Pepsi to Ditch Controversial Sweetener, Aspartame

April 28th, 2015
Pepsi to Ditch Controversial Sweetener, Aspartame

Pepsi has announced that it will remove the controversial artificial sweetener, aspartame, from Diet Pepsi in the USA.

Despite the fact that regulators approve the use of aspartame as a sweetener, executives at Pepsi have decided to scrap the sweetener in response to consumer demand. Sales of Diet Pepsi fell by 5 per cent in the USA last year and the main reason for this is the use of aspartame, which raises concerns among many consumers.

Vice-president of PepsiCo, Seth Kaufman, explained the move, suggesting that consumers feel uneasy about the use of aspartame and confirmed that the decision was a commercial one. The number one reason Diet Pepsi sales are falling in the USA is the use of aspartame and therefore, this will be addressed in the coming months by producing a new product that contains sucralose and acesulfame potassium instead.

Aspartame is commonly found in fizzy drinks, especially diet versions, as it is incredibly sweet, but contains very few calories. It is also used in Diet Coke. It was first introduced in the food manufacturing industry in the 1980’s and has proved controversial, especially in the last decade or so. A study conducted in Bologna showed that rats which were given the same equivalent doses to humans were more likely to develop tumours and there are concerns about a potential link between aspartame and an increased risk of some types of cancer.

Aspartame is approved for use in Europe and the USA and the Food and Drug Administration claims that there are over 100 studies to support the safe use of aspartame.

Pepsi will not change the ingredients of Diet Pepsi in the UK. Aspartame-free products are expected to be available in the USA from August.

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