Advantame is both the newest sweetener to arrive on the market and the most potent by far. It is an incredible 20,000 as sweet as sugar. It is an artificial product rather similar to Neotame except much sweeter. Indeed it begs the question: Is there an ultimate limit to sweetness? Neotame held the record at 8,000 and Monatin a newly discovered natural sweetener is 3,000 as sweet as sugar.

These new ultra high potency sweeteners offer new opportunities for the food industry. At low concentrations they sweeten, at ultra low levels they act as flavour enhancers.

Advantame was developed by Aijnomoto, a  Japanese company, and one of the world's largest producers of food ingredients. It is made from a chemical composition of Aspartame and vanillin, both artificial substances.

It is more stable than Aspartame, it does not break down under high temperatures and so can be used in all processed foods and in cooking. It is supposed to have a clean sweet flavor though its producers recommend it more as a partial sugar replacer rather than a total zero calorie product. It is probably much cheaper than other sweeteners.  

As with all other zero calorie sweeteners it has a z
ero glycemic index and is not harmful to teeth. It is not digested in the same way as Aspartame, and only tiny amounts are needed, so one can assume it is safer.

It is, together with Neotame, the only artificial sweetener to be endorsed by the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest. 

It is very similar to Neotame being based on Aspartame, so it is likely that it is partially or wholly metabolized by the digestive system, and broken down into it's component parts. This may be an issue, but the amounts are tiny. It is early days with this sweetener, time will tell more.

Recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can have a detrimental effect on the bacteria in the intestine. This is very worrying as gut flora plays a vital role in overall health and has a profound effect on the immune system. In the trials several artificial sweeteners, including Saccharin, Aspartame and Sucralose had the effect of promoting glucose intolerance. Scientists have been puzzled over the fact that artificial sweeteners do not seem to assist in weight management, and this may explain the issue. Further testing may reveal what, if any, effect this new sweetener has in this way.

Source: Weizmann Institute of Science

The FDA has issued a guideline for ADI (acceptable daily intake) of 32.8 mg per Kg body weight. For an average person this is equivalent to over 800 cans of soda. Obviously they consider it very safe. One food scientist remarked that the most likely danger with Advantame, was that the truck delivering it might run a consumer over! 

CSPI (US) Recommendation

The recommendation issued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (US) for this substance is - SAFE

Its is made 
from Aspartame and Vanillin. It is a totally artificial substance, it does not exist in nature.

Sold As:
Not yet branded. Available to the commercial and food ingredients market.

How Expensive?
It is not yet available to the consumer. Ajinomoto do not give a price on their website, but we can expect it to cost 1% or less the price of sugar per unit of sweetness.

Advantame Market Share:
Only approved in 2014, a full year of sales has not yet been achieved. Unlikely to achieve large market share, but if cost is low and it is proven to be safe it may have a bright future.

Interesting facts:
So far three artificial sweeteners Alitame, Neotame and now Advantame have been developed from Aspartame. The sweetness indices are, in order, 2,000  8,000 and now 20,000. Can we expect a new sweetener, perhaps called Supratame to weigh in at 50,000 times as sweet as sugar? Does this make any sense? None of the above have really caught on yet, and the soda manufacturers have not yet made use of them. By value they represent perhaps only 1 to 2% of the global market. This is surprising as they are inexpensive and probably safer than other artificial sweeteners. Aspartame has about 40% of the world market and Stevia about 20% by value.

Approved by the FDA in the USA in May 2014. Not yet approved in Japan - where it is manufactured. Approved in the E.U as food additive 969. Approved in Australia and New Zealand.

FDA Approves New High-Intensity Sweetener Issued May 19th 2014 which gives the background to this approval.


Conclusions for Advantame

New sweetener that may or may not prove more successful than Neotame. It has already drawn very negative responses on forums though it appears to be safe. Very tiny amounts are needed. That may be a good thing! It is soon likely to be the cheapest sweetener, per unit, on the market. Certainly preferable to Aspartame, on which it is based.

Name Calories / Gram Sweetness Index Glycemic Index Calories / Spoon-Equiv
Advantame 0 20,000 0 0

Taste: -------- Good
Aftertaste: ---- No
Concerns: ----- ?

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