A newly approved sweetener has been touted as a way for manufacturers to reduce the amount of sugar in their products.
Aspartame-derived sweetener Advantame has been approved for use in Europe by the European Commission (EC) and is claimed to be 37,000 times sweeter than sucrose. Developed by sweetener company Ajinomoto it was originally submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2010 for approval and has been undergoing a series of tests before it was finally given the go-ahead.
Like other sweeteners currently available on the market, Advantame does not contain as many calories compared to sugar. The product carries very few, if any, calories and could be determined as a healthier option for people that like to have a sweet element in their tea or coffee. It also does not affect blood sugar levels in the same way that normal sugar does.
Members of the Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources (ANS) stated that the product did not raise any genotoxicity or carcinogenicity concerns. They explained that Advantame would "not be of safety concern" if used as a sweetener and that people with type 2 diabetes and a normal glucose metabolism tolerated it in single or repeated doses of 0.5mg per kg.
Ajinomoto explained that the new sweetener could also be a key component in helping food manufacturing companies reduce the amount of sugar and calories they put in their products. It will allow them to meet the commitments set out by their clients.
A spokesman for the ANS added: "The need to address the over-consumption of calories is self-evident, not just in Europe, but throughout the developed world. Advantame blends well with sugar and other caloric sweeteners, providing food and beverage companies with an opportunity both to reduce calories and to manage sweetening costs."