What about sweeteners?

What about sweeteners?

Food products contain sugar, it gives a good taste but it can also help to enhance the texture of a food product. It is for example quit difficult to make ice cream with lower contents of sugar because the sugar makes sure that the ice cream does not freeze completely, so it does not get rock solid! Unfortunately, there are a lot of products available on the market that contain unnecessary high amounts of sugar. This is a pity, because it is not good for your body. There is a trend going on where food companies are reducing the sugar content in their products. We are happy that this issue is finally being solved. But in order to reduce the sugar content, other substances are added to these food products, for example sweeteners.

Sweeteners are (mostly) low-caloric replacers for sugar. They are often used in products where the sugar content is reduced. There are intensive sweeteners, these are sweeteners that are sweeter than normal table sugar. Examples of sweeteners are aspartame, maltitol, sucralose, stevia, saccharin and there are way more.

The big question is if sweeteners are safe or not? This is an ongoing discussion. It may be hard to understand if it is actually safe to eat sweeteners. Lets give you some clarification!

In the European Union (EU), a sweetener (also called additives) has to be authorized before it is allowed to enter the market. Next to this, the EU puts standards for sweeteners. This means that based on scientific evidence and risk assessment, sweeteners have to be approved and a maximum level has be set. This maximum level shows the maximum level that can be taken and does not pose a health risk yet. Higher amounts can lead to risks for human health. Due to this legislation, it can be said that ingestion of adequate daily amounts does not pose a direct risk on human health. Food companies are also obliged to mention the sweetener in the ingredient declaration, in their specific name or E-number.

So it is difficult to answer the question whether sweeteners are actually safe. Yes they are, as long as eaten in adequate amounts. Therefore, the EU makes sure that there are guidelines for adding sweeteners to products in order to be safe for the consumer. The sweeteners that we can find in products within the EU are considered as safe, based on a variety of opinions on reviews.

Now you are probably wondering if we also eat sweeteners, yes we do! To be honest, we don’t really like sweeteners if they are added in high amounts (for example in 0-calorie products). This is more due to their specific bitter or ‘chemical’ aftertaste. Are we scared for sweeteners? No! We just eat sweeteners because we do like products that are reduced in sugar. For example, we love liquorice, so when we eat this, we buy the 0% sugar ones. The only downside of this is when you eat too much, you feel kind of bloated…

Do you have any questions left? Just email us!


Anna & Marit

Look for more information about EU legislation and sweeteners at:



Do you want to know what how much mg of sweeteners you can eat in a day based on your weight? Check out the following website, table 7 :




  1. EFSA Europe : https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/sweeteners

  2. European
    Commission :

  3. Journal via
    PubMed: Chattopadhyay, S., Raychaudhuri, U., & Chakraborty, R. (2014).
    Artificial sweeteners – a review. 
    of food science and technology
    51(4), 611–621. 

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