Wholesome Goodness maintains a long list of ingredients that we don’t think should be in food.  No artificial anything, no trans fats, no short cuts, just food in its purest state — unadulterated by artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings, and preservatives. In this series our Directors of Research & Product Development, Rich Palmasano and John Tobin, explain a little more about why Wholesome chooses to omit these ingredients from our products.

Today we introduce the next installment of our “Banning Bad” series, where we dive a little deeper into the reasons that Wholesome Goodness® has chosen to ban 126 common food additives from our food products. It all goes back to our commitment to make the healthiest food we can for you and your family. In today’s edition, Rich and John discuss an ingredient that you’re perhaps less-familiar with: Acesulfame K.

Acesulfame K

Acesulfame potassium is a calorie-free artificial sweetener. It is also known as Acesulfame K or AceK (K being the symbol for potassium). It was discovered accidentally in 1967 by the German chemist Karl Clauss. In chemical structure, Acesulfame K is the potassium salt of 6-methyl-1,2,3-oxathiazine-4(3H)-one 2,2-dioxide and is a white crystalline powder. It is made from a process that involves the transformation of an organic intermediate, acetoacetic acid, and its combination with the naturally occurring mineral, potassium, to form the highly stable, crystalline sweetener.

Acesulfame K is 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), as sweet as aspartame, about 2/3 as sweet as saccharin, and 1/3 as sweet as sucralose. Like saccharin, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, especially at high concentrations.

In the U.S., it is used in such products as candies, baked goods, frozen desserts, beverages, dessert mixes and tabletop sweeteners. It is often used in combination with other low-calorie sweeteners because it enhances the sweet taste of foods and beverages.

Of all artificial sweeteners, Acesulfame-K has undergone the least scientific scrutiny. Early studies showed a potential link between the sweetener and development of multiple cancers in laboratory animals. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride (a component of Acesulfame K) can cause nausea, headaches, mood problems, impairment of the liver and kidneys, problems with eyesight and possibly cancer.  Despite these concerns over the safety of acesulfame K, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for general use.

At Wholesome Goodness we use a holistic approach in the development of our products to eliminate the need for ingredients like artificial sweeteners.  When we need to add a sweetener we use a naturally sourced sweetener and where we can, we reduce the amount of added sugar.  We have simple formulas, packaging that protects our products from oxygen and a relatively short shelf life, to deliver simple, naturally delicious, nutritionally-dense foods to the consumer. Wholesome Goodness never uses Acesulfame K, or any artificial sweeteners, in any of our products.