Food additives permitted in the EU: sweeteners
Sweeteners are food additives used to impart a sweet taste to industrial or household foods, without resorting to the use of glucose, fructose, sucrose, or maltose, namely, without adding calorie.
Below is a review of some of sweeteners, such as sugar alcohols, aspartame or saccharin, present in the list of food additives approved in the European Community on the basis of the European Commission regulation No 1129/2011 published on 11 November 2011. Such list is an amendment of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008 of the European Parliament, that was then modified in 2013. It is possible to consult the list in its entirety, in PDF or HTML format and in the different European languages, by following the link in the References.
Each additive is identified both by the name of the substance and the E number, namely, the letter E followed by a number. For example, xylitol, a sweetener found in many chewing gums, is also known as E967, while aspartame, widely used to sweeten drinks, yoghurts, and many other foods, is also known as E951.
|Sugar alcohols||Sweetness compared to sucrose|
|E420||(i) Sorbitol, (ii) Sorbitol syrup||0.5-1|
|E421||(i) Sorbitol, (ii) Sorbitol syrup||0.7|
|E965||(i) Maltitol, (ii) Maltitol syrup||1|
|Intense (synthetic) sweeteners|
|E952||Cyclamic acid and its sodium and calcium salts||30|
|E954||Saccharin and its sodium, potassium and calcium salts||300-500|
|E962||Salt of aspartame-acesulfame||350|
- Bender D.A. “Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology” 8th ed. Woodhead Publishing. Oxford, 2006
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 1129/2011 of 11 November 2011 amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council by establishing a Union list of food additives. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2011/1129/2013-11-21
- Mortensen A. Sweeteners permitted in the European Union: safety aspects. Food Nutr Res 2006;50(3):104-116. doi:3402/fnr.v50i3.1588