New Sugar Substitute, Advantame Approved by the FDA

Artificial Sweeteners

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sixth sugar substitute. The FDA says Advantame has successfully passed the process of food additive petition and can now be used in baked goods, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages, chewing gum, candies, frostings, frozen desserts, gelatins and puddings, jams and jellies, processed fruits and fruit juices, toppings and syrups.

“We are all very excited about Advantame. The clean sugar-like taste means that it blends very well with sugar and other caloric sweeteners, providing food and beverage companies with an alternative that has meaningful nutritional advantages,” said Brendan Naulty, Senior Vice President of Ajinomoto North America, Inc. “Using less caloric sweetener to deliver good-tasting foods and beverages is a real plus in today’s marketplace.”

Advantame is a white powder that dissolves in water and remains stable even at higher temperatures, the FDA said in a news release. It can be used as both a tabletop sweetener and as an ingredient in cooking.

“Sugar substitutes are called ‘high-intensity’ because small amounts pack a large punch when it comes to sweetness,” Captain Andrew Zajac, of the U.S. Public Health Service and director of the FDA’s division of petition review, explained in the news release.

Advantame is made from vanillin and aspartame.

The FDA notes, Advantame is chemically similar to Equal, and certain people should avoid or limit their use of aspartame. Certain people have a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU), which makes it difficult for them to metabolize phenylalanine, a component of both aspartame and advantame. Food with aspartame must include label information warning people with PKU about the presence of phenylalanine.

Advantame is an ultrahigh potency sweetener from Ajinomoto Co. Inc. (AJINY). It is about 20,000 times sweeter than sucrose, and has a sugar-like taste. The substitute can partially replace sugar and other high potency sweeteners in the manufacturing of food and beverages, due to its good taste and low cost. In addition, it can also be used to enhance flavors such as dairy, fruit, and mint. Ajinomoto has been researching and developing the next generation of non-caloric sweeteners for over a decade, and Advantame is the first of the new sweeteners that it plans to introduce.

The U.S. follows Australia and New Zealand in its approval of Advantame as a general purpose sweetener. Final approvals in the European Union and Japan are pending.

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