Acesulfame Potassium (Acesulfame K)
Discovered in 1967, acesulfame potassium (also called acesulfame K or ace-K) is a no-calorie sweetener approximately 200 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose). It has a clean, quickly perceptible sweet taste and excellent stability under high temperatures and good solubility.
Acesulfame K provides a synergistic sweetening effect when combined with other low- and no-calorie sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame. Using blends of low- and no-calorie sweeteners not only helps give foods and beverages a more sugar-like taste, but also reduces the total amount of sweetener needed.
Products with acesulfame K can be found in about 90 different countries. It is used in thousands of foods and beverages, including tabletop sweeteners (under the brand names Sunette®, Sweet One®, Swiss Sweet®), desserts, puddings, baked goods, soft drinks, candies and canned foods. It is also used in oral hygiene and pharmaceutical products.
U.S. FDA, the Joint FAO/WO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), and the Scientific Committee for Food of the European Union (SCF) have reviewed the available research on acesulfame potassium and have concluded that it is safe for use in foods and beverages. More than 90 studies have confirmed the safety of acesulfame K. Acesulfame K is permitted in more than 90 countries around the world, including the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Belgium, Italy, South Africa, France, Japan, Germany, and Switzerland.
Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)
The ADI for acesulfame K is 15 mg/kg body weight per day for children and adults. This means that a 150-pound (68 kg) person can safely consume 1020 mg of acesulfame K every day over his or her lifetime without any adverse health effect.
The amount of acesulfame K in Coke Zero sold in the U.S. is 50 mg per 12-fl. oz. serving.*
*Amounts as of May 2012; rounded up to the nearest 5 mg. Coke Zero contains a blend of acesulfame K and aspartame.
Acesulfame K is not metabolized by the body. It passes through the GI tract unchanged.
- 200 times sweeter than sugar.
- Clean, sweet taste with a fast onset and no lingering aftertaste.
- Has a synergistic sweetening effect when combined with caloric and non-caloric sweeteners (more sugar-like sweetness profile than single sweeteners).
- Shortens lingering sweetness of sucralose and aspartame and enhances and intensifies other flavors.
- Not metabolized by the body but is excreted unchanged.
- Rapid solubility, heat stable. Can be used in cooking and baking.
- pH stable, long shelf life.
- Sodium-free and safe for the general population.
- Like all low- and no-calorie sweeteners, is suitable for diabetics and does not promote tooth decay.
For more information, see the Sweet Facts About Acesulfame Potassium website