Questions and Answers
The Nutrition and Health Division of Ajinomoto North America, Inc. provides you with the answers to questions about Ajinomoto Aspartame.
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What is aspartame?
Aspartame is a low calorie sweetening ingredient. It is made from two building blocks of protein just like those found naturally in many everyday foods such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs and milk. Aspartame is digested to very small quantities of common dietary components and so does not bring anything new to our diet.
What does aspartame taste like?
Aspartame is a unique sweetener in that its taste profile matches that of sugar; it has no bitter aftertaste. This means that foods and drinks containing aspartame enable people to enjoy the same sweet taste as sugar, but without so many calories.
How sweet is Aspartame?
Aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. As a result, only very small quantities are required to ensure an excellent sweet taste. A 330ml can of soft drink sweetened with sugar contains between 100 and 150 Calories, compared to only one or two Calories in a can of soft drink sweetened with aspartame.
What are the benefits of aspartame?
Aspartame is the ideal alternative to sugar. It has exceptional sensory, nutritional and safety characteristics which make it of unique value to food and drink manufacturers who want to meet the rising challenge of overweight and obesity. Some of the benefits are:
- Unique sugar-like taste
- No bitter aftertaste
- Made from building blocks of protein
- Naturally digested and metabolised
- Low in calories
- Approved by health and regulatory authorities in more than 100 countries
- Highest acceptable daily intake of all low calorie sweeteners
- Excellent performance in blends with sugar, other low calorie sweeteners and flavors
- Suitable for use in a wide range of product categories
- Very low environmental impact
What products contain aspartame?
Aspartame is used in thousands of products. It can be found in a wide variety of soft drinks and low alcohol beers, hot and cold beverages, table-top sweeteners, confectionery, desserts, dairy products and medicines.
How do we know that aspartame is safe?
Aspartame has a history of over 30 years use and is one of the most thoroughly tested ingredients in our food supply. It has been approved by health and regulatory authorities in over 100 countries. Numerous respected organisations, including The Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Union's Scientific Committee for Food (SCF), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the use of aspartame in food and drinks.
Aspartame is safe for the general population, including pregnant women and nursing mothers, children, diabetics and slimmers.
What is the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for aspartame?
The confidence that consumers and food and drink manufacturers can have in aspartame is reflected in its high Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). The ADI represents the safe level of consumption of an ingredient on average per day over a person's lifetime. It is expressed in milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The ADI for aspartame has been set at 40mg per kg of bodyweight. For a person weighing 70kg, the ADI is equivalent to the amount of aspartame that would be used to replace over half a kilo of sugar.
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