First of all: Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian readers out there! Time to crack open a few sodas! And by sodas, I mean beers!
Anyway, onto today’s topic. We all know sucralose is a calorie-free artificial sweetener found in numerous energy drinks. Another calorie-free artificial sweetener you will find is acesulfame potassium, also known as Ace K (K being the symbol for potassium on the Periodic Table). Ace K is marketed under the trade mark names Sunett and Sweet One. It is known under the E Number (additive code) E950.
Ace K was discovered accidentally by German chemist Karl Clauss in 1967 while working at Hoechst AG, now known as Nutrinova. It is 180-200 sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), as sweet as aspartame, half as sweet as saccharin and one-quarter as sweet as sucralose. Apparently, Ace K is mixed with other sweeteners, such as sucralose, not only to give a drink a sugar-like taste, but also to mask each other’s aftertaste. Ace K has a very bitter aftertaste, much like saccharin.
Like any artificial sweetener, Ace K has its share of safety concerns. Critics have stated Ace K has not being studied adequately by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and may be carcinogenic. But the FDA, as well as the European Union, have repeatedly dismissed these claims.