EU approval for artificial sweeteners

Related tags Intense sweeteners European union European commission

The European Commission has approved legislation allowing the use
of two intense sweeteners, sucralose and aspartame-acesulfame,
within the European Union. Both are already sold outside the

The European Commission has paved the way for new legislation allowing the use of two intense sweeteners within the European Union.

The sweeteners, sucralose and an aspartame-acesulfame salt, are already permitted in several areas outside of the EU. The proposal still needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council, which could take up to a year.

Sucralose is said to be around 600 times sweeter than sugar and stable even when exposed to high temperature food processing. It is authorised in more than 40 countries outside the EU, including the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Makers of soft drinks, desserts and confectionary are all expected to be interested in the new ingredient.

The aspartame-acesulfame salt is a chemical combination of two already permitted intense sweeteners, aspartame and acesulfame K, in an equivalent mixture. Once dissolved this salt behaves exactly like a solution of aspartame and acesulfame K. It can be used in chewing gum to help prolong sweetness.

The authorisation and use of intense sweeteners, like any other food additive, is harmonised at EU level. The Scientific Committee on Food established the safety of the two sweeteners prior to the proposal being made. For sucralose, the committee set an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI defined as the amount of a food additive that a human can ingest daily over a lifetime without incurring any appreciable health risks) of 15 mg/kg bodyweight. For the salt aspartame-acesulfame salt, the Committee decided that it was covered by the safety evaluations of the two constituent sweeteners.

The proposal for sucralose, marketed in the US by Johnson & Johnson, was initially made by British company Tate & Lyle.Holland Sweetener Company, a joint venture between the Netherlands's DSM and Japan-based Tosoh, made the request for aspartame-acesulfame. The company expects the product to sell between €10 million and €20 million a year, according to a Dow Jones report.

Related topics Policy

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more