Reliable estimation of intake of non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) from tabletop sweetener products (TTS) is complex. Some TTS contain more than one type of NNS and more importantly, there can be considerable formula variation between different types of TTS products; that is liquid, powder and tablet products. A survey of use levels (mg NNS/kg TTS retail product) confirmed wide variations and reflected major differences in the portion size, or mass, typically used to deliver a sweetness equivalent to around one teaspoon (tsp) of sugar.
This paper reviews current intake estimation models and reveals that these models may result in inappropriate intake estimations, probably because some surveys did not discriminate between powder, tablet and liquid forms. The data suggest that using upper percentile consumption figures for powdered forms is a critical factor in intake estimations and may be a more realistic method by which overall exposure estimates could be obtained.
Table-top sweetener products are preparations of low/no calorie sweeteners, which may contain other food additives and/or food ingredients and which are sold as a substitute for sugars.
Reliable estimation of intake of low/no calorie sweeteners in tabletop sweetener products is complex because of the considerable variation in formulation between products available on the market.
Following the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) call for data on food additives usage level and/or concentration in food and beverages, this study analysed the suitability of current methodology for the reliable estimation of consumer exposures to low calorie sweeteners from the consumption of tabletop sweetener products. This publication takes into consideration previous food consumption and intake data from EFSA, reviews of published reports of intake of low/no calorie sweeteners as well as recent surveys from food and beverages manufacturers.
The author concluded that while intake data confirm that tabletop products can be a significant source of consumer exposure to non-nutritive sweeteners, the data do not indicate that tabletop sweetener use alone will cause exceedance of relevant Acceptable Daily Intakes (ADIs).