (or about 2 1/2teaspoons (tsp.)) and stir until the sugar is dissolved. This gives you a 10 percent sugar solution, approximately. Label the cup.
  • Pour 2 tsp. of the 10 percent sugar solution into a new cup. Add 6 tbsp. of water to it and stir. This gives you a 1 percent sugar solution. Label the cup.
  • Repeat this dilution process (diluting 2 tsp. of the previous solution in a new cup with 6 tbsp. of water) to make 0.1 percent and 0.01 percent sugar solutions. These are called serial dilutions. Be sure to label the two new cups. What do you think is the lowest concentration you’ll be able to taste the sugar in?

2. Procedure

  • Rinse your mouth with plain water and wipe your tongue dry with a clean paper towel. Dip a clean cotton swab into the 10 percent sugar solution and smear it all around the surface of your tongue. Can you taste the sweetness?
  • Repeat the previous step to test the 1 percent, 0.1 percent and 0.01 percent sugar solutions, rinsing your mouth and wiping your tongue before testing each solution. Which solution is the lowest concentration at which you can still taste the sweetness? This is your approximate taste threshold for sugar. You can write this down to remember later.


3. Observations and results

Could you taste all of the 10 percent solutions, but none of the 0.01 percent solutions? Did the sugar solutions have the highest threshold, meaning you could only taste it in the more concentrated solutions, compared with the salt and vinegar solutions, which had lower thresholds?

For sugar, the 10 percent solutions should be detectable by nearly everyone who tries the test, whereas almost nobody should be able to detect the 0.01 percent solutions because the concentrations are too low.


The key is to try and enjoy the sweet taste of sugar in small portions


The science behind:

A preference for sweet food starts at an early age and remains with us throughout our lives. Many people can often be heard saying they have a 'sweet tooth' or are 'addicted to sugar'. Apparently, studies found that our ability to detect sweetness not only depends on the taste receptors occupying our taste buds, but it also has a lot to do with two small bits of DNA hiding in our genetic code that regulate sweet taste receptor levels.

So, if "it is all about genetics" what can we do? Some studies showed that sweet taste perception is modulated by reduced sugar intake. Therefore, it is rightfully argued that the key is to try and enjoy the sweet taste of sugar in small portions.


This journey should and must be supported by technological solutions, ingredients, processes, and products. At Alpha-Strauss, we set nutrition as top priority in our search for technologies, and we urge you to contact us with ideas and innovations.