Neotame - It's Just Aspartame Without The Warning

The following email stimulated me to write this article. Neotame is the new aspartame - a way for the producers/manufacturers to renew their expired patents, and a way to get aspartame into products without the warning label "Caution Phenylketonurics: Contain Phenylalanine"; a label that cues consumers at a glance that aspartame is in the product they are buying.

    Web Form Submission ------------------------------------

    Sender Comments:
    I have been taking the seizure medication Dilantin® for over 30 years and Pfizer recently reformulated it. I have reason to believe there is aspartame in it. Can I do a hair analysis to check for aspartame in my system? I do not usually ingest things with aspartame. I have been feeling awful!

    Dr. Hull's Reply:
    The hair test will help you in many ways, but for now, stop all food chemicals and any diet sweeteners (checking for the hidden sweeteners on products NOT labeled sugar-free), and maybe you won't need the medication after a while. Then, go to your pharmacist and ask for the complete MSDS ingredient list for your new drug formulation. He must provide this and tell him you are allergic to aspartame (There is no such thing as an aspartame allergy, but it's one of the best ways to get AMA thinkers to comply without an argument!), and tell him that you think aspartame is in this new drug. See if he will provide those answers, and then ask if he can provide another drug alternative.

    If aspartame is indeed in this new drug, it has to be labeled with a warning. If it is not, that is against the law. It may have neotame in it, which is the new aspartame, and this form of aspartame does not require a label!

    Start here, and let me know what you find out!!!

Neotame. What is it? Where did it come from? In what products is it found?

Neotame is yet another chemical sweetener, and chemical sweeteners are just that--chemicals. They are a manmade category of non-nutritious, chemically amplified sugar substitutes, and are not a natural form of food at all. Currently, the list of unsafe chemical sweeteners includes:

  • ACESULFAME-K
  • ALITAME
  • ASPARTAME
  • CYCLAMATE
  • NEOTAME
  • SUCRALOSE

On the relative sweetness scale with sugar (sucrose) = 1, neotame is 13,000 sweeter than sugar. Whoa.

CompoundSweetness Rating
Acesulfame K 200x sucrose
Alitame 2,000x sucrose
Aspartame 180x sucrose
Cyclamate 30x sucrose
Neotame 13,000x sucrose
Saccharin 300x sucrose
Sucralose 600x sucrose


At 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar, neotame is the most potent sweetener marketed today. Neotame has changed hands from its original patent holder Monsanto Chemical Company, to The NutraSweet Co., to J. W. Childs Partnership, and now to Pharmacia. Neotame, simply a modified version of aspartame, contains all the same elements found in aspartame and more: the amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine, plus two organic groups, one known as a methyl ester group and the other as a neohexyl group. Joined together, these components equal 8,000 teaspoons of sugar.

Like aspartame, neotame is a very potent and questionable compound, but it does not have to carry the PKU warning, as aspartame is required by law to do, so its addition to all products goes without warning. This is a serious problem for those with PKU, who carry the PKU gene, and are PKU recessive.

The FDA was petitioned in 1997 to approve neotame for use as a tabletop sweetener, and neotame was FDA approved for commercial marketing on July 9, 2002 as a general-use sweetener and flavor enhancer in foods and beverages. Currently, no commercial U.S. products exist, but in October 2002 neotame was approved for public use in:

  • Chewing gum
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Refrigerated and non-refrigerated ready-to-drink beverages
  • Frozen desserts and novelties
  • Puddings and fillings
  • Yogurt-type products
  • Baked goods
  • Candies

A number of beverages have recently been introduced in Australia and New Zealand where neotame received its first approval in August 2001. It is also approved in the People's Republic of China, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Neotame is just another chemical cocktail. As with aspartame, neotame is also a flavor enhancer. Glenn Corliss, senior food scientist for The NutraSweet Company, stated, "Studies have shown that neotame modifies flavors at nonsweetening levels and that it works well to modify the taste of soy. In addition, it works well in combination with other sweeteners. There are a number of product applications for neotame--liquids, chewing gum--where it extends sweetness and flavor."

In SOY?? Heads up!

Make sure to read the next article in this newsletter pertaining to PKU (Phenylketonurics).


Posted October 2008 | Permanent Link

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