Sweetener Composition Provides Confidence in Safety

All aspartame components present in everyday foods

Chicago, IL - Aspartame, the leading low calorie sugar substitute in the world, is scientifically proven to break down completely in the body to components found at much higher levels in common foods, making recent allegations of concern both unfounded and implausible.

"The body digests aspartame to natural products that are all found in foods like tomato and orange juices, milk and chicken," said John D. Fernstrom, PhD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and member of the Aspartame Expert Advisory Board. "These same foods are regular parts of the daily diet and are consistently associated with good health. Aspartame brings nothing new to the diet."

Aspartame is a simple ingredient composed of two amino acids, which are building blocks of protein found in foods of both plant and animal origin. Its digestion and metabolism have been well understood for decades. The fact that these amino acids are ever present in healthy diets is the underlying basis of high confidence across the scientific community of its safety.

Charges by an Italian group that high levels of aspartame could lead to certain cancers in laboratory rats are in total conflict with hundreds of credible studies that have been thoroughly reviewed by regulatory authorities around the world. In contrast to the self-published study in question, four long-term carcinogenicity studies of aspartame that were conducted in accordance with international standards and extensively reviewed by government regulatory scientists found no such relationship. Further, the allegations are inconsistent with human epidemiological data.

"We join the more than 130 regulatory authorities around the world in our confidence in aspartame," said Robert G. Bursey, vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Ajinomoto USA. "Consumers can be assured of its safety and value as a good-tasting tool for helping manage the very real challenge of obesity."

For more information about aspartame safety, contact Mike Herndon at the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Public Affairs (301-827-9182, mherndon@oc.fda.gov).

Ajinomoto Food Ingredients, LLC is headquartered in Chicago, IL. The company manufactures food products and ingredients, including seasonings, edible oils, and processed foods and beverages. Ajinomoto is a world leader in amino-acid technologies and the global leader in aspartame production.

1 August 2005