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Acesulfame Potassium


Acesulfame potassium (also known as acesulfame K) is a zero-calorie sweetener which was approved for general use as a food additive in 2003 by the US FDA. It is about 200 times sweeter than table sugar and commonly used in combination with other sugar free sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame, due to its bitter after taste. 



Acesulfame K has an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0 to 15mg/kg body weight per day, as advised by the US FDA and FSANZ This is the amount that can be consumed daily, over a lifetime without any appreciable health risks.


In diet soft drinks, acesulfame K can be found in amounts up to 50 mg in a 375ml diet soft drink can. To even reach the ADI, a 60kg person for example would need to consume 18 cans or 6.75 L which is very unrealistic. 

How is it safe for consumption?

Food Standards Australia New Zealand carries out safety assessments on food additives before they can be used. FSANZ checks whether:

  • ​the food additive is safe (at the use levels being proposed)

  • there is a good technological reason for using the additive.


FSANZ’s safety assessment process follows an internationally accepted (Codex Alimentarius) model involving a hazard (safety) assessment of the chemical and dietary exposure (consumption levels) assessment.


Food additives are only approved if no harmful effects are likely from their use.


For more information see

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