We often think of sugar (sucrose) as the most traditional sweetener, used as a granule or in syrup form, but other sugars can also be used in products, such as fructose and glucose syrups.

Different sugars will have different levels of sweetness but all have the same calorie content of 4 calories per gram – which is around 16 calories per teaspoon.

Sugars are carbohydrates which provide the body with a source of energy in order to be able to function efficiently.

Form of sugar Example
A simple sugar or monosaccharide is a carbohydrate with one unit of sugar. Fructose (fruit sugar) makes up one half of a sucrose molecule
Glucose (found in honey, soft drinks and confectionery) makes up the other half of a sucrose molecule
A disaccharide is a carbohydrate with two units of sugar.       Sucrose (table sugar) is made up of Glucose + Fructose
Lactose (milk sugar) is made up of Glucose + Galactose

In addition to providing sweetness, sugars can also help provide texture and ensure product safety and quality.


Sweeteners have a sweetness many times greater than conventional sugar, therefore significantly lower quantities are needed.

The benefit of using artificial sweeteners is being able to achieve a desired level of sweetness, but with significantly less calories and sugar than a sugar sweetened alternative.

Sweeteners used in some of our products (either singularly or in combination) and their sweetness equivalent to sugar (sucrose) are:

Aspartame Around 200 times sweeter than sugar
Acesulfame K 130 – 200 times sweeter than sugar
Saccharin 300 – 500 times sweeter than sugar
Sucralose 600 times sweeter than sugar
Steviol glycosides 200 – 300 times sweeter than sugar

Sweeteners, and all other additives used by Britvic have been subjected to rigorous and extensive safety tests by several international regulatory bodies prior to approval.

The sweetener steviol glycoside, often referred to as “stevia” was approved for use in foods and beverages throughout the EU in November 2011.

It originates in the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, which belongs to the chrysanthemum family and is native to Paraguay.

In a process similar to steeping tea, the dried stevia leaves are soaked in water to unlock the best-tasting, sweet substance found in the leaf, and then it’s purified. Many other natural ingredients are commonly extracted in a similar way, including vanilla, almond, ginger, spearmint, pistachio and cinnamon.

Stevia extracts are usually 200 -300 times sweeter than sugar, but contain virtually no calories.