Chemical x Dictionary

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What is Aspartame or E951 ?

Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, surpasses sucrose in sweetness by 200 times, making it a popular choice for “sugar-free” products. Widely utilized by brands seeking to reduce calorie content, it’s a low-calorie alternative. Aspartame is synthetically produced, devoid of animal-derived elements, rendering it generally acceptable for both vegan and vegetarian diets. Frequently employed in various food and beverage items, its sweetness allows for a reduced quantity compared to sugar, contributing to its widespread use in the food industry. 

What are the other names this ingredient is also known as? 

Aspartame (Sweetner), Sweetener (INS 951), Sweetener 951, Sweetener Aspartame, Sweetener Aspartame (E951)

What products is it used in?

As a widely embraced artificial sweetener, aspartame is a staple in numerous products. It’s commonly found in diet sodas, sugar-free gum, mints, cereals, frozen desserts, yogurts, ice creams, sauces, mixers, tabletop sweeteners, flavored drink powders, and more. Its various methods of use is what makes this ingredient more favourable to use as it has more sweetness than sugars. 

What is the source of this ingredient?

Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener that is synthetically produced. It is not naturally occurring but is created through the chemical synthesis of amino acids, specifically phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Aspartame is commonly used as a sugar substitute in various food and beverage products. It is generally considered vegan and vegetarian, as it is a synthetic sweetener and does not contain animal-derived ingredients. 

Is this ingredient bad for me?

Aspartame is broken down into methanol in the body. Methanol is toxic in large amounts and might be a concern in smaller amounts if it’s present as a free methanol. Free methanol consumed regularly breaks down into formaldehyde, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin. But the WHO states that it is safe to consume 40 milligrams of this ingredient per kilogram of body weight. 

What should I do?

Avoid when possible

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