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Aspartame and Phe-Containing Degradation Products in Soft Drinks across Europe

van Vliet, K., Melis, E. S., de Blaauw, P., van Dam, E., Maatman, R. G. H. J., Abeln, D., van Spronsen, F. J. & Heiner-Fokkema, M. R., 24-Jun-2020, In : Nutrients. 12, 6, p. 1-10 10 p., 1887.

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Phenylketonuria and tyrosinemia type 1 are treated with dietary phenylalanine (Phe) restriction. Aspartame is a Phe-containing synthetic sweetener used in many products, including many 'regular' soft drinks. Its amount is (often) not declared; therefore, patients are advised not to consume aspartame-containing foods. This study aimed to determine the variation in aspartame concentrations and its Phe-containing degradation products in aspartame-containing soft drinks. For this, an LC-MS/MS method was developed for the analysis of aspartame, Phe, aspartylphenylalanine, and diketopiperazine in soft drinks. In total, 111 regularly used soft drinks from 10 European countries were analyzed. The method proved linear and had an inter-assay precision (CV%) below 5% for aspartame and higher CVs% of 4.4-49.6% for the degradation products, as many concentrations were at the limit of quantification. Aspartame and total Phe concentrations in the aspartame-containing soft drinks varied from 103 to 1790 µmol/L (30-527 mg/L) and from 119 to 2013 µmol/L (20-332 mg/L), respectively, and were highly variable among similar soft drinks bought in different countries. Since Phe concentrations between drinks and countries highly vary, we strongly advocate the declaration of the amount of aspartame on soft drink labels, as some drinks may be suitable for consumption by patients with Phe-restricted diets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1887
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 24-Jun-2020

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