Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages, especially “diet” foods. This food-grade chemical is about 200 times sweeter than sucrose, or table sugar. Therefore, since the quantity of aspartame needed to produce a sweet taste is so miniscule, the calorie count is negligible. Among the FDA approved artificial sweeteners, the taste of aspartame comes closest to that of actual sugar. Additionally, aspartame is often blended with other artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium to produce a taste even more like table sugar. Aspartame is usually undesirable as a baking sugar because it breaks down when heated. However, the stability of aspartame in heat can be slightly improved by covering it in maltodextrin.
Although there has been stipulation that aspartame can cause harmful effects on the body, current scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe at current levels of consumption as a non-nutritive sweetener. However, because aspartame can break down into the chemical phenylalanine, aspartame must be avoided by anyone with the condition phenylketonuria.
At our chemical supply company in Orlando, we offer aspartame as one of our many food/reagent-grade chemical products. We also stock personal care raw materials, highly specialized botanical ingredients, as well as hard to find technical grade chemicals and custom compounds. Call us at 407-339-BELL (2355) for a full list of chemical products.