The New Name for Aspartame


With the Easter holiday just around the corner, sweet treats have begun to pop up all over store shelves. You know to avoid too much sugar, but products labeled as “sugar-free” can be problematic too. Many “sugar-free” products on the shelves today contain a artificial sweetener called aspartame. Over the years, studies have shown that this chemical compound isn’t as sweet as it may seem.


Initially invented as an anti-ulcer drug, aspartame was submitted for FDA approval in 1973 after it’s sweet taste was discovered by a chemist at the G.D. Searle Company. This company pushed hard for FDA approval when they realized the potential of the substance. It was approved in 1974 after much controversy and suspicion that G.D. Searle conducted poor studies to test the safety of the compound.


Monsanto Co. purchased G.D. Searle in 1985, then created a subsidiary called the NutraSweet Company for aspartame production. It is currently used worldwide for a variety of food products – including gum, soda, and sugar-free desserts.


A variety of adverse health effects, including endocrine disruption, neurological damage, and cancerous tumors are suspected to result from consumption of aspartame.


After the NutraSweet patent expired in 1992, Ajinomoto became the world’s largest aspartame producer. It acquired the aspartame business from Monsanto Co. on March 27, 2000.


In November 2009, Ajinomoto changed the name of it’s product to AminoSweet. According to a the Ajinomoto company, the name change took place because AminoSweet is “appealing and memorable”.


Don’t be tricked by unfamiliar names! Stay aware of the products you are buying and always read labels. If you are unsure of an ingredient, do not consume the product. You can always ask us if a new product is safe to eat during your appointment. Pay attention to the ingredients list, and not the advertisements on product packages.


*Adapted from (

Speak Your Mind