With American societys penchant for low calorie foods, the market has been plagued by all kinds of sweeteners that promises low to almost non-existent calorie content. One of the many kinds of sweeteners that are already flooding the market is Aspartame sweetener.
Aspartame sweetener is a non-caloric sugar substitute. This means that there is no calorie content, which is real good news for people with sweet tooth who still wants to diet.
Aspartame has actually been discovered way back in 1965 and is already been available in the market since the 1980s. The safety of this sweetener has already been established by both local and international committees and agencies. However, there have still been doubts on its safety up until now.
Aspartame has a powderish consistency. It is odorless and is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose or ordinary table sugar. It has already been used in so many products in the market and have actually even been marketed in brand names like Canderel and NutraSweet. When ingested, it does not enter the bloodstream but rather goes straight to the intestines and breaks down into three components, aspartic acid, methanol and phenylalanine.
Although the sweetener is relatively stable when dry, it loses its sweetness when it is combined with liquids or in temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius.
Still, despite being in the market for so long, questions about its safety is still being raised. The long-standing debate on whether it is safe or not has actually not been resolved. Some claim that aspartame sweeteners can cause headaches, epilepsy and even brain tumors. There are however no major study that has yet to support this claim.
In fact no link has been found between aspartame and cancer or gene damage. Many scientists have also disclaimed the suggested link between the headaches/epilepsy with aspartame.
Consumption of aspartame does not affect human reproduction and does not prevent conception. It does not lead to any nervous system disorders or any allergic reactions. There is also no evidence that aspartame can affect a persons behavior, cognition and mood.
People, however, could not care less. They still use aspartame. Europe for instance consume about 2.8 to 10.1 kilograms per body weight aspartame every day. This however is still quite low and way below the accepted daily food intake that is set by international agencies like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).