Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, making it a popular substitute for sugar in many soft drinks and other food products. It was discovered in 1965 by James Schlatter, a US chemist. Despite being approved for use in numerous countries, including Nigeria, the United States, and the United Kingdom, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), has declared aspartame as a “possible carcinogen.”
The IARC arrived at this determination after conducting an evaluation of the impact of aspartame based on scientific data collected from various sources, including peer-reviewed papers, governmental reports, and studies conducted for regulatory purposes. The announcement raised concerns among consumers and prompted manufacturers to reconsider their recipes and seek alternatives.
It’s important to note that the joint WHO and Food and Agriculture Organization’s expert committee on food additives (JECFA) concluded that aspartame remains safe to consume at levels that have already been agreed upon, which is 40mg/kg of body weight.
Here are some popular soft drinks that contain aspartame:
1. Diet Coke
2. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
3. Sprite Zero Sugar
4. Fanta Orange – Zero Sugar
5. Schweppes Ginger
6. Schweppes Pineapple with Malt Extract
7. Schweppes Bitter Lemon
8. Red Bull Sugar-Free
9. Pepsi Max
10. Fanta Zero
11. 7Up Zero Sugar
12. 7Up Free
The WHO stated that it will continue to monitor new evidence and encourage independent research groups to conduct further studies on the potential association between aspartame exposure and consumer health effects. As with any food additive, it’s essential for consumers to stay informed about scientific findings and regulatory recommendations and make informed choices about their diet and consumption patterns.
The Doctall team consists of regulatory experts who can help you make better informed choices. Contact us now.