22 May 2014

FDA approves new artificial sweetener

Advantame is a new artificial sweetener and can be used both as a tabletop sweetener and as an ingredient in cooking.


A new sugar substitute called advantame has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The sixth artificial sweetener to receive the agency's blessing, advantame can be used in baked goods, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages, chewing gum, candies, frostings, frozen desserts, gelatins and puddings, jams and jellies, processed fruits and fruit juices, toppings and syrups.

Advantame is a white powder that dissolves in water and remains stable even at higher temperatures, the FDA said in a news release. It can be used as both a tabletop sweetener and as an ingredient in cooking.

Sugar substitutes add few or no calories to foods, and generally do not raise blood sugar levels, the agency noted.

"Sugar substitutes are called 'high-intensity' because small amounts pack a large punch when it comes to sweetness," Captain Andrew Zajac, of the US Public Health Service and director of the FDA's division of petition review, explained in the news release.

Chemically similar to aspartame

The agency's approval of advantame is based on the findings of 37 animal and human studies submitted by the maker of the new sugar substitute.

Advantame is chemically similar to aspartame (Equal), and certain people should avoid or limit their use of aspartame, the FDA noted. These people have a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU), which makes it difficult for them to metabolise phenylalanine, a component of both aspartame and advantame. Food with aspartame must include label information warning people with PKU about the presence of phenylalanine.

The FDA evaluated whether advantame should also carry alerts for people with PKU. Because advantame is much sweeter than aspartame, only a small amount is needed to achieve the same level of sweetness. As a result, foods that contain advantame do not need to include alerts for people with PKU, the FDA said.

The last high-intensity sweetener approved by the FDA was Neotame (brand name Newtame) in 2002. The other four sweeteners used in the United States are saccharin (Sweet'N Low), aspartame (Equal), acesulfame potassium (Sweet One), and sucralose (Splenda). Advantame does not yet have a brand name.

Read more:
Artificial sweeteners may cause weight gain
US industry has 'undue influence' over food additives

How safe are artificial sweeteners?

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Exercise benefits for seniors »

Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running

Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness

When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them.