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Additives: Sweeteners


Post by community member:

First up in my Additive research is Sweeteners. These are food additives (other than a mono- or disaccharide sugar) that add sweetness with or without extra calories, or make a food more palatable. They can be found in beverages, baked goods, confections, table-top sugar, substitutes, and many processed foods.

You’ll find Sweetener Additives on your label as sucrose (sugar), glucose, fructose, sorbitol, mannitol, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium (acesulfame-K), neotame to name a few. When you see them on your label, you’ll now know what they are!

Despite FDA approval, there are many accusations against artificial sweeteners of causing mood and behavioral disorders, headaches, multiple sclerosis, obesity, heart disease and cancer. There are no published, peer-reviewed, controlled scientific studies to support these accusations. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no scientific evidence that any artificial sweeteners approved for use in the United States cause cancer.

Acesulfame potassium

is also referred by the brand names Ace-K, Sunett and Sweet One. It’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and is heat stable (can be used in cooking and baking).

Examples: beers, breads, cereals, canned fruits and vegetables, dairy based desserts and drinks, egg based desserts, mustards, syrups, soups, vinegars, energy/sport drinks.


goes by the brand names Equal and NutraSweet. It is composed of two amino acids (proteins), aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly tested food additives, according to the FDA. People with the rare heredity disease phenylketonuria (PKU) should not consume aspartame. It is 160-220 times sweeter than sugar, has 4 calories per gram (metabolized as a protein), but because such a small amount is needed to sweeten foods and beverages, the calories provided by aspartame are considered negligible. It is not heat stable (cannot be used in cooking or baking).

Examples: cooked or fried vegetables, dried fruit, fermented fruit products, frozen fruit, seasonings and condiments


is one of the newest artificial sweeteners approved for use. It is used as a flavor enhancer and sweetener, is 7,000-13,000 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and is heat stable.

Examples: candied fruit, chewing gum, cocoa and chocolate products, dried fruits and vegetables, egg-based desserts, soups and stews, fruit fillings, vinegars, energy/sports drinks


are used as a sweetener and are found in brand names Necta Sweet, Sugar Twin and Sweet ‘N Low. It is 200-700 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and is heat stable. These are also grouped with Saccharins: Calcium saccharin, Potassium saccharin, and Sodium saccharin.

Examples: breakfast cereals, vinegars, cooked fish, dairy based drinks and desserts

Sucralose (Trichlorogalactosucrose)

whose brand name is Splenda, is used as a sweetener. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories and is heat stable.

Examples: fermented fruit products, frozen fruit, mustards, seasonings and condiments, vegetables

You know, I really shouldn’t be surprised at all the foods that contain a sweetener additive, but I was. Many of the foods that aren’t “low calorie”, “sugar-free”, or “diet” still contain many of these additives.

Why must we have a sweetener added to a vinegar? or cooked fish? It is the way of the industry, but one I will be more careful of in the future.

To see all 25 Sweetener Additives and foods they are used in, see the Codex.

Cindy blogs at Chippewa Creek ~ Our Life Simplified.

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Posted by on August 10, 2011 | Permalink  

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4 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 8-10

    I use artificial sweeteners when I have to. Those with very low blood sugar, such as myself, need the sweeteners as any simple sugar causes problems. Not all artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Xylatol kills the bacteria that casues tooth decay but it’s hard to find and very expensive…

  2. 8-10

    Wow I had no idea sweetener in vinegar.
    Thanks for sharing .
    Granny Trace

  3. 8-10

    A sweetner which is not artifical is stevia. grows into a bush. Leaves can be dried and powdered and use wherever sugar is used. It is very sweet so you dont need much.

  4. 8-10

    Thanks, Cindy. I’m not really a label reader . . . yet. I appreciate the lessons!

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