What is Aspartame?

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Raw Materials

Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid and methanol. Its chemical name is L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine methyl ester. Amino acids, often referred to as the building blocks for proteins, link together to form proteins.

The amounts of phenylalanine and aspartic acid found in aspartame are present in larger amounts in commonly consumed protein-containing foods. Methanol is a type of alcohol that occurs naturally in humans, animals, and plants. It is found naturally in fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices and fermented beverages.

The Production of Aspartame

Aspartame is produced through fermentation by combining B. flavum and C. glutamicum with nutrients carbohydrates, vitamins, and amino acids. When adequate amino acids are available, they are separated and purified.

Next, phenylalanine is reacted with methanol to form L-phenylalanine methyl ester. Aspartic acid is also modified and then the two amino acids are combined, heated and cooled, which results in the formation of crystals. The crystals are reacted with acetic acid to create aspartame. After further steps of distilling and filtering, the final purified aspartame is produced.

Safety Precautions

The ingredients used in the production of aspartame are regularly checked to assure quality and safety, including the bacterial cultures. In addition, the physical and chemical properties of the finished product are checked, such as pH level, melting point and moisture content to ensure that it meets product standards.

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Is Aspartame Safe?

The scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the safety of aspartame even in amounts far greater than people typically consume. With over 200 studies attesting to its safety, aspartame is one of the most researched food ingredients/additives in the world and has a long history of safe use.

Aspartame Lifestyle

Learning to live a healthier lifestyle is easy when you change one small thing at a time. Find recipes and tips to start the change today!

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