What is Aspartame?
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener
composed of two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
It is about 180 times sweeter than sugar and contains about four
calories per gram. NutraSweet® is the trade name for one
manufacturer's products that contain aspartame (see http://www.nutrasweet.com).
More than 200 scientific studies
have established the safety of aspartame. Conducted over the
past 25 years by researchers at universities and health organizations
throughout the world, these studies were rigorously reviewed
by the Food and Drug Administration before aspartame was first
approved for use in products. The FDA's approval has been supported
by many regulatory agencies and medical associations around the
world. In addition, FDA has reaffirmed the safety of aspartame
26 times over the past 23 years for use in different types of
foods and beverages.
Because it breaks down when heated,
aspartame is not recommended for baking. When used in cooking,
it is usually added after foods are heated. Aspartame is commonly
used in sugar-free soft drinks, gum, and candy. Heat-stable versions
of aspartame are under development.
Since aspartame contains phenylalanine,
it should not be used by persons with phenylketonuria (PKU),
a rare disease. In addition, some people are sensitive to aspartame
and report headaches and other ill effects from its use. But
for most people, aspartame is fine in moderate amounts.
- Information courtesy of the
- Images and information from
the NutraSweet Company.
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the NutraSweet Company; this information is provided as a courtesy
to our visitors.