The European Committee for Standardization has approved a single-test method that can detect nine different sweeteners and their dosages in drinks, and canned and bottled fruits. Developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center’s (JRC’s) Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, the method sets national standards for European Union (EU) member states, Croatia, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland to evaluate sweetener levels in imported foodstuffs and those produced within the EU.

Using a high-performance “liquid chromatographic with evaporative light scattering detection,” the method can simultaneously test for six EU authorized sweeteners: acesulfame-K (ACS-K), aspartame (ASP), cyclamic acid (CYC), saccharin (SAC), sucralose (SUC), and neohesperidine dihydrochalcone (NHDC). It can also test for three non-authorized sweeteners: neotame (NEO), alitame (ALI) and dulcin (DUL).

According to JRC, the method “can provide several pieces of information which are needed to correctly label the food. It can provide whether or not the non-authorized or the authorized sweeteners have been used. It can also show whether the concentration of the authorized six sweeteners is below the given maximum dosage as described in current EU legislation.” See JRC Press Release, February 7, 2011.