What aspartame is

Aspartame brings nothing new to our diet – except the taste of sugar without the sugar.

Aspartame is made from two amino acids, the building blocks of protein that occur widely in the food we eat every day, including eggs, meat, cheese, fish, cereals, milk and orange juice. When we consume aspartame, it is broken down in the digestive system to very small quantities of common dietary components.

In 2002, the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food made the following statement about aspartame:

"Aspartame is unique among the (low calorie) sweeteners in that the intake of its component parts can be compared with intakes of the same substances from natural foods."

In December 2013, the European Food Safety Authority confirmed that:

"The breakdown products of aspartame are also naturally present in other foods. The contribution of aspartame to the overall dietary exposure of these substances is low."

Here is how aspartame compares with some everyday foods:

aspartame components graph

Of all the low calorie sweeteners, aspartame tastes most like sugar. By providing the sweet taste that we enjoy without the calories of sugar, aspartame helps us to control our calorie intake and maintain a healthy body weight.