Artificial sweeteners are substances that are used to replace sugar in foods and beverages. They can provide a sweet taste without adding calories or affecting blood glucose levels. However, they can also have adverse effects on health and the environment if they are not used safely and appropriately (EFSA, n.d.).
EFSA is the European Food Safety Authority, which is responsible for assessing the safety of food additives, including artificial sweeteners, in the European Union. EFSA sets acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) for each artificial sweetener, which are the amounts that can be consumed every day over a lifetime without posing a risk to health (EFSA, n.d.).
The use of artificial sweeteners in dietary baked goods is banned by EFSA because it can lead to excessive consumption and exceed ADIs. Dietary baked goods are products that are intended for special nutritional purposes, such as weight management or diabetes control. They are often marketed as low-calorie or sugar-free alternatives to regular baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, or muffins. However, they can still contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners, which can have a laxative effect or cause other side effects if consumed in large quantities (EFSA, 2017).
Therefore, EFSA has decided to prohibit the use of artificial sweeteners in dietary baked goods, except for those that are specifically designed for people with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder that prevents the metabolism of phenylalanine, an amino acid found in many foods. People with PKU need to avoid foods that contain phenylalanine, such as aspartame, an artificial sweetener that is composed of phenylalanine and aspartic acid. They can use other artificial sweeteners instead, but only in limited amounts and under medical supervision (EFSA, 2017).
The ban on artificial sweeteners in dietary baked goods aims to protect consumers from potential health risks and to ensure that they have clear and accurate information about the products they buy. EFSA advises consumers to read the labels carefully and to follow the instructions for the use and storage of dietary baked goods. EFSA also recommends consumers limit their intake of artificial sweeteners and choose a balanced and varied diet that includes natural sources of sweetness, such as fruits and vegetables (EFSA, 2017).
The use of artificial sweeteners in dietary baked goods is banned by the EU
EFSA. (n.d.). Sweeteners. Retrieved from https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/sweeteners
EFSA. (2017). EFSA explains risk assessment: Dietary foods for special medical purposes contain sweeteners. Retrieved from https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/corporate/pub/dietary-foods-sweeteners
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