Sweetener Aspartame E951 found in carbonated drinks

I had been to the dentist recently and had to suffer a ‘really nasty filling’ as it came out and it opened up a nerve.

So, I am getting really fed up with all my dentistry because I do have a sweet tooth and am trying to cut out a sugar addiction! In fact I went to the health shop and bought some ‘anti-sugar craving’ pills, which I have yet to try.

While all ths was going on, I was having a chat with someone about diet coke. This was something that was recommended by my dentist, if I cannot give up coke. (Fortunately, I still haven’t had coke for over a year now, or even diet coke). He said that one of the ingredient in diet coke was Aspartame (I couldn’t check this as I don’t have a can) and he said that that sweetener ‘was worse than sugar).

And this was something that my dentist recommended! Yes, he would even get even more business. I was really annoyed about that.

When I looked it up on Wiki, it said that Aspertame was 200 times worse than sugar! 200 times!

The man I spoke thought that Aspartame was banned in the US but not banned in the UK under the EU.

In addition, when I went to the health shop, a woman I spoke to said that when she was young she ate mints with ‘sweeteners’ and they really ruined her teeth. So perhaps some of these sweetners ARE worse than real sugar after all! Ironically, the Health Shop had loads of sweets that were riddled with sweeteners. In fact, I was going to buy some sugar free ones but eventually put them back.

Canderel is supposed to have Aspertame in it. In fact I occasionally use it. It is at work at the moment and I will have a look at the ingredients.

Here is some more stuff about Aspertame:

Is this another case of ‘profits over safety?’

Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. In the European Union, it is codified as E951. Aspartame is a methyl ester of the aspartic acid/ phenylalanine dipeptide.

The safety of aspartame has been the subject of several political and medical controversies, Congressional hearings and internet hoaxes since its initial approval for use in food products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974. A 2007 medical review on the subject concluded that “the weight of existing scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe at current levels of consumption as a non-nutritive sweetener”. However, because its breakdown products include phenylalanine, aspartame must be avoided by people with the genetic condition phenylketonuria (PKU).

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar in typical concentrations, without the high energy value of sugar. While aspartame, like other peptides, has a caloric value of 4 kilocalories (17 kilojoules) per gram, the quantity of aspartame needed to produce a sweet taste is so small that its caloric contribution is negligible.

Aspartame was discovered in 1965 by James M. Schlatter, a chemist working for G.D. Searle & Company. Schlatter had synthesized aspartame in the course of producing an antiulcer drug candidate. He accidentally discovered its sweet taste when he licked his finger, which had become contaminated with aspartame.

In 1975, prompted by issues regarding Flagyl and Aldactone a U.S. FDA task force team investigated 11 aspartame studies submitted by the manufacturer. The team reported “serious deficiencies in Searle’ operations and practices” in general, although not necessarily in the aspartame studies. The FDA sought to authenticate 15 of the submitted studies against the supporting data, in 1979 the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) concluded that, as any problems with the aspartame studies were minor and did not affect the conclusions, the studies could be used to assess aspartame’s safety.

In 1980, the FDA convened a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) consisting of independent advisors charged with examining the purported relationship between aspartame and brain cancer. The PBOI concluded that aspartame does not cause brain damage, but it recommended against approving aspartame at that time, citing unanswered questions about cancer in laboratory rats.

Citing data from a Japanese study that had not been available to the members of the PBOI, and after seeking advice from an expert panel that found fault with statistical analyses underlying the PBOI’s hesitation, yet argued against approval, FDA commissioner Hayes approved aspartame for use in dry goods. In 1983, the FDA further approved aspartame for use in carbonated beverages, and for use in other beverages, baked goods, and confections in 1993. In 1996, the FDA removed all restrictions from aspartame, allowing it to be used in all foods.

In 1984, Monsanto Company bought G.D. Searle—and the aspartame business became a separate Monsanto subsidiary, the NutraSweet Company. On May 25, 2000, Monsanto sold it to J.W. Childs Equity Partners II L.P.[22] The U.S. patent on aspartame expired in 1992. Since then, the company has competed for market share with other manufacturers, including Ajinomoto, Merisant and the Holland Sweetener Company. The latter stopped making the chemical in late 2006 because “global aspartame markets are facing structural oversupply, which has caused worldwide strong price erosion over the last five years”, making the business “persistently unprofitable”.

Several European Union countries approved aspartame in the 1980s, with EU-wide approval in 1994. The European Commission Scientific Committee on Food reviewed subsequent safety studies and reaffirmed the approval in 2002. The European Food Safety Authority reported in 2006 that the previously established Acceptable Daily Intake was appropriate, after reviewing yet another set of studies.

In the UK, foods that contain aspartame are legally required by the country’s Food Standards Agency to list the chemical among the product’s ingredients and carry the warning “Contains a source of phenylalanine” – this is usually at the foot of the list of ingredients. Manufacturers are also required to print ‘”with sweetener(s)” on the label close to the main product name’ on foods that contain “sweeteners such as aspartame” or “with sugar and sweetener(s)” on “foods that contain both sugar and sweetener”.

Equal, NutraSweet, and Canderel are ingredients of approximately 6,000 consumer foods and beverages sold worldwide, including (but not limited to) diet sodas and other soft drinks, instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, juices, laxatives, chewable vitamins supplements, milk drinks, pharmaceutical drugs and supplements, shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, teas, instant coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers and yogurt. It is provided as a table condiment in some countries. Aspartame is less suitable for baking than other sweeteners, because it breaks down when heated and loses much of its sweetness. Aspartame is also one of the main sugar substitutes used by people with diabetes.

In 2008, Ajinomoto sued British supermarket chain Asda, part of Wal-Mart, for a malicious falsehood action concerning its aspartame product when the chemical was listed as excluded from the chain’s product line, along with other “nasties”. In July 2009, a British court found in favour of Asda. In June 2010, an appeal court reversed the decision, allowing Ajinomoto to pursue a case against Asda to protect aspartame’s reputation. Asda said that it would continue to use the term “no nasties” on its own-label products.

In November 2009, Ajinomoto announced a new brand name for its aspartame sweetener — AminoSweet.”

This is a guy that wrote a book called Sweet Deception and here he discusses Aspertame.

Amazing to think that something that is 200 stronger than sugar is ‘acceptable for use in the UK’. I think it is enough for me to know that someone had more fillings with sweeteners than with normal sugar. I am going to try and avoid it.


2 responses to “Sweetener Aspartame E951 found in carbonated drinks

  1. I used to take Canderel myself for awhile as I put a lot of Sugar in Coffee. However when I heard all the Stuff about Aspartame I stopped using it and went back to Sugar.

    I have used Honey as a Substitute for Sugar but it is Expensive to keep using it. I always try and watch what is in Drinks and Packaged Foods now for Chemicals and E Numbers and try to avoid Processed Food.

    I also watch Plastic Bottles in case they are the Type that Leach Chemicals into Drinks. The HDPE and LDPE Type is suppose to be safe but you never know for sure.

  2. Honey is a good substitute, although the really good stuff is expensive.

    They sell honey in the pound shop, so I will go over there later today.

    I went to the doctor today about various things and she said that sugar, if taken in moderation, is ok.. although she didn’t admit that sugar is addictive and moderation isn’t always so easy.

    I am going to see if I can ‘alter my tastebuds’ by taking less sugar and I am off to the library to learn more about sugars and sweeteners, hopefully the association of bad staff that goes with it will help.

    The thing is nowadays we are bombarded with sugar and the doctor said that we have to be so careful now.Stuff that we think is healthy isn’t. I wonder what additives they put honey?!

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