PepsiCo will stop using aspartame sweetener in its "Light Ease" colas sold in the U.S. market to allay consumer concerns about the product's safety .
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on the 27th that aspartame free Pepsi " Light Ease " cola will enter the U.S. market in August this year .
British and U.S. regulators insist that the use of aspartame in soft drinks does not pose a health risk. But PepsiCo said the discontinuation of aspartame was a business decision in response to consumer concerns; it will use sucralose instead of aspartame .
Pepsi Vice President Seth Kaufman said aspartame is the "number one reason" why consumers are abandoning the beverage.
Pepsi "Light" Coke last year in the United States sales fell more than 5% . It's no coincidence that Coca-Cola's "Diet" Coke, which also contains aspartame, saw sales drop by more than 6 percent over the same period.
Aspartame sweetener has been accompanied by controversy since it was first approved for use in the 1980s. The sweetener, also known as E951, is about 200 times sweeter than sucrose, but contains almost no calories.
Aspartame is added to thousands of foods and beverages worldwide as a sugar substitute, including breakfast oatmeal and sugar-free chewing gum.
After a series of rumors about possible side effects of aspartame consumption, food experts have been closely monitoring the use of the sweetener.
The Italian Ramazzini Foundation made public the results of a study in July 2005 that said rats consuming the same dose of aspartame as humans would grow tumors.
But European regulators did not consider the study credible and concluded that aspartame could still be used as a food additive. The FDA says more than 100 studies have proven aspartame's safety.
However, regulators acknowledge that there should be a dosage limit for aspartame intake by humans.
In addition, people with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria cannot safely ingest aspartame.