FSANZ invites comment on Advantame artificial sweetener

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 7th September 2010

SugarFood Standards Australian New Zealand has invited comment on a plan to approve Japanese-made sweetener Advantame.

The sweetener, made by the world’s largest aspartame supplier Ajinomoto, was also submitted to the US’s Food and Drug Administration in April.

Advantame is described as ‘thousands of times sweeter than sugar’, meaning that much smaller quantitites would be required to produce a sweet taste. Aspartame is around 200 times sweeter than sugar.

The sweetener has been submitted for approval “for use in table top sugar substitutes and a range of powdered beverages including fruit drinks, milks and milk-flavoured drinks, instant tea and coffee and protein drinks.”

The first application by Ajinomoto was made in September 2009, and determined to be technologically justified as a food additive.

“It can be used in a wide range of beverages that would otherwise contain sugar and is effective as a high intensity sweetener.

“Additionally, at low concentrations it has a flavour enhancing effect. Advantame has been demonstrated to be stable for twelve months when used in powdered beverage mixes and thirty-six months when used in a tabletop sweetener powder.”

Following the application, FSANZ has conducted a number of animal and human studies, with a risk and technical assessment determining that “there are no public health and safety issues associated with the proposed addition of Advantame to food.”

Public comment can be made to FSANZ regarding the new food additive.