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Concept: Saccharin


It has been suggested that the use of nonnutritive sweeteners (NNSs) can lead to weight gain, but evidence regarding their real effect in body weight and satiety is still inconclusive. Using a rat model, the present study compares the effect of saccharin and aspartame to sucrose in body weight gain and in caloric intake. Twenty-nine male Wistar rats received plain yogurt sweetened with 20% sucrose, 0.3% sodium saccharin or 0.4% aspartame, in addition to chow and water ad libitum, while physical activity was restrained. Measurements of cumulative body weight gain, total caloric intake, caloric intake of chow and caloric intake of sweetened yogurt were performed weekly for 12weeks. Results showed that addition of either saccharin or aspartame to yogurt resulted in increased weight gain compared to addition of sucrose, however total caloric intake was similar among groups. In conclusion, greater weight gain was promoted by the use of saccharin or aspartame, compared with sucrose, and this weight gain was unrelated to caloric intake. We speculate that a decrease in energy expenditure or increase in fluid retention might be involved.

Concepts: Real number, E number, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Ad libitum, Sucralose, Saccharin, Equal


In order to better assess non-nutritive sweetener (NNS) consumption, measurement tools with greater utility are needed. The objective of this investigation is to determine the reproducibility and validity of a newly developed NNS food frequency questionnaire (NNS-FFQ) that measures five types of NNS (saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and erythritol). Adult participants (n= 123, 56% female, 75% Caucasian, mean age = 36.8 ± 16.6) completed the NNS-FFQ twice and had 24-h dietary recalls three times over a two-week study period. Reproducibility between two administrations of the NNS-FFQ was assessed via Bland-Altman plots, Spearman’s correlations (rs) and paired samplest-tests. Bland-Altman plots, Cohen’s κ, Spearman’s correlations (rs), and paired samplest-tests compared NNS intake between the two methods for validity. For reproducibility analyses, Bland-Altman analyses revealed agreement levels above the 95% acceptance level for total NNS (99.2%), erythritol (99.2%), and aspartame (96.7%). Agreement levels for acesulfame potassium (94.3%), saccharin (94.3%), and sucralose (94.3%) were slightly below the acceptable level. For validity analyses, Bland-Altman analyses revealed agreement levels above the 95% acceptance level for total NNS (95.1%), sucralose (95.9%), saccharin (95.9%), and erythritol (95.1%). Agreement levels for aspartame (94.3%) and acesulfame potassium (92.7%) were slightly below the acceptable level. Although less than desirable agreement was found between the methods for aspartame and acesulfame potassium, some variance was expected due to the habitual nature of the NNS-FFQ as compared to the recent intake reported by recalls. Within the context of this constraint, the NNS-FFQ demonstrates acceptable reproducibility and validity. The NNS-FFQ is a brief questionnaire that could be administered among diverse participants at the individual and population levels to measure habitual NNS intake.

Concepts: Psychometrics, Logic, E number, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sucralose, Saccharin, Acesulfame potassium


Substantial evidence suggests influence of color, physical state, and other extrinsic features on consumer perception and acceptability of food products. In this study, 560 subjects evaluated liking and emotional responses associated with 5 sweeteners (sucralose, stevia, saccharin, aspartame, and sucrose) under 2 eliciting conditions: control (brand name only) and informed (brand name/packet image), to assess impact of the packet color. For a given condition, 5 identical tea samples each labeled with a sweetener type were rated for sweetness and overall liking (9-point) and emotions (5-point). Nonsignificant interactions between eliciting condition and sweetener type were found for liking attributes and emotions (except peaceful), indicating their independent effects. However, overall differences existed among sweetener types and eliciting conditions based on both hedonic and emotional responses (MANOVA, P < 0.05), suggesting modulating effects of packet color on sweetener type in the sensory-emotion space. The sensory-emotion profile for sucrose was separate from that of nonnutritive sweeteners, with statistically significant Mahalanobis distances among sample centroids. Increases in positive emotion intensities contrasted with a decrease in negative emotion intensities were observed for some sweeteners moving from the control to informed condition. Sweetness liking was strongly correlated with the emotion satisfied (sucralose, saccharin) only in the control condition, whereas it was strongly correlated with the emotions pleased and satisfied (stevia), disgusted (aspartame), and satisfied (sucrose) only in the informed condition. Overall, results suggested that sensory liking and emotions during the consumption experience are related not entirely to the type of sweetener, but also the color of the packet.

Concepts: Psychology, Sugar, Emotion, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sugar substitute, Sucralose, Saccharin


This research investigated the intakes of six intense sweeteners; acesulfame-K (E950), aspartame (E951), cyclamate (E952), saccharin (E954), sucralose (E955) and steviol glycosides (E960) in the diets of Irish adults, using data from the National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS). A food label survey which included products currently available on the Irish market supplemented the analysis. Sweetener intakes were investigated using three different exposure scenarios; beginning with a crude assessment which assumed that all foods permitted to contain the additives of interest always did contain them, and at their maximum permitted level (Tier 1). Refined assessments estimated intakes of the six sweeteners using food consumption data up to brand level with additive occurrence data from a survey of products currently available on the Irish market (Tier 2) and sweetener concentration data (Tier 3). Results of all exposure assessment scenarios demonstrate that intakes of each of the sweeteners of interest by the total population were below the relevant acceptable daily intake (ADI) level (mg kg-1 bodyweight-1), even by high consumers (P99). The three sweeteners consumed in highest amounts were acesulfame-k, aspartame and sucralose. The main sources of these sweeteners in the diet were ‘cider and perry’, ‘energy reduced and no added sugar (ER and NAS) carbonated flavoured drinks’, ‘table top-sweeteners’, ‘dairy products’, ‘solid food supplements’ and ‘sauces’. Intakes of the six intense sweeteners are currently not a concern among Irish adults. However, exposure to these chemicals should be monitored on a regular basis due to evolving market and consumption patterns.

Concepts: Nutrition, Food additive, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sugar substitute, Sucralose, Saccharin, Acesulfame potassium


High intensity-sweeteners (HIS) are natural or synthetic substances, sweeter than sugar, providing sweetness without calories. Sweeteners are mainly used as an aid in losing weight, preventing obesity and controlling blood sugar levels for diabetics. The objective of this study was to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of the sweeteners aspartame, sucralose, sodium saccharin and steviol glycoside, using the test for detection of epithelial tumor clones in Drosophila melanogaster. Larvae of 72+4h, obtained from wts/TM3 female mated with mwh/mwh males, were treated for approximately 48h with different concentrations of aspartame (0.85, 1.7, 3.4, 6.8 or 13.6 mM ); sucralose (0.5, 1.25, 2.5, 5.0 or 10 mM); Sodium saccharin (25; 50; 100; 200 or 400 mM) and steviol glycoside (2.5; 5.0; 10; 20 or 40 mM). Water (Reverse Osmosis) and doxorubicin (DXR 0.4 mM) were used as negative and positive controls, respectively. No statistically significant differences were observed (p> 0.05) in tumor frequencies in individuals treated with all concentrations of these sweeteners when compared to negative control. It was therefore concluded that, in these experimental conditions, aspartame, sucralose, sodium saccharin and steviol glycoside have no carcinogenic effect in D. melanogaster.

Concepts: Sugar, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila, Sweeteners, Stevia, Sugar substitute, Sucralose, Saccharin


High-intensity sweeteners have been suggested as potential organic contaminants due to their widespread use in food, drugs and sanitary products. As a consequence, they are introduced into the environment by different pathways, affecting aquatic life. In this study, a method based on solid-phase extraction (SPE) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) has been developed and validated for the determination of eight sweeteners (saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, acesulfame, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, sucralose, stevioside and glycyrrhizic acid) in river water and wastewater. To get the maximum recoveries in SPE, several commercial sorbents were tested and Oasis HLB gave the best results, with recoveries higher than 41% for all of the compounds in the different matrices. Method limits of detection were in the range of 0.001-0.04μg/L in river water and 0.01-0.5μg/L in influent and effluent wastewater. Method reproducibility between days (n=5) was below 15% for all compounds. The method was applied to the determination of sweeteners in various river waters and wastewaters in Catalonia. Cyclamate, aspartame, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, acesulfame and sucralose were found in river water, with the two last compounds being present at the highest values (1.62μg/L for acesulfame and 3.57μg/L for sucralose). In influent and effluent wastewater, all of the compounds were found at concentration levels ranging from 0.05 to 155μg/L except for stevioside and neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, which were not detected.

Concepts: Water, Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, Wastewater, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sucralose, Saccharin, Acesulfame potassium


Advantame is a new ultrahigh-intensity noncaloric sweetener derived from aspartame and approved for human use. Rats and mice are not attracted to the taste of aspartame and this study determined their preference for advantame. In 24-h choice tests with water, C57BL/6J mice and Sprague-Dawley rats were indifferent to advantame at concentrations of 0.01, 0.03, and 0.1mM but significantly preferred 0.3 and 1mM advantame to water. Both species also preferred 1mM advantame to 1mM saccharin in direct choice tests, but preferred 10mM saccharin to 1mM advantame, which is near the solubility limit for this sweetener. Mice also preferred 1mM advantame to 1mM sucralose or acesulfame K, but preferred both sweeteners at 10mM to 1mM advantame. In addition, mice preferred 1mM advantame to 1 and 10mM aspartame. Thus, advantame is a potent sweetener for rodents but, because of limited solubility, is not an effective alternative to saccharin, sucralose, or acesulfame K at higher concentrations.

Concepts: E number, Choice, Preference, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sucralose, Saccharin, Acesulfame potassium


The biodegradation of the six artificial sweetening agents including acesulfame (ACE), aspartame (ASP), cyclamate (CYC), neohesperidindihydrochalcone (NHDC), saccharin (SAC), and sucralose (SUC) by nitrifying activated sludge was first examined. Experimental results showed that ASP and NHDC were the most easily degradable compounds even in the control tests. CYC and SAC were efficiently biodegraded by the nitrifying activated sludge, whereas ACE and SUC were poorly removed. However, the biodegradation efficiencies of the ASs were increased with the increase in initial ammonium concentrations in the bioreactors. The association between nitrification and co-metabolic degradation was investigated and a linear relationship between nitrification rate and co-metabolic biodegradation rate was observed for the target artificial sweeteners (ASs). The contribution of heterotrophic microorganisms and autotrophic ammonia oxidizers in biodegradation of the ASs was elucidated, of which autotrophic ammonia oxidizers played an important role in the biodegradation of the ASs, particularly with regards to ACE and SUC.

Concepts: Bacteria, Organism, Sewage treatment, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sugar substitute, Sucralose, Saccharin


The dietary intakes of sodium saccharin, aspartame and stevioside were estimated on the basis of food consumption data of the Korean consumer and the concentration of sweeteners in processed foods. Results were compared with the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of sweeteners. Among the 28 food categories for which the application of sodium saccharin, aspartame and stevioside is permitted in Korea, they were detected in 5, 12 and 13 categories, respectively. The estimated daily intake (EDI) of sodium saccharin and aspartame were high in infants and children, whereas the EDI of stevioside was high in adolescents and adults. The most highly consumed sweetener was aspartame, and the highest EDI/ADI ratio was found for sodium saccharin. The main food categories contributing to sweetener consumption were beverages, including alcoholic beverages. For most Korean consumers, the EDIs were no greater than 20% of their corresponding ADI; however, the EDI of sodium saccharin for conservative consumers aged 1-2 years reached 60% of their ADI.

Concepts: Nutrition, Food, Alcoholic beverage, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sucralose, Saccharin, Equal