Artificially Sweetened Drinks
By providing an alternative to sugar-containing foods and beverages, diet or light options of products are important to many consumers. Many of these diet products are flavoured with non-nutritive sweeteners. Although non-nutritive sweeteners do not provide energy or nutrients to the body, they are able to sweeten or adjust the flavour of a product without adding any additional kilojoules. During the past 25 years this trend has created a growing interest in beverages with these types of sweeteners , also known as low kilojoule sweeteners or intense sweeteners. There are four commonly used non-nutritive sweeteners available in Australia today, aspartame, saccharin, acesulphame (or cyclamates) potassium, and sucralose. In addition, Stevia is a naturally derived sweetener that is also used throughout the market. The future of non-nutrative sweeteners may see a rise in the utilization of alitame, neotame and thaumantin all of which have been granted permission for use.
Today, food and beverage manufacturers are able to use these low-kilojoule sweeteners to satisfy different consumer preferences. For example, some soft drink products are sweetened with a blend of sweeteners whereas others are sweetened with only one. This multiple sweetener concept allows for a large level of flexibility in providing the best tasting products for consumers. As the research and development on new sweeteners continues, this flexibility will broaden and the Australian Beverages Council and its members will remain at the forefront of new developments.