Diet Pepsi to replace aspartame as a sweetener

Article published on 05/05/2015 - Food/Health

Diet Pepsi sales have declined over the past few years, mainly because consumers are becoming more and more concerned by their health and the threat aspartame may represent.

Diet soft drinks have recorded regular decreases in their sales volumes lately: Diet Pepsi recorded a fall of 5.2% last year while Diet Coke lost more than 5% in the first quarter 2015. Guilty as charged: the aspartame. Low calorie marvel once, the artificial sweetener has become quite questionable: its long term effects on health are doubtful, and it even gained the reputation of being carcinogenic. Precaution suggest that it's not worth taking the risk when it comes to health, so people simply stopped buying Diet Pepsi and its equivalents. PepsiCo tried to reassure its consumers, building its statement on the Food and Drug Administration reports which concluded that “aspartame is one of the most exhaustively studied substances in the human food supply, with more than 100 studies supporting its safety”.

However, if Coca-Cola has no intention of taking any action whatsoever, PepsiCo decided to remove aspartame from its formula to meet consumers expectations. The controversial ingredient has been used in the diet food industry for more than 40 years and has a sweetening power 200 times stronger than sugar. From now on, it will be replaced by a combination of sucralose and acesulfame potassium. The new Pepsi diet range will hit the shelves in August: Diet Pepsi, Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi will all proudly claim being “now aspartame-free”. Two small details, though: PepsiCo will still use aspartame in its diet colas outside the US, and sucralose may have some health impacts too, such as causing migraines. Nothing's perfect anyway.

*Photo: Diet Pepsi / Facebook

Article written by Cécile Lessard
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