Intense sweeteners provide sweet taste without calories, or with very few calories. Most low-calorie sweeteners are not digested by the body and provide no calories.
The first intense sweetener, saccharin, was discovered in 1878. And since then, a number of other low-calorie sweeteners including cyclamate, aspartame, acesulfame K, neohesperidine DC, thaumatin, sucralose and alitame have been produced and used around the world. Especially sucralose is one of the fastest growing intense sweeteners on the market today.
In Europe, European Food Safety Authority is controlling the safety of all intense sweeteners used in food production. No food additive, such as intense sweetener, may be used in food products without a stringent safety assesment and approval by the European Commission. The levels of intense sweeteners used in food production are based on an approved daily intake level of EFSA. The level is 100-fold lower than the safe dose demonstrated in studies. This conservative measure makes sure that even a frequent, daily consumption of intense sweeteners (e.g. by diabetics) is safe.
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