The legend -negra- of the additives in general, of the sweeteners in particular and of the more particular aspartame goes back to its origins and, as I point out, is anything but brilliant. But it turns out that this lack of luster is largely due to the rumor mill and not, as it should be to consider it as true, the scientific knowledge about these substances.

I already pointed in his day in this entry What do apples and aspartame have in common (additive E-951)? the possible origin of so much bad fame around aspartame. In spite of this, and since then, fatalistic and conspiranocal readings regarding their use in various foods have also been lacking, very often in sweetened beverages ( usually labeled and tortitiously as soft drinks ).

To give a twist to this sweetened topic, EFSA , a few months ago, went back to review the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of aspartame considering the latest studies that shed more light on the possible risks derived from its consumption. Well, the conclusion well and widely justified can not be clearer: its normal use is safe .

In order to appease the doubts of those people more skeptical should be enough to consider that aspartame is actually a dipeptide formed by the union of two natural amino acids and usually present in many foods , phenylalanine and aspartic acid. In their metabolic degradation both amino acids are obtained separately and a part of methanol.

In any case, neither the substance under study, aspartame, nor its three metabolites as a result of its degradation have shown in the studies a greater problem within a normal consumption and in normal conditions of the users. Therefore the EFSA panel of experts has concluded that there is no cause for concern regarding the safety of current estimates of exposure to this substance. Therefore, the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for this sweetener was and still is 40 mg of aspartame per kg of body weight per day .

The “normal” conditions refer to the fact that these values ​​are not applicable to people with phenylketonuria (a rare, and serious, metabolic disease that is usually detected in neonates through what is known as the heel test ) and, at the same time, that make authentic burradas in the consumption of this sweetener (of the order of more 4 liters of drink with the maximum of aspartame allowed -600 mg / L- a day during all the days of a life in the case of an adult of 60 kg of weight ) to start entering into this IDA … and also keep in mind that this IDA is at the same time calculated with very wide safety margins.