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Non-nutritive sweeteners in packaged food

14 / 05 / 18

Finding: Use of Non-Nutritive Sweeteners (NNS*) varied across the four countries (Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and USA), and Australia’s uptake was the lowest of all in this study with NNS in less than 1% of food products. However, the researchers conclude there isn’t much data to go on, this study probably doesn’t give the full picture, and ongoing monitoring is needed.

Summary: Foods containing non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) are widely available but their extent of use in food products is unknown. This study utilised branded food databases from the four countries to determine the percentage of food and beverage products containing NNS, and sugar density (%) of products. Results found 5% of products contained NNS across all countries, with highest category being sugar sweetened beverages (SSB). Mexico had the highest at 22% products, the US 4%, New Zealand 1% and Australia <1%. The presence of NNS was associated with lower mean sugar density among both foods and beverages. The researchers commented that there is a paucity of data on sales and market share of packaged foods with non-nutritive sweeteners that belies their widespread presence in the food supply, and ongoing and better monitoring is important

Citation: Dunford EK, Smith Taillie L, Miles DR et al. Non-nutritive sweeteners in the packaged food supply- an assessment across 4 countries. Nutrients 2018; 10 (2):257 (open access)

NOTE: Non-Nutritive Sweeteners (NNS*) are alternatives to sugar that taste sweet but contain negligible kilojoules and are also called artificial sweeteners. They include aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame K.