Any flavor or gustatory perception that could be vaguely described as something like tasting honey is called a sweet sensation. We use words like yummy, sugary, umami, caramelly, savory, candied, spicey, brothy, glazed, meaty, syrupy etc. to describe these flavors. They are objectified by chemical compounds generically called sugars or amino acids which always contain a few carbon atoms. Carbon can bond with other atoms in a variety of ways, so molecules composed from exactly the same atoms may nonetheless assume different shapes called isomers. We can make binary descriptions of sweet sensations by comparing them with other sensations, and historically the great pioneers of chemistry almost killed themselvesXlink.png by direct contact with their discoveries. But nowadays testing supersedes tasting. So instead of tasting a chemical consider dissolving it in water and passing a beam of polarized light through the solution. Check to see if the axis of polarization varies. If the polarization does not change, then say that the molecule is achiral and write
Some sweet candy jelly beans.
Some sweet candy jelly beans.


If the axis is rotated clockwise, then the molecule is a dextrorotary isomer like most naturally occurring sugars. So say that the molecule is sugary, and express this mathematically as


If the axis is rotated counterclockwise, then the molecule is a levorotary isomer like most naturally occurring amino acids. So call the sensation savory and write


If the test is ambiguous, then report the result by the algebraic statement

$-1 \le \delta_{\sf{S}} \le 1$

The number $\delta_{\sf{S}}$ is called the sweetness. It is a simplified representation of molecular chiralityXlink.png which may, for example, be perceived directly in the flavor difference between spearmint leaves and caraway seeds. We use a picture of some honey bees as an icon for sweet taste sensations. You can always click on icons to come back to a page like this for easy reference.

Adjective Definition
Sweetness $\delta_{\sf{S}} \equiv \begin{cases} +1 &\sf{\text{if a sweet taste sensation is sugary }} \\ -1 &\sf{\text{if a sweet taste sensation is savory }} \end{cases}$ 2-10
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