Potential consumer exposures to low/no calorie sweeteners: a refined assessment based upon market intelligence on use frequency, and consideration of niche applications
Data on current use levels of E950 acesulfame K, E952 cyclamic acid and its Na and Ca salts, E954 saccharin and its Na, K and Ca salts, E955 sucralose and E957 thaumatin, have been collected by the European food and drink industry in response to an EFSA call for data in support of its upcoming review of low/no calorie sweeteners (LNCSs). Careful evaluation of these data is necessary to allow for reasonably realistic estimations of consumer intake. Consumer patterns of product use and in particular of “niche” products, which are not likely to represent general LNCS exposure, are important to consider. Market survey data can identify food categories where the frequency of use of a given LNCS is so low as to represent a niche use of the product. The subsequent incorporation of information about these niche products can provide a relevant improvement in obtaining realistic exposure calculations. Using this approach, estimates of exposure are found to be comparable with previously published papers on intake and show levels generally below current ADIs, for most population groups.