What is Acesulfame Potassium?
Acesulfame-K – also known as Sunette, Sweet One, Sweet ‘n Safe. Acesulfame-K was discovered in 1967 and is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. Acesulfame-K is a highly stable, crystalline sweetener with a chemical structure is similar to saccharin.
Acesulfame-K is usually used in combination with aspartame or other sweeteners because it has a synergistic effect to enhance and sustain the sweet taste of foods and beverages. It is heat stable so it can be used in baked products. It does not provide calories since the body does not metabolize it and it is excreted in the urine without being changed.
Acesulfame-K is found in many foods, including chewing gum, desserts, alcoholic beverages, syrups, candies, sauces, and yogurt. It is found in Hershey’s Lite Syrup and Fat Free Dutch Chocolate Hot Cocoa, Trident gum and sugar free Jell-O.
It was approved for use by the FDA in 1988 and has been evaluated 8 times since for safety. It does not have to carry any warnings on the products it is in.
Acesulfame—k (Fig. 1b) has been developed as sweetener by Hoechst (Clauss and Jensen 1970). This high intensity sweetener is potassium salt of 6-methyl-123-axathiazine-4(3H)-one 2,2-dioxide with molecular formulaC4H4KNO4S and molecular weight of 201.24. It is a white crystalline powder, approximately 120 times sweeter than sucrose and has high water solubility (Rymon Lipinski 1991).
Acesulfame—k is heat stable, so can be used in cooking and baking (Nabors 2002). It may have a bitter after taste when used alone to sweeten food or beverage (Horne et al. 2002) Ace-k is often blended with other sweetener (usually sucralose or aspartame) whereby each sweetener masks the other’s after taste and exhibit a synergistic effects by which the blend is sweeter than its components.
“Some people choose to limit their food energy intake by replacing high energy sugar or corn syrup with other sweeteners having little or no food energy (sugar substitutes). This allows them to eat the same foods they normally would, while allowing them to lose weight and avoid other problems associated with excessive calorie intake.”
“Although liquid preparations are particularly suitable for children, many contain sucrose which encourages dental decay. Unlike sugar , sugar substitutes are not fermented by the microflora of the dental plaque. In view of this harmful effect, doctors have been recommended to prescribe sugar-free (having sugar substitutes) medicines whenever possible.”
“People with diabetes have difficulty in regulating their blood sugar levels. By limiting their sugar intake by substituting sugar with artificial sweeteners, they can enjoy a varied diet also, some sugar substitutes do release energy, but are metabolized more slowly, allowing blood sugar levels to remain more stable over time.”
“Individuals with reactive hypoglycemia will produce an excess of insulin after quickly absorbing glucose into the bloodstream. This causes their blood glucose levels to fall below the amount needed for physiological function. As a result, like diabetics, they must avoid intake of high-glycemic foods like white bread, and often choose artificial sweeteners as an alternative.”
Acesulfame potassium (ace-SUHL-faym), also known as acesulfame K (K is the symbol for potassium) or Ace K, is a calorie-free sugar substitute (artificial sweetener), and marketed under the trade names Sunett and Sweet One. In the European Union, it is known under the E number (additive code) E950. It was discovered accidentally in 1967 by German chemist Karl Clauss at Hoechst AG (now Nutrinova). In chemical structure, acesulfame potassium is the potassium salt of 6-methyl-1,2,3-oxathiazine-4(3H)-one 2,2-dioxide. It is a white crystalline powder with molecular formula C4H4KNO4S and a molecular weight of 201.24 g/mol.
Acesulfame K is 200 times sweeter than sucrose (common sugar), as sweet as aspartame, about 2/3 as sweet as saccharin, and 1/3 as sweet as sucralose. Like saccharin, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, especially at high concentrations. Kraft Foods patented the use of sodium ferulate to mask acesulfame’s aftertaste. Acesulfame K is often blended with other sweeteners (usually sucralose or aspartame). These blends are reputed[by whom?] to give a more sucrose-like taste whereby each sweetener masks the other’s aftertaste, or exhibits a synergistic effect by which the blend is sweeter than its components. Acesulfame potassium has a smaller particle size than sucrose, allowing for its mixtures with other sweeteners to be more uniform.