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Author: Subject: Taste of sugar alcohols
aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 23-11-2020 at 16:24
Taste of sugar alcohols


I am talking about food grade of course. Don't go out tasting chemicals not meant for consumption.

I have noticed that glycerin has a sweetish taste but tastes very warm.

Erythritol tastes sweet as well but has a cooling effect.

I found this really interesting.

Has anyone ever tried pentaerythritol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt, etc?

What do they taste like?

[Edited on 24-11-2020 by aromaticfanatic]
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[*] posted on 23-11-2020 at 16:44


A long while back...
From memory.

Mannitol is weirdly sweet and has a bit of a cooling effect in the mouth.
Xylitol tastes kind of bitter, almost saccharine at first but then works up to sickly sweet when the salivary glands get going. It has a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste.
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[*] posted on 23-11-2020 at 18:02


That's really interesting. I mainly found it interesting that glycerine had such a warm effect and erythritol had quite the opposite. It seems like most have a bit of a cooling effect then. Thanks for the reply!
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[*] posted on 23-11-2020 at 23:19


Quote:
I haven't tasted any of those besides glycerol in pure form. But it got me thinking a while back and I posted this in Whimsy.

[Quote]CH2OHCHOHCHOHCHOHCHOHCH2OH is (if I wrote that correctly) is called mannitol. It is used as an alternative to sugar.

CH2OHCHOHCHOHCHOHCH2OH is known as xylitol. It is used as an alternative to sugar.

CH2OHCHOHCHOHCH2OH is known as erythritol. It is used as an alternative to sugar.

CH2OHCHOHCH2OH is known as glycerol. According to Wikipedia, it is also used as an alternative to sugar.

Of the last three members of the series, we know HOH is tasteless. Are their any Sons of Adam here who have tasted a drop of the two forbidden items on the list?
I started thinking about this after reading about the esters of all the organic compounds in this series with a certain mineral acid...


I actually have heard people say that part of the danger of ethanediol is that it tastes sweet, so people and animals often will drink a sizeable amount without recognizing it as hazardous. Maybe the trend really does continue all the way down?




I now have a YouTube channel. So far just electronics and basic High Voltage experimentation, but I'll hopefully have some chemistry videos soon.
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[*] posted on 24-11-2020 at 00:40


Quote: Originally posted by Vomaturge  

I actually have heard people say that part of the danger of ethanediol is that it tastes sweet, so people and animals often will drink a sizeable amount without recognizing it as hazardous. Maybe the trend really does continue all the way down?


Funny story... I've tasted antifreeze before just to see how sweet it tastes. I'm not sure if they put additives in it to make it nasty but I can guarantee you no one is drinking that stuff on accident.

I suppose it has a warmish taste but very chemically. A tad bit sweet but nothing close to the simpler sugar alcohols.

My father once told me of some people in the Army that tried to get drunk off of the sweet antifreeze. Yea they all died. I just got done installing a thermostat on my car a few hours ago and had gloves and eye protection on. I did not want to touch it. Weird how differently I approach chemicals nowadays. For the record I know it won't do much if it gets on my hands but I have been working on this stupid coolant system issue on my car for multiple days with lots of coolant spilling and spraying everywhere so I'll minimize exposure when I can XD

The antifreeze I had tasted was for a different car. I wonder what the green (the one I tried was yellow) one tastes like ;)

I'm not going to try it though. I'll get myself killed with enough chemical exposure, I don't need to deliberately increase that exposure even more haha.




Found an answer to my additive question:

"They all have the additive because it is the ethylene glycol itself that is toxic! Normally ethylene glycol has a sweet taste which was causing animals to drink it and it would poison them. The additive for the bitter taste was put in ALL antifreeze so animals would not consume it and get poisoned."

[Edited on 24-11-2020 by aromaticfanatic]

[Edited on 24-11-2020 by aromaticfanatic]
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[*] posted on 24-11-2020 at 05:14


Methanol is reported to taste sweet as are lead++ and beryllium++ ions.

You might be interested in the origin of the word "glycol".

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EthidiumBromide
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[*] posted on 24-11-2020 at 13:00


Looking past the burning sensation, I find there to be a slight sweetness to ethanol. I personally wouldn't taste ethylene glycol, it's not insideously toxic, but still best to avoid. A good gauge for its sweetness would be propylene glycol, which is safe enough to be used as a food additive, but I've never tasted it either. I've tasted glycerol and it's indeed rather sweet with a warming sensation to it. Never tried the other sugar alcohols, though. There clearly is a link between the number of hydroxyl groups on a molecule and its percieved sweetness, though that can't be the only deciding factor, since many artifical sweetners don't contain any hydroxyl groups, and lead ions are also percieved as sweet.

The warmness/coolness sensation in this case comes from the enthalpies of dissolution of particular compounds, not by direct activation of thermoreceptors in the mouth, like capsaicin from chilli peppers or menthol from mint. In the case of glycerol, it has a negative enthalpy of dissolution, so when it dissolves it releases heat. The opposite is true for erythritol, its enthalpy of dissolution is positive, giving a cooling effect (apparently it's the strongest of all sugar alcohols, in fact).

[Edited on 24-11-2020 by EthidiumBromide]
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[*] posted on 24-11-2020 at 16:14


Quote: Originally posted by EthidiumBromide  


The warmness/coolness sensation in this case comes from the enthalpies of dissolution of particular compounds, not by direct activation of thermoreceptors in the mouth, like capsaicin from chilli peppers or menthol from mint. In the case of glycerol, it has a negative enthalpy of dissolution, so when it dissolves it releases heat. The opposite is true for erythritol, its enthalpy of dissolution is positive, giving a cooling effect (apparently it's the strongest of all sugar alcohols, in fact).

[Edited on 24-11-2020 by EthidiumBromide]


Ha! That answered my question that I never bothered to look up haha. I always wondered if it was actually a change in enthalpy. That's pretty interesting.

Yea I knew it wasn't super horrible or else they would've stopped putting it on the shelves. It's kinda like methanol. You can have a little and not have issues. Drink a beer afterwards and you'd be 100% fine. Interestingly enough treatment for antifreeze coolant is ethanol as well. There was a story I saw where a man attempted suicide with antifreeze. He was given ethanol and survived. He tried again but had a change of heart and downed a six pack of beer. He still had to get treatment but the nurse said he was much better in terms of condition than the other people she had treated for antifreeze poisoning.

I never knew propylene glycol was safe for food consumption. Now I know. Thanks!
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[*] posted on 24-11-2020 at 17:49


I've found erythritol to have almost no perceptible taste except for the rapid cooling sensation.

No experience with the others.
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[*] posted on 26-11-2020 at 09:36


1,2-propanediol is sweetish at first but much less so than glycerol, has a quick warming effect which also quickly fades away and has a bitter aftertaste.
Just checked this so the info is fresh. :-)

[Edited on 26-11-2020 by Pumukli]
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[*] posted on 26-11-2020 at 13:24


Quote: Originally posted by aromaticfanatic  
I am talking about food grade of course. Don't go out tasting chemicals not meant for consumption.
[Edited on 24-11-2020 by aromaticfanatic]


Food grade is low grade as for chemical in case you didn't know.
If you buy it from chemical supplier, usually it's even purer than food grade.
It's not meant for consumption, but you can eat it safely.
Unless you buy technical grade, which for polyols is rather uncommon.
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[*] posted on 26-11-2020 at 14:31


Quote: Originally posted by mackolol  
Quote: Originally posted by aromaticfanatic  
I am talking about food grade of course. Don't go out tasting chemicals not meant for consumption.
[Edited on 24-11-2020 by aromaticfanatic]


Food grade is low grade as for chemical in case you didn't know.
If you buy it from chemical supplier, usually it's even purer than food grade.
It's not meant for consumption, but you can eat it safely.
Unless you buy technical grade, which for polyols is rather uncommon.


Thank you. I am aware that food grade is safe to eat but often has some other stuff in there like fillers or other additives. I didn't want to put lab grade up there as it kinda sounds like I am promoting eating lab chemicals :)
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[*] posted on 26-11-2020 at 14:40


Quote: Originally posted by Pumukli  
1,2-propanediol is sweetish at first but much less so than glycerol, has a quick warming effect which also quickly fades away and has a bitter aftertaste.
Just checked this so the info is fresh. :-)

[Edited on 26-11-2020 by Pumukli]


Interesting. It seems like most glycerols are sweet and have that warm taste associated with them. Thanks!
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[*] posted on 27-11-2020 at 03:53


I tasted glycerol and sorbitol.

I can't describe taste of glycerol. Glycerol just taste like glycerol :D. It is sweet, but in it own specific way.

Sorbitol is similar to glucose, but less sweet.




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[*] posted on 27-11-2020 at 05:12


Quote: Originally posted by mackolol  


Food grade is low grade as for chemical in case you didn't know.
If you buy it from chemical supplier, usually it's even purer than food grade.

A friend of mine used to work in a sugar mill. He's quite proud of the fact that the granulated sugar which they sold thousands of tons of, exceeded the specifications for AnalaR sucrose.
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[*] posted on 27-11-2020 at 06:27


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  

A friend of mine used to work in a sugar mill. He's quite proud of the fact that the granulated sugar which they sold thousands of tons of, exceeded the specifications for AnalaR sucrose.


I am just curious, can vodka producers share the similar proud?
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[*] posted on 27-11-2020 at 07:19


Quote: Originally posted by teodor  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  

A friend of mine used to work in a sugar mill. He's quite proud of the fact that the granulated sugar which they sold thousands of tons of, exceeded the specifications for AnalaR sucrose.


I am just curious, can vodka producers share the similar proud?


I'd imagine so. Reagent grade ethanol usually has added impurities to dissuade people from drinking it, where vodka obviously doesn't




Nuclear physics is neat. It's a shame it's so regulated...

Now that I think about it, that's probably a good thing. Still annoying though.
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[*] posted on 27-11-2020 at 10:02


That's kind of funny haha. I had been in need of ethanol at one point and ended up distilling moonshine from the store to get it to azeotropic. I failed to distill denatured alcohol (no surprise there) so I reluctantly chose the moonshine. Something that I realized a few months later is that the mouthwash has 20+% ethanol and no volatile denaturing agents! I think it's a sorbitol laxative to prevent consumption. Some also have hydrogen peroxide too but a little but of KMnO4 can take care of that. I want to try and distill some of the ethanol out of it and seeing how much of the mouthwash flavor/taste it still has.

I've also distilled sugar and yeast fermented stuff but the yield was low since I don't think I let it sit long enough. I made some alcohol for my drinking and not chemistry and I let it sit quite a lot longer. The stuff that came out was pretty strong. 3 big glasses had me out. 2 glasses is enough to get me feeling it pretty strong. Not the greatest taste or smell but it's not as bad as people are out to make it.




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[*] posted on 28-11-2020 at 09:44


Quote: Originally posted by teodor  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  

A friend of mine used to work in a sugar mill. He's quite proud of the fact that the granulated sugar which they sold thousands of tons of, exceeded the specifications for AnalaR sucrose.


I am just curious, can vodka producers share the similar proud?

As far as I recall, the specification for lab alcohol is 99.7%
I haven't seen any vodka that strong...
This
https://www.masterofmalt.com/absinthe/ableforths/cold-distil...
Is an interesting drink, but a rather expensive raw material for lab use.
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