Acesulfame K has been an approved sweetener since 1988, and
yet most people are not even aware that this is an artificial
sweetener being used in their food and beverages. It is listed
in the ingredients on the food label as acesulfame K, acesulfame
potassium, Ace-K, or Sunett. It is 200 times sweeter than sucrose
(table sugar) and is often used as a flavour enhancer or to
preserve the sweetness of sweet foods. The United States Food
and Drug Administration (US FDA) has set an acceptable daily
intake (ADI) of up to 15 mg/kg of body weight/day.
As with other artificial sweeteners, there is concern over
the safety of acesulfame K. However, the US FDA has approved
their general use. Critics say acesulfame K has not been studied
adequately and may be carcinogenic, although these claims have
been dismissed by the US FDA and by equivalent authorities in
the European Union.