A new artificial sweetener ingredient that claims to be 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar has won federal government approval.
Neotame from the US company Nutrasweet was approved as a general-purpose sweetener that can be sprinkled on food or used in soft-drinks, baked goods, gum, processed fruits and a host of other food items. Designated as a high-intensity sweetener, neotame was the subject of 113 animal and human studies that the FDA reviewed before approving the product.
"The safety studies were designed to identify possible toxic effects, such as cancer-causing, reproductive and neurological effects," said the FDA. "From its evaluation of the neotame database, the FDA was able to conclude that neotame is safe for human consumption,"the US office continued.
Neotame has not been approved for use in meat and poultry.