Neotame, a New Artificial Sweetener

Made by NutraSweet, it has an 8,000-to-one sweetness comparison with sugar

MONDAY, July 8, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- There's a new artificial sweetener officially on the market, but don't expect it to be available anytime soon in those little packets like Equal and Sweet 'n Low (the maker of saccharine).

Neotame, made by the NutraSweet company, which also makes Equal, is most likely to be used in mass production for soft drinks and other food products that need large amounts of sweetening agents. That's because neotame, a cousin to the aspartame found in Equal, is so sweet. NutraSweet claims that one teaspoon of neotame is the equivalent of 8,000 teaspoons of sugar. Its makers say it can also be blended with other sweeteners like corn syrup because it comes in a white powder that's easily soluble.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in a variety of foods, including baked goods, non-alcoholic beverages (including soft drinks), chewing gum, confections and frostings, frozen desserts, gelatins and puddings, jams and jellies, processed fruits and fruit juices, toppings and syrups.

The FDA granted approval after it reviewed more than 110 studies on animals and humans.

Here is the FDA Talk Paper announcing the approval, and here is a description of neotame's properties from the Calorie Control Council.

Neotame has come in for the same kind of criticism as its predecessors concerning its safety. The FDA found no research to conclude that it was harmful.

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