The lowdown on low calorie sweeteners
Coca‑Cola drinks flavoured with sweeteners give you more choice
Low calorie sweeteners are an ideal option for people who are looking to reduce their calorie and sugar intake, yet still want a great tasting drink.
Sweeteners add a sweet taste and contain hardly any calories at all, making them the best choice for Coca-Cola's diet and low calorie drinks such as Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta Orange Zero and Kia-Ora No Added Sugar. About a quarter of Coca-Cola drinks (over one third of Coca-Cola brands in Ireland) contain low calorie sweeteners - part of our commitment to offer as many options as possible.
Watch the video: Understanding low-calorie sweeteners
The British Nutrition Foundation has created a video to provide useful information on the safety and benefits of low- and no-calorie sweeteners. Watch Understanding low-calorie sweeteners here on their website.
What are sweeteners?
Sweeteners are substances added to foods and drinks to provide a sweet taste without adding calories, or very few calories. Most sweeteners are several hundred times sweeter tasting than sugar, so only small quantities need to be added. The most commonly used sweeteners used by Coca-Cola Ireland are aspartame, acesulfame-K and saccharin.
Which sweeteners do Coca-Cola use?
We use a mixture of aspartame, acesulfame-K and saccharin, depending on the drink we are producing. Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Sprite Zero, for example, contain a blend of aspartame and acesulfame-K, while drinks such as and Schweppes Slimline Lemonade contain a blend of aspartame and saccharin.
As well as using sweeteners to create sugar free drinks, we also use sweeteners in drinks that contain sugar to reduce calories and for taste reasons. For example, Lilt contains sugar, acesulfame-K, aspartame and saccharin.
How do I know if a product contains sweeteners?
Like all other ingredients in our drinks, sweeteners are listed in the ingredients panel on the labels. By law, food and drink containing sweeteners also have to carry the words 'with sweetener' on the label. You can read about the ingredients in your favourite drinks in our Brands section.
Are sweeteners safe for everyone?
Sweeteners have been proven to be safe for everyone by food and drink agencies around the world, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Any sweetener approved for use has been rigorously, scientifically tested and is regularly reviewed.
What is an acceptable daily intake (ADI)?
The acceptable daily intake of ingredients such as sweeteners is the estimated amount per kilogram (kg) of body weight (bw) that a person can safely consume on average every day over a lifetime without risk. The ADI is the most important practical tool for scientists in ensuring the appropriate and safe use of sweeteners.
Are sweeteners bad for my teeth?
Sweeteners do not promote tooth decay. Any food or drink that contains fermentable carbohydrates (sugars and starches), including calorific sparkling drinks, can play a role in the development of tooth decay. When foods and drinks with fermentable carbohydrates are consumed, the bacteria present in the mouth converts the sugar to acid. If this acid is not removed by teeth cleaning, it can wear away the surface enamel, eventually causing cavities to form. Bacteria in the mouth cannot convert sweeteners into acid and therefore sweeteners do not contribute to tooth decay.
Can sweeteners help me manage my weight?
When consistently used as part of an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity, sweeteners may help with weight control, but they don't in themselves necessarily lead to weight loss. Reducing your calorie intake and doing more physical activity promotes weight loss. In the context of a sensible, balanced diet, food and drinks containing sweeteners can help you manage your overall calorie intake.
Can people with diabetes use sweeteners?
Yes, because sweeteners contain no sugar, despite their sweet taste. People with diabetes have to manage the amount of sugar they consume to maintain their blood glucose levels. Sweeteners are useful for people with diabetes as they do not impact on blood glucose levels. Products containing sweeteners, like our sugar-free drinks, help to offer people with diabetes a wider choice of food and drink. When used consistently, they may also help people with type 2 diabetes with the important task of controlling their weight.
Can people with PKU use sweeteners?
People with the rare genetic condition phenylketonuria (PKU) are unable to metabolise phenylalanine and need to control their intake of this amino acid from all food sources. This means they must avoid foods and drinks containing the sweetener aspartame, which contains a source of phenylalanine. Our drinks sweetened with aspartame such as Coke Zero, and Diet Coke are clearly labelled as such to alert these consumers to the presence of phenylalanine.