Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that contains calories, but being 200 times sweeter than the sugar cane, consumers use it in small amounts. In 1981, FDA has approved the usage of Aspartame as an artificial sweetener in specific circumstances in certain products such as chewing gum, cereals, dry mixtures of some foods (for example drinks, instant coffee, gelatin and dairy products). In 1983, FDA permitted using Aspartame in soda drinks and in its main components. By 1996 it was approved as an all-purpose sweetener. However, it is not thermally stable, and thus inadequate for baking production. Aspartame is one of the human food components that have been tackled in detail. There are more than one hundred studies affirming its safety. FDA scientists examined the scientific data related to Aspartame safety in food and they concluded that it is safe for all people, except those suffering from PKU disease, as their bodies cannot metabolize Phenylalanine (PHe) (an Aspartame component). So, these people should control the amount used of PHe, whether in food or other materials such as Aspartame. It is noteworthy that the labels of foods and drinks containing Aspartame should warn PKU patients.
As per EFSA, the (40 mg/ kg) Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is safe for all consumers except for PKU patients, as they should go through strict diet low in PHe. After comprehensive revision of submitted evidences, whether from studies carried out on humans or animals, experts excluded any potential risks of Aspartame leading to damage of embryos or urge to cancer. Experts also concluded that Aspartame does not endanger the brain functions, nervous system, behaviors or consciousness of normal children or adults. With regard to pregnancy, the expert team mentioned that PHe composition is not a threat to embryos with the current ADI (except for women suffering from PKU). Moreover, experts clarified that Aspartame compositions (PHe, Methanol, and Aspartic Acid) are naturally found in other types of food (for instance methanol can be found in fruits and vegetables) and that the amounts resulting from Aspartame, as per the current ADI, are low.
Nevertheless, consuming food containing Aspartame is not preferred for a number of categories:
Children below three years