Aspartame

Isabel Botello

Function

Aspartame is one of the artificial sweetener that is used in food. to mimic the sweetness of sugar while having a lower calorie measurements compared to sugar.

Creation of the Additive

In 1965, James Schlatter, a chemist for G.D. Searle Company, accidentally discovered aspartame while conducting tests on an anti-ulcer drug. Although originally set to be released in 1974, it was withheld until 1981 because Dr. John W. Olney, a neuroscience researcher, and James Turner, a consumer attorney, filed objections against its release.

Chemical Chain

C14H18N2O5

Uses

Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener. It is used to sweeten a variety of foods and beverages and as a tabletop sweetener. Aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar, tastes good, enhances citrus and other fruit flavors, saves calories and does not contribute to tooth decay.

Dangerous Effects

Claims have been made that aspartame is related to health effects ranging from mild problems such as headache, dizziness, digestive symptoms, and changes in mood, to more serious health issues such as Alzheimer disease, birth defects, diabetes, Gulf War syndrome, attention deficit disorders, Parkinson disease, lupus, etc.

Other Names

Aspartame is marketed under the NutraSweet, Equal and Sugar Twin brands.

Common Foods

It is found in over 6000 products such as frozen desserts, gelatins, puddings, fillings, confections, chewing gum, carbonated or powdered soft drinks, tabletop sweeteners or yogurt. Some sugar-free pharmaceuticals like cough drops will also add aspartame. Anyproducts that contain aspartame must list it on the label.