17 November 2010

How Sweet it Is

I just concluded writing a paper all about aspartame and how it's made. Interesting stuff, really. All of the components occur naturally, but aspartame doesn't naturally form from them. That means that huge vats of bactera are mass produced to harvest the amino acids necessary for aspartame production. That's called fermentation. Then, said amino acids are modified and mix in another huge vat for a day at room temperature and another day at 65 C. Everything then gets cooled and reacts with acetic acid to make aspartame. That's called synthesis. Then they purify and crystallize it and, ta da! lovely, powdery, low-cal sweetener with 200x the sweetening power of sucrose.

I'm taking my inordinate interest in the production of aspartame as a much needed sign that I do belong at an institute of technology rather than at hoggy warty Hogwarts.

The owl carrying my acceptance letter must have taken a seven year detour. There's just no other explanation...

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