Frequently Asked Questions
If sugars are ingredients used for sweetening, what makes sugar-free foods taste sweet?
Several ingredients may substitute for the sugars in foods like beverages, pudding and gelatin to make them sugar-free. Two ingredients commonly used are aspartame and acesulfame potassium. The sweetener used in a product is always listed in the ingredient statement. Sugar-free products are often lower in calories because the sugar is replaced by a non-nutritive sweetener that provides very few or no calories.
Aspartame -- is an ingredient made of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. It is 200 times as sweet as sucrose (table sugar), so a very small amount can be used to give the same sweetness as sugar.
Acesulfame Potassium -- is an ingredient that contains potassium as part of its structure. It is a heat stable compound so it can be used in cooking and baking. It is 200 times as sweet as sucrose.