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FDA Approves High-Intensity Sweetener: A New Food Additive

High-Intensity Sweetener

A couple of days ago, the Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of a new food additive that will be used as a general-purpose sweetener and flavor enhancer in food. Advantame is the 6th “high-intensity” sweetener approved by the FDA.

A high-intensity sweetener is one that is used as a sugar substitute or sugar alternative because they are many times sweeter than sugar, but contribute few to no calories when added to foods. Because they are so much sweeter, less is needed to achieve the same level of taste in foods, thus there is also the potential for cost savings.

Other sweeteners in this category are saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (ACE-K), sucralose, and neotame. The FDA also recognizes two naturally occurring sweeteners as “high-intensity.” These include stevia and monk fruit.

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Additive Maker Says Advantame is "Clean"

Advantame is a chemical derivative of aspartame and about 20,000 times sweeter than sucrose. Ajinomoto, the developer of the food additive, describes the taste as “clean, sweet and sugar-like.” It will be used to partially replace sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other caloric sweeteners in foods to reduce calories. It is approved for use in Dairy, Frozen Desserts, Beverages and Chewing Gum.

In addition to the potential calorie savings, high-intensity sweeteners do not generally raise blood sugar levels in diabetic users.

Advantame was approved after the FDA reviewed data from 37 animal and human studies that were conducted to identify any potential toxic effects, including reproductive, neurological and cancer-causing effects. The FDA has concluded that advantame is safe for human consumption.

Food and Drug Administration