Acesulfame Potassium (K) was discovered in 1967 and was approved for use by the FDA as a safe artificial sweetener in July, l988. It is a derivative of acetoacetic acid and 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. Acesulfame-K is a highly stable, crystalline sweetener with a chemical structure is similar to saccharin.
Acesulfame K stimulates insulin secretion in a dose dependent fashion thereby possibly aggravating reactive hypoglycemia ("low blood sugar attacks").
Acesulfame-K is usually used in combination with aspartame or other sweeteners because it has a synergistic effect to enhance and sustain the sweet taste of foods and beverages. It is heat stable so it can be used in baked products. It does not provide calories since the body does not metabolize it and it is excreted in the urine without being changed.
Acesulfame potassium offers consumers a greater choice of low-calorie or reduced-sugar foods that can help them manage their calorie intake. Acesulfame-K is found in many foods, including chewing gum, desserts, alcoholic beverages, syrups, candies, sauces, and yogurt. The sweetener, which can be used alone, often is blended with other low-calorie sweeteners to produce a more sugar-like taste than that of any of the low-calorie sweeteners alone.
Zero glycemic index. Not harmful to teeth. Suitable for diabetics. It is one ofthe cheapest sweeteners. Works very well with other sweeteners including Aspartame and Sucralose. It is heat stable and is suitable for cooking and in processed foods.
The main concern seems to be the other sweeteners it is mixed with usually Aspartame. On its own no human side effects have been reported. Unlike Aspartame it is not absorbed into the body. In the small amounts required in the normal diet it should pass through the digestive system without being absorbed, and without effecting the body in any way.
Artificial sweeteners are not always effective in reducing weight. A trial, conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel and published Sept 17th 2014, may explain the reason. It appears that these sweeteners affect the bacteria in the bowel in adverse ways. Tests showed impaired glucose metabolism in subjects, human and animal following moderate consumption over several weeks. More information is available in Science News. The result may be increased appetite following consumption of artificial sweeteners, and could explain why weight loss is not achieved.
Acesulfame potassium is safe and suitable for all segments of the population.The FDA has set a guideline Acceptable Daily Intake of 15 mg of the substance per Kg of body weight. For the average person this would be about 36 cans of soda sweetened with Acesulfame K. The agency based its decisions on a large body of scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety of the ingredient.