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FDA Approves New Artificial Sweetener

Advantame can be used to sweeten coffee, tea and as an ingredient in cooking

WEDNESDAY, May 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new sugar substitute called advantame has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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). People with phenylketonuria (PKU) should avoid or limit their use of aspartame, the FDA noted. 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.

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