The European Commission has requested the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to re-evaluate the safety of aspartame as a food additive and the EFSA has accepted the request. This request has come about as a result of a couple of studies linking aspartame to preterm deliveries in humans and cancer in Swiss male mice.
The Danish study, Intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks and risk of preterm delivery: A prospective cohort study in 59,334 Danish pregnant women published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks could risk preterm delivery. The second study, the one on cancer in Swiss mice, titled, Aspartame administered in feed, beginning prenatally through life span, induces cancers of the liver and lung in male Swiss mice published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, concluded that aspartame was a carcinogen in rodents.
The EFSA now has over 600 data sets that it is assessing in this initiative, which is slated to be completed by the end of this year. You also can read and download PDFs of the previously unpublished scientific data plus 112 original studies on aspartame.
Here we present two applications for the determination of aspartame and other additives in carbonated drinks! (You might have noticed that the blog post title indicates this is a series: we will be covering natural sweeteners steviol glycoside from the stevia plant and Mogroside V in luo han kuo fruit in future blog posts!)
Aspartame in Carbonated Beverages
Application Note 193, Determination of Additives in Carbonated Beverages, (downloadable PDF), describes the separation of multiple additives, such as aspartame, caffeine, sorbate, benzoate, citrate, acesulfame and saccharin in carbonated drinks in a single run than two separate injections on two different types of columns. The method uses our liquid chromatography mixed-mode weak anion-exchange column (the Thermo Scientific Acclaim Mixed-Mode WAX-1 column) on our HPLC system.
Artificial and Natural Sweeteners in Soft Drinks
This poster, Sensitive Analysis of Commonly Used Artificial and Natural Sweeteners Including Stevia and Their Impurities and Degradation Products, (downloadable PDF), describes several methods using HPLC instruments with charged aerosol detection (the Thermo Scientific Dionex Corona CAD). The HPLC-CAD methods provided sensitivity at low levels (ng) with good reproducibility and accuracy, and correlation to the component concentrations. In addition, it also provides details on the UHPLC methods developed which show a decreased run time and an increased detection sensitivity.
In the study, three types of sweetening agents were studied:
- Common natural sugars, such as fructose, glucose, turanose, saccharose, trehalose, maltose, melezitose, and raffinose
- Artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, and acesulfame K
- Natural sweetners, such as stevia extracts (rebaudioside A and stevioside).
Let us know if these HPLC methods were useful in your work in the comments box below. We look forward to hearing from you!