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Soft drink companies are sweet on aspartame despite health warnings

“If consumers really don’t buy Diet Coke because of this report, it may be time to move on to Plan B when sales start to drop,” Nelson said.

Coca-Cola turned the question over to the industry lobby group, the American Beverage Association. “Aspartame is safe,” the association’s interim president Kevin Keane said in a statement.

Aspartame is used in many chewing gum brands.credit: Reuters

PepsiCo did not respond to requests for comment, but Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston told Bloomberg Markets that he did not expect a strong consumer reaction.

“In fact, based on the large body of evidence suggesting that aspartame is safe, I do not believe this will pose a significant problem for consumers,” Johnston said.

The WHO agency’s assessment deepens consumer confusion over aspartame, but it’s also the latest in a series of recent studies highlighting potential risks and questioning the true benefits of artificial sweeteners. be. Just a few weeks ago, the WHO recommended against the use of artificial sweeteners for weight management, citing research studies that had shown no long-term effects on body fat loss in children and adults. The review also suggested that sweeteners were associated with his increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Earlier this year, researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that sucralose, a chemical formed after digesting another sweetener, can destroy DNA and cause health problems. published a study that found

Over the years, food and beverage companies and regulators have typically denounced research that raises questions about artificial sweeteners, blaming them for being flawed, inconclusive, or posing negligible health risks. I’ve been

“Much scientific evidence shows that low- and zero-calorie sweeteners are effective and safe options for reducing sugar and calorie consumption,” says food manufacturers and suppliers. said Robert Rankin, president of the Calorie Control Council, a lobbying group for Two dozen alternative sweeteners.

In fact, most food and beverage companies using aspartame are reluctant to switch because aspartame is cheaper than other alternatives and 200 times sweeter than sugar, so small amounts are so effective. is.


“One of the advantages of aspartame is that it has been made for so long that manufacturers have improved their cost and processing very well and have a better product,” says Vassar College of Organic Chemistry. adjunct professor Glenn Roy said. He has worked for food companies such as NutraSweet, General Foods and PepsiCo for over 30 years.

In addition, the FDA approved aspartame in 1974, providing companies with decades of data and information about what aspartame can and cannot do in their products.

For example, it can enhance and extend the flavor of certain fruits such as cherries and oranges, making it a preferred sweetener for beverages and chewing gum. However, aspartame loses its sweetness when heated, making it less desirable in baked and cooked products.


In response to consumer demand, food and beverage companies are launching new sugar-free or low-sugar products, many of which are made with new sweeteners or sweetener blends. Each new product undergoes multiple sensory and flavor tests before launch.

But for products that have been around for decades, such as diet soda, loyal customers are accustomed to certain tastes and may dislike them when ingredients change, scientists say. .

This article was originally published on new york times.

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https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/soft-drink-companies-stay-sweet-on-aspartame-despite-health-warning-20230715-p5dogh.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Soft drink companies are sweet on aspartame despite health warnings

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