Aspartame v Sugar

Food ingredients - sugar & aspartame


Both Aspartame and sugar are used within food and beverages to increase the sweet taste, however that is where the similarities stop.

Aspartame and sugar have their advantages so debates on which is better can be found all over the web. After looking into both aspartame and sugar in detail the experts at Rigest have come up with following:


Although aspartame is a manmade ingredient it has been used in food and beverage production since 1981 when it became an FDA approved ingredient in powder form. This meant it could be used as a table top sweetener, but it wasn’t until 1996 when it was approved for use in all food and beverages.

Since 1996 aspartame has become a common ingredient in syrups, salad dressings, diet drinks and snack foods thanks to its low calorie properties and very sweet taste. Some key features which had led to the success of aspartame are:

Super Sweet

Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than standard cane sugar which means a lot less is required when being put into food and drinks to give products that sweeter taste that consumers demand. The reduced amount makes Aspartame a cheap sweetening solution for most food and beverage producers.

Enhance the Taste

Aspartame not only increases the sweetness of a product but it is proven to enhance other flavours within products. It is used to bring out fruit flavours such as orange and strawberry in drinks and sweets, as well as making chewing gum taste sweet for up to four times longer than sugar sweetened chewing gum.

Reduce the Calories

The most common use of Aspartame is within the diet or low calorie market. Aspartame is made from the combination of two proteins and therefore has a very low calorie count making it ideal for providing a sweet taste to diet or low calorie products.

Health Benefits

Although aspartame isn’t known for its health benefits it does stack up well against sugar when looking at the effect it has on your dental health as well as consumers with both type 1 and 2 diabetes sufferers. Because aspartame isn’t a sugar it doesn’t cause tooth decay; along with this its low glycaemic index levels mean it has a limiting effect on those with diabetes meaning they can enjoy a sweetened taste without needing insulin.


Due to the lack of awareness of aspartame it can often be portrayed in a negative light when compared to sugar, with only downsides highlighted. However, as it states above there are a number of benefits to using aspartame over sugar.

Although sugar does have some downsides such as the effect it has on general health, it has some advantages when compared to manufactured sweeteners.


Sugar is easier for the body to digest due to it being in diets since the beginning of time, being fine when consumed in small amounts.

Ease to Acquire

Natural sugar is easier for individual consumers to purchase and incorporate into their food.

Rigest’s Expert Opinion

If you are looking for a simple way to reduce the intake of calories within a diet, then substituting low calorie food is one sure way to do so. Aspartame can be found in a lot of calorie control products which makes it a popular product.

Its high popularity makes it a cheap product to use within the food and beverage industry. If you are looking for more information on Aspartame and how it can be incorporated into your food and drink production, then get in touch with an expert of the Rigest team.

image – Adobe CC









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