Acesulfame K information potassium or Ace K sweetener safety and side effects
Acesulfame potassium is an artificial sweetener without calories. Weight-conscious subjects and diabetics use the sulfonyl amide sweeteners saccharin and acesulfame K to reduce their calorie and sugar intake. As mentioned in an acesulfame K study below, there is potential of safety issues with the use of acesulfame K, particularly if used daily. A natural alternative is stevia extract.
What foods have acesulfame K in
Acesulfame K is a controversial sugar substitute, commonly sold as Sweet One or Sunnette. It is found in Jell-O, nondairy creamers and Coca-Cola Zero, and has long been earmarked as a potential cancer-causing agent by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Acesulfame-K (potassium) is 200 times sweeter than sugar, with zero calories. Acesulfame-K was first approved by the FDA in 1988 for specific uses, including as a tabletop sweetener. The FDA approved the sweetener in 1998 for use in beverages. In December 2003, it was approved for general use in foods, but not in meat or poultry. Acesulfame-K can be found in baked goods, frozen desserts, candies, beverages, cough drops, and breath mints. Sunett is an artificial sweetener manufactured by Nutrinova, which has wide scale approval in over 100 countries around the world and can be used in all food applications in the U.S.
Trade and product names
Acesulfame K is marketed under the trade names Sunett and Sweet One. Acesulfame K was discovered accidentally in 1967 by German chemist Karl Clauss at Hoechst AG (now Nutrinova). Acesulfame K is about 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), as sweet as aspartame, about half as sweet as saccharin, and one-quarter as sweet as sucralose.
Safety of acesulfame K
Genotoxicity testing of low-calorie sweeteners: aspartame, acesulfame-K, and saccharin.
Drug Chem Toxicol. 2008.
In the present study, we evaluated the mutagenicity of the three low-calorie sweeteners in the Ames / Salmonella / microsome test and their genotoxic potential by comet assay in the bone marrow cells of mice. Swiss albino mice, Mus musculus, were orally administered with different concentrations of aspartame, acesulfame-K, and saccharin individually. The animals were sacrificed and the bone marrow cells were processed for comet assay. The standard plate-incorporation assay was carried with the three sweeteners in Salmonella typhimurium TA 97a and TA 100 strains both in the absence and presence of the S9 mix. The comet parameters of DNA were increased in the bone marrow cells due to the sweetener-induced DNA strand breaks, as revealed by increased comet-tail extent and percent DNA in the tail. Acesulfame-K and saccharin were found to induce greater DNA damage than aspartame. However, none could act as a potential mutagen in the Ames /Salmonella / microsome test. These findings are important, since they represent a potential health risk associated with the exposure to these agents.
Sweeteners in foods
Acesulfame potassium; sucralose; saccharin; cyclamate; aspartame; dulcin; glycyrrhizic acid; stevioside; rebaudioside A can be found added to foods. Some of the most consumed foodstuffs with artificial sweeteners include diet soda, fruit syrup, table powder, ice cream, chewing gum, throat lozenges, sweets, and yoghurt.
Found in aquatic waters
Artificial low-calorie sweeteners are consumed in considerable quantities with food and beverages. After ingestion, some sweeteners pass through the human metabolism largely unaffected, are quantitatively excreted via urine and feces, and thus reach the environment associated with domestic wastewater.