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Artificial Sweeteners

Note that because many of these have little or no food energy, comparison of sweetness based on energy, content is not meaningful.

Ace K – 950                         Acesulphane Potassium (Acesulphane K) 200 times sweeter than sugar, has a bitter after taste. Used widely as an artifical sweetner in low joule gums, drinks, diet foods etc.

Aspartame – 951               (Equal ) 160-200× sweetness (by weight)

Cyclamate – 952                30× sweetness (by weight)

Saccharin – 954                 (Sweet’N Low™)  300× sweetness (by weight)

Sucralose – 955                 Artificial sweetener 600 times sweeter than sugar. Not listed in Australia prior to 1992. Found under the brand name of Splenda™

Sorbitol – 420                     0.6× sweetness (by weight), 0.9× sweetness (by food energy), 0.65× energy density

Many artificial sweeteners were discovered purely by accident or as a by-product of a research process or experiment.

In 1879 a lab worker spilled a sweet-tasting chemical onto his hands; accidentally licked his fingers and saccharin had been discovered.
Almost 60 years later, a graduate student detected the sweet taste of a chemical that had accidentally seeped into the cigarette he was smoking and cyclamate was the result.
In 1965, chemist James Schlatter licked his fingers while concocting an anti-ulcer drug and bought aspartame into the world.

Now more than six thousand different types of food and drink worldwide are sweetened artificially. Artificial Sweeteners can be hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. Concern over the use of some of these intense sweeteners remains despite most be approved for use, with some requiring strict labeling provisions of acceptable daily intake. Some websites dedicated to warning the general public of the dangers of food additives and opposing the use of these additives in foods still list the dangers or warnings that were associated with these chemicals. Aspartame, which has been marketed here under the names of Equal and NutraSweet has seen many controversies since its permitted use and approval. There have also been some unsubstantiated reports of Aspartame addiction recently.

[i]A survey conducted by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) in 2003examined the amount of aspartame eaten in Australia. It was found that average consumers of aspartame were eating 6% of the ADI, and high consumers were eating15% of the ADI. It was concluded that Australian consumption was well below the levels at which adverse health effects could occur and aspartame remains on the approved list of additives

 

[ii]Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has also conducted a safety assessment of cyclamates, which concludes that this ADI adequately protects consumers
Exposure assessments by FSANZ have found that all people over 12 years of age and 95% of children aged 2-11 consume cyclamates within this ADI. To remedy the over-consumption of the remaining 5% of children, FSANZ is reducing the maximum amount of cyclamates allowed in flavoured drinks by almost half. FSANZ believes this will eliminate over-consumption of cyclamates in children


2 Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Consumption of intense sweeteners in Australia: Benchmark survey 2003, in Evaluation report series, FSANZ, Editor. 2003, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

[ii] Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Final assessment report: Proposal P287: Review of cyclamate permissions, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Editor. 2007, FSANZ: Canberra

2 Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Consumption of intense sweeteners in Australia: Benchmark survey 2003, in Evaluation report series, FSANZ, Editor. 2003, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

[1] Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Final assessment report: Proposal P287: Review of cyclamate permissions, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Editor. 2007, FSANZ: Canberra