I received an interesting email the other day from Megan Jones from NutraSweet Communications, a representative for NutraSweet – the new NutraSweet Company, that is.
As history shows, things have changed over the years with The Nutraweet Company, and I had an old link in one of my 2013 articles written about neotame that she wanted me to update.
Megan accused me of posting “misinformation”, and emailed me the following:
I noticed that your page contains misinformation about our product. Our product actually does not contain aspartame anymore. Our current product has two ingredients, Stevia and Aerosol. (Aerosol?)
Well, to correct her accusation of “misinformation“:
- the article was written in 2013 long before NutraSweet Natural was formed, so there was no misinformation about NutraSweet Natural in the article;
- the article was written about neotame, again not about NutraSweet Natural;
- the link she wanted me to change was an old link that had already been taken down;
- she wanted me to link to their new product NutraSweet Natural;
- I updated the link to sweetpoison.com as opposed to the NutraSweet Natural web page because I had nothing in the article about NutraSweet Natural;
- aspartame is no longer found in NutraSweet Natural but this doesn’t mean it was never found in NutraSweet products over the the past 36 years;
- aspartame is still on the market today.
I can’t believe that I’m researching another NutraSweet product, but now when you mention NutraSweet, make sure that you do not mention aspartame when referencing their new NutraSweet product – NutraSweet Natural.
Ms. Jones made it clear that their new product does not contain aspartame anymore, which is great.
I get it!
They are smart to separate themselves from aspartame, but from 1985 until today, they have 36 years of aspartame use in NutraSweet to run away from.
I fully understand why they’d like to disassociate from that.
Separate Aspartame From NutraSweet
So, today, according to the fact checkers and those accusing you of misinformation, remember to separate NutraSweet Natural from NutraSweet containing aspartame. Aspartame is still around, for sure, but we need to now uncover who owns aspartame.
I have more digging to do.
The NutraSweet Natural website proudly presents a new version of NutraSweet without aspartame:
- it’s all natural;
- it only has 2 ingredients – stevia and erythritol (I couldn’t find any aerosol …)
Knowing the history of aspartame as I do, I was very interested to dig into NutraSweet Natural without aspartame. I emailed Ms. Jones the question “who owns aspartame and neotame now?”, but I have received no reply.
Let’s Dig A Little
The creator of aspartame was G.D. Searle Pharmaceuticals and was bought by Monsanto Chemical Company in 1985. In March 2000, Monsanto, then a subsidiary of the Pharmacia corporation, sold NutraSweet to the private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates.
According to NutraSweet Communications’ Megan Jones, Manus Bio gained ownership of the NutraSweet brand in 2018, and branded the new product NutraSweet Natural in April 2021.
A Cambridge, Mass company, on April 15, 2021, Manus Bio, Inc. announced the launch of NutraSweet Natural™.
We added the term “Natural” to the NutraSweet brand, she wrote, to showcase that all products under this brand will always remain natural and plant-based.
In July 2018 after they acquired NutraSweet, Manus Bio Inc. began updating the former NutraSweet artificial sweetener plant, which had been idle since 2015.
Manus Bio opened its first biotech manufacturing facility in Augusta, Georgia in 2019, but this is most interesting – the plant is a 44-acre fermentation and ingredient processing plant – a fermentation plant? – producing ingredients for flavors and fragrances, sweeteners, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural chemicals.
The website states that Manus Bio recreates natural plant processes in microbes using a proprietary commercial strain development program.
In 2021, the company received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a scalable and cost-effective production method for artemisinin, a key therapeutic ingredient for treating malaria.
On their website, NutraSweet Natural states that they use only two ingredients: Stevia and Erythritol.
They state on their website:
the Stevia leaf has been used as a traditional sweetener for centuries; NutraSweet Natural™ redefines stevia by capturing the best-tasting part of the traditional plant and is available to everyone to enjoy a new level of delight.
Interestingly, Stevia does not ferment, so it cannot be used in ferments as a food source, but it can be added where a sweeter taste is desired – usually added in the second stage bottling.
They state on their website:
Erythritol is a natural sweetener found in fruits like grapes and is produced using natural fermentation. We use this all-natural ingredient in our sweetener to achieve our perfect “just-like-sugar” taste.
The fermentation of erythritol is a natural occurrence. Erythritol occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. At the industrial level, it is produced from glucose by fermentation with yeast.
Some studies show that erythritol cannot be chemically synthesized in a commercially worthwhile way, resulting in a switch to biotechnological production.
Another study shows that human gut microbiotia does not ferment erythritol, so time will tell if it is healthy to use if it is fermented in the lab.
I have written many articles about both stevia and the sugar alcohols (and erythritol is a sugar alcohol). Fermentation is typically very good for your health, but fermentation can also turn sour, causing stomach aches.
Sugar alcohols tend to have a laxative effect, and stomach issues are more common in children and people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Instead of absorbing sugar alcohols in the stomach, they can linger in the intestines and turn sour.
Stevia supports beneficial gut bacteria, and it appears that erythritol promotes neither “good” nor “bad” intestinal bacteria. Interestingly, researchers have found that erythritol is resistant to fermentation.
Fermentable fibers are easily fermented by bacteria in the colon, while non-fermentable fibers are not.
FYI: Splenda, made from sucralose, is a non fermentable sweetener.
The fermentation of many new products is up and coming technology.
I am thrilled that aspartame is no longer found in new NutraSweet products, but continue to read all of your labels and avoid all exposure to aspartame.
Good luck NutraSweet Natural with your attempt to perfect a calorie-free sweetener without aspartame. Time will tell, but let’s hope for the best for everyone. It’s a great idea and well worth the try.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.
Before taking vitamins, consult your doctor; pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking can affect how your body responds to multivitamins.
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