Ace-K: Frequently asked Questions

More than 90 studies have been conducted on the safety of Ace-K and they have consistently shown that this sweetener is safe for human consumption. Millions of people around the world have been enjoying foods and beverages containing Ace-K for nearly 40 years. Since its international introduction in 1983, Ace-K has been used in more than 5,000 products and has been granted approval in over 100 countries around the world.

What is Acesulfame Potassium?

Acesulfame Potassium is a high-intensity sweetener used in over 5,000 products in over 100 countries around the world. Acesulfame Potassium is calorie-free and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Acesulfame Potassium has excellent storage, temperature, and pH stability, and can be added to all common food products. Acesulfame Potassium is not metabolized by the body but is excreted unchanged.

Is Acesulfame Potassium safe?

Yes. On the basis of over 90 scientific studies, the relevant national and international regulatory agencies have classified Acesulfame Potassium as safe for human consumption. The internationally recognized Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) repeatedly examined and evaluated data from Acesulfame Potassium studies and deemed it safe for use in food. Similarly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Acesulfame Potassium as safe for consumption as a food additive. The Scientific Committee on Food of the European Union has also come to a positive assessment along with national health authorities in various countries such as Canada, Australia and Japan. Acesulfame Potassium is approved in more than 100 countries and is used in over 5,000 food and beverage products worldwide.

Does Acesulfame Potassium cause cancer?

No. All substances that are intended to be added to food must undergo extensive tests to ensure their safety. At the center of these studies are tests to determine whether the substances have any carcinogenic or cancer-promoting effect. Only substances not suspected of having such an effect are approved for use in food by the relevant agencies.

Does Acesulfame Potassium cause headaches?

No. In today’s society, headaches are commonplace. Headaches can have many causes, such as stress, long hours in front of a computer screen, etc. There are no indications that Acesulfame Potassium could be responsible for the occurrence of headaches.

May pregnant women consume Acesulfame Potassium?

Yes. The Scientific Committee on Food of the European Union (SCF) published an opinion on the applicability of the ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) for food additives and stated, “The ADI covers adequately exposure during all live stages including special emphasis on reproductive cells, on the fetus and on the young and old organism”.

Although calorie-free sweeteners can be safely used by pregnant women, caloric restriction is not generally encouraged during pregnancy due to increased energy needs of pregnant women.  However, those women who relegate intake of calories to foods that supply appropriate nutrition can utilize calorie-free sweeteners to satisfy sweet cravings.

The FDA approved use of Acesulfame Potassium without restrictions for any segment of the population.  Pregnant women, however, should follow the advice of their physician regarding their nutrition, including the use of low-calorie sweeteners.

Does Acesulfame Potassium increase the appetite and cause weight gain?

No. Although this accusation is repeated time and again, there is no proof that this is the case. Studies on this subject have shown no relationship between the consumption of Acesulfame Potassium and increased appetite. Acesulfame Potassium is not metabolized or broken down in the body but is excreted unchanged. As a result, consumption of products sweetened with Acesulfame Potassium does not cause an increase in insulin nor a resulting drop in blood sugar level, which could trigger hunger pangs.

Additionally, there are no known complaints from consumers that the consumption of products containing Acesulfame Potassium has resulted in increased appetite.  Health experts agree that weight loss is best achieved by a combination of reducing caloric intake and increasing exercise/activity but can be accomplished more slowly by a reduction in caloric intake or exercise alone.  Weight management results from balancing food intake with energy expenditure.  Calorie-free sweeteners do not make people lose weight.  They are, however, tools that those trying to lose or maintain weight may incorporate as part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and nutritious food.

Does Acesulfame Potassium cause gastrointestinal effects?

Acesulfame Potassium does not cause gastrointestinal effects.  It is not metabolized by the body and is excreted essentially unchanged.  Many products contain a combination of Acesulfame Potassium and other sweeteners such as polyols.  Polyols are only partially digested, like beans and other high fiber foods. For most consumers, polyols do not cause a problem. In some people, excessive consumption of these sweeteners may cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gas or bloating experienced with consumption of high fiber foods. Such symptoms depend on an individual’s sensitivity and the other foods eaten at the same time.

How many studies have been carried out with Acesulfame Potassium?

Altogether, over 90 studies have been conducted on Acesulfame Potassium

Does Acesulfame Potassium have an aftertaste?

When Acesulfame Potassium is used as the sole sweetener at a high level, a slight bitter aftertaste can be detected by trained sensory panels. In practice, however, this aftertaste has no relevance. In manufacturing foods and beverages, Acesulfame Potassium combines well with other sweeteners, giving no detectable aftertaste. Blends of Acesulfame Potassium with other sweeteners are characterized by a clean, sugar-like sweetness, which is superior to the taste of the individual sweeteners.

Does Acesulfame Potassium cause sensitivity to light?

Hypersensitivity to sunlight can occur after contact with various substances. No such hypersensitivity has been observed to date with Acesulfame Potassium.