A new industry-approved sugar additive will be coming to sodas soon, with little independent safety data to back it up.
Emily Main | National Geographic Green Guide | Senior Editor
As if we need more reason to get Americans addicted to soda, a biotechnology company has just introduced a way for that to happen. California-based Senomyx has just announced that it is licensing a new “sweetness enhancer” called Sweetmyx exclusively to Pepsi and that it will start being used in soft drinks as early as this year.
Much in the same way that monosodium glutamate (MSG) enhances umami flavors in things like soy sauce, Sweetmyx enhances the sweet factor of other sugars in a soda, like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, so food producers can use less sugar and cut calories without taking away any of the sweetness that people like.
Sweetmyx was developed using proprietary technologies, and there isn’t much information about what exactly it is or what it may have been derived from. “From what I’ve been able to surmise, S617 (the company’s moniker for Sweetmyx) is not a naturally derived sweetness enhancer. It appears to be artificially synthesized from chemicals,” says Bruce Bradley, a former food-industry marketer who wrote an expose of the industry’s tricks called Fat Profits.
“…This does not bode well…”
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