Pros: Calorie and carbohydrate free, portable.
Cons: Not as strong / potent as other sweeteners.
Picking out a quality sugar substitute isn't as easy as you might think. Some of them dissolve great in hot drinks like coffee or tea and suck when you try to add them to iced tea or unsweetened Kool-Aid packets. Then there are some that are gritty no matter what you try and use them in. I am a diabetic but not a very good one. Even before I was diagnosed as a diabetic I used sugar substitutes in drinks because adding sugar was nothing more than wasted calories for me. NutraTaste is also known as NutraTaste Blue because of the blue coloring of the box and packets. It is a knock off of both Equal and NutraSweet; it is a less expensive alternative to those sweeteners but in all honesty you do need to buy the institutional sized packages to get the best price on them.
NatraTaste is made with aspartame and is a knock off of NutraSweet; it is made by Stadt Holdings Corporation that operates under the name Sugar Foods Corporation. They also do private packaging for other companies as well as promotional items for catered events. NatraTaste is not the same as NutraTaste or NatraTaste Gold; NatraTaste Gold is a knock off of Splenda and contains sucralose instead of aspartame. It is supposed to be a less expensive alternative to Splenda but you have to buy it in bulk to really get a price break on it. If you have ever visited a Starbucks and saw the brown packages of "Sugar In The Raw" then you will be familiar with the NatraTaste / Stadt family of products.
Like almost all packet artificial sweeteners, NatraTaste is the equivalent of two teaspoons of real sugar. Sure. That might sound great on paper but when you go to use it you will need more than what you use with other packets of any color. When I fill up my forty ounce mug with iced tea I generally get thirty ounces of tea and the rest is ice cubes. To that I usually add four packets of Sweet'N Low [or a comparable pink packet product]. When I used this I had to add six packets to get the same level of sweetness and let me tell you, I do not drink my tea all that sweet. A normal serving of a beverage is eight ounces so one packet should be enough for one serving; in the case of NatraTaste you will need one and half to two packets to get the same sweetness.
How well does it dissolve? If you use this in something hot it will dissolve with a minimal amount of stirring. In something cold, it’s a completely different story. It could cloud the drink then dissolve or it could just sink to the bottom of the glass. Did you ever wonder why some restaurants use colored plastic glasses? It's to hid the white silt and grit that is left over from the sweeteners. Well, that might be an exaggeration. The real reason they use them is to tell the difference between people who paid for a soda or iced tea and people that requested water [clear plastic glasses]. The colder the drink the more stirring you are going to have to do to get this to dissolve. If you try and take the easy way out and only stir it a few times and are drinking from a straw, expect those first sips to be super sweet – and the last mouthfuls to be even sweeter.
I ended up getting a couple of boxes of this to try out at the shop. One week everyone is on a health kick and doesn't want to use sugar and the next they are back to their old habits. I bought these from one of the vendors that constantly tries to pawn stuff off on use to get us to buy more from him. Five bucks a box is not what I consider a good deal on any type of sweetener. I can go to Wal-Mart and get a huge box of their Great Value Sweetener [the blue packets] for $2.97 so why would I pay two dollars more for this when it is the same exact aspartame based sweetener? If it dissolved easier, had a stronger sugar presence or wasn't gritty I might consider it but as it stands, I doubt I will buy any more of this.
There's still a full box of this at the shop and I will keep using it until I run out but only in coffee or tea. I'd be an even bigger fool if I threw them out so it looks like I am stuck using them for a while. If you are looking for a sweetener that sort of dissolves and has a moderate grit level to it, by all means go crazy with this one.
^V^ © 2009 Freak369 ^V^