Dietary estimated intake of intense sweeteners by Italian teenagers. Present levels and projections derived from the INRAN-RM-2001 food survey

Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Apr;42(4):677-85. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2003.12.004.


In a previous study, Italian female teenagers regular consumers of sugar free soft drinks and table-top sweeteners were suggested to have a higher intake of intense sweeteners than other teenagers. A food frequency questionnaire designed to identify adolescents who were high consumers of these food products was filled in by a randomly extracted sample of teenagers (n=3982) living in the District of Rome (Italy) in year 2000. A consumer survey was then carried out in a randomly extracted sub-sample of males and females and in all females who reported high consumption of sugar-free soft drinks and/or table-top sweeteners. A total of 362 subjects participated in a detailed food survey by recording, at brand level, all foods and beverages ingested over 12 days. For each sugar-free product, producers provided the concentration of intense sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame K and cyclamate). No intake in excess of the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) was observed. Also medicines and supplements were taken into account and these did not result in a large impact on chronic exposure to intense sweeteners. The intake levels did not exceed the ADI even under a worst case scenario which was performed to take into consideration a hypothetical future substitution of all regular food products with their sugar-free version. It can be concluded that, with the observed current consumption patterns and occurrence levels, the risk of an excessive intake of intense sweeteners by Italian teenagers is extremely low.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diet Surveys
  • Female
  • Food Additives / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Food Additives
  • Sweetening Agents