Patent of the Day

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The Chemistry of Low-Cal

Posted by innovativeip on August 20, 2010

Today’s Patent of the Day is U.S. Patent no. 5,041,541, issued August 20, 1991, for a “Functional Sugar Substituted with Reduced Calories”. 

Today's Patent of the Day

This patent has the distinction of being the first chemical “Patent of the Day”.  I chose it because the subject matter, although technically complex for the average reader, is a mainstream topic of interest.    The rights to this particular sugar substitute are owned by Procter & Gamble, who also owns U.S. Patent no. 5,411,745 which covers a process for extracting juice from the Luo Han Guo fruit (used to make STEVIA).   Sugar substitutes abound, and have been the subject of controversy and ongoing study.  A general discussion of the most wellknown can be found at  http://www.caloriecontrol.org/sweeteners-and-lite/sugar-substitutes, with a particularly detailed look at fruit behind STEVIA available at http://www.itmonline.org/arts/luohanguo.htm

A skim through this patent won’t give you insight into which sugar substitute is better (if any), but it will give you an idea into the detail and complexities of the chemical patent world.  Better living through chemistry?  There are well supported positions on both sides of this issue.  Personally, I believe moderation is the key on all fronts.  If you’d like to take a read through the chemistry involved in reducing the calories in sugar, the patent is available at  http://www.innovativeip.us/images/pat5041541.8.20.pdf.  Enjoy!

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