Artificial Sweeteners. Neotame

In 2002, the FDA approved a new version of aspartame called Neotame. Neotame is chemically related to aspartame without the phenylalanine dangers for individuals with PKU. It is much sweeter than aspartame with a potency of approximately 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar).

Neotame is also being promoted for use as a flavor enhancer that “accentuates and lifts the flavors in food.” The neotame web site states that it’s safe for use by people of all ages, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, teens and children, and can be used in cooking. The FDA has set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) at 18 mg/kg of body weight/day.

Neotame entered the market much more discreetly than the other artificial sweeteners. While the web site for neotame claims that there are over 100 scientific studies to support its safety, they are not readily available to the public. Opponents of neotame claim that the studies that have been done do not address the long-term health implications of using this sweetener. The chemical similarity that it has to aspartame may mean that it can cause the same problems that are associated with that. Without scientifically sound studies done by independent labs, there is no way to know if this is safe and for whom it is safe.


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