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Aspartame is a low-calorie, intensive sweetener which is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). It is used in a variety of food and beverages including drinks, desserts, sweets, chewing gum, yogurt, energy-reduced and weight control products and as a tabletop sweetener. Aspartame is an effective and safe tool for consumers to manage their individual calorie intake in their overall diet, in function of their own individual lifestyle.
Aspartame is classed as a food additive under European Food legislation, and as such, underwent rigorous, safety evaluation by the Scientific Committee for Foods (SCF) before its approval in 1981. Once an additive has been approved as safe across the European Union, it is assigned an E-number and Aspartame carries the number E-951.
Having already re-affirmed the safety of aspartame in February 2011, the European Food Safety Authority released a further draft scientific opinion in January 2013 concluding, yet again, that aspartame is safe for use as a sweetener. This is the first full evaluation of aspartame that has been requested of EFSA and has been carried out by the Authority’s Scientific Panel on Food Additive and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS Panel). In this re-evaluation, EFSA’s scientific experts have drawn upon all available information on aspartame and its breakdown products and, following a detailed and methodical analysis, have concluded they pose no toxicity concern for consumers at current levels of exposure. The current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is considered to be safe for the general population and consumer exposure to aspartame is below this ADI.
Aspartame has been widely used for over a quarter of a century. It is approved for use by the general population in 130 countries around the world and is currently contained in more than 6,000 food and drink products.
Aspartame is approved as safe by numerous national and international food safety authorities including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, as well as regulatory agencies in over 130 countries worldwide.
Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly studied food ingredients ever with over 200 studies confirming its safety. Since its introduction, a number of human clinical data have been accumulated, including post-marketing surveillance, consumption studies, tolerance studies at nearly two times the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) and clinical studies on specific populations like diabetics.
Soft drinks and Aspartame:
No- and low-calorie soft drinks use intense sweeteners such as aspartame in order to provide sweetness without calories. Soft drinks sweetened with aspartame can play a useful role in helping people to manage their calorie intake as a part of a sensible and healthy lifestyle.