Title

Aspartame: History, Popular Beverages, and Controversy

Date

5-26-2016 1:45 PM

End Time

26-5-2016 2:30 PM

Location

Natural Sciences (NS) 101

Department

Chemistry

Session Chair

Arlene Courtney

Session Title

Chemistry Capstone Seminars

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Arlene Courtney

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener much like high fructose corn syrup but is synthetically made compared to being derived from a natural occurring compound. Many diet beverages and foods contain this chemical since it is about 200 times sweeter than regular table sugar and contains very few calories. Some people with hereditary diseases cannot metabolize the phenylalanine resulting from the breakdown of the aspartame. This, and potential health risks, have caused widespread controversy regarding the FDA approval of aspartame. This seminar will describe how I have used High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to quantify the amount of aspartame present in diet Coke and diet Dr. Pepper and to investigate how elevated temperatures can cause aspartame to become unstable and breakdown into potentially toxic chemicals. These findings will promote the labeling of actual amounts present in each drink, similar to how caffeine is labeled.

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May 26th, 1:45 PM May 26th, 2:30 PM

Aspartame: History, Popular Beverages, and Controversy

Natural Sciences (NS) 101

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener much like high fructose corn syrup but is synthetically made compared to being derived from a natural occurring compound. Many diet beverages and foods contain this chemical since it is about 200 times sweeter than regular table sugar and contains very few calories. Some people with hereditary diseases cannot metabolize the phenylalanine resulting from the breakdown of the aspartame. This, and potential health risks, have caused widespread controversy regarding the FDA approval of aspartame. This seminar will describe how I have used High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to quantify the amount of aspartame present in diet Coke and diet Dr. Pepper and to investigate how elevated temperatures can cause aspartame to become unstable and breakdown into potentially toxic chemicals. These findings will promote the labeling of actual amounts present in each drink, similar to how caffeine is labeled.