What is Neotame E961 in Food? Uses, Types, Safe, Side Effects

What is Neotame E961 in Food? Uses, Types, Safe, Side Effects


Table of Contents

Neotame E961, also known as Aspartame-L, is a high-intensity sweetener. Like other artificial sweeteners, it’s approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar and has zero calories. Neotame E961 is often used in generally the same way as its parent compound aspartame. It’s one of the most heat-stable sweeteners available and can withstand temperatures up to 250 degrees Celsius.

Neotame E961 is one of many artificial sweeteners. It is a plant-based chemical and a type of aspartame. Here, we provide you an overview of the sweetener to help you decide when and how to use it in your foods or drinks.

What is neotame?


Neotame is an artificial sweetener that is between 7,000 and 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Neotame was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, making it the first new sweetener approved since saccharin in 1950.

Neotame is made by combining aspartame with 3-dimethylbutylamine (a chemical compound), resulting in a molecule that is chemically similar to aspartame but with a longer half-life and improved taste profile.

Neotame has been shown to be safe for human consumption at levels up to 10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (mg/kg bw/day). In other words, you could safely eat up to 1 gram of neotame each day (1,000 mg) and not experience any negative side effects from the sweetener itself.

What is neotame made of?


Neotame is made from aspartame with 3-dimethylamino-1-methylbutyl (3DMB) added to it, which makes it taste less bitter to some people than aspartame alone. It was approved for use in foods and beverages in 2002; however, neotame has not been approved for use in all foods and beverages that contain aspartame or other artificial sweeteners.

The FDA considers neotame safe for human consumption because it doesn’t react with other substances, isn’t broken down by bacteria or enzymes and doesn’t build up in body tissues over time, notes Consumer Reports.

What is neotame used for?



Neotame is an artificial sweetener that is roughly as sweet as sucralose (Splenda). It has been approved for use in the US since 2002, but it does not yet have GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. The FDA requires that all food additives be tested prior to being approved for use in foods and beverages. Neotame has been approved by the FDA for limited use in the US, but it is considered a food additive and not a dietary supplement.

Neotame is used by manufacturers to replace sugar in products such as sodas, desserts, and chewing gum. It is also used in many other types of foods as well, including baked goods, candies, sauces, and salad dressings.

In addition to its use in sweetening foods and beverages, neotame has been found to help reduce calories in some foods. For example, it can be used to reduce sugar content while maintaining sweetness levels in low-calorie foods such as frozen desserts and baked goods

How is neotame made?


Under hydrogen pressure, neotame is typically produced by reacting aspartame with 3,3-dimethylbutyraldehyde. In addition to methanol, palladium/carbon (a catalyst), and diatomaceous earth (a filtering aid), methanol acts as a solvent and diatomaceous earth acts as a catalyst.

The reaction for synthesis is as follows:



Other namesN-(N-(3,3-Dimethylbutyl)-L-alpha-aspartyl)-L-phenylalanine 1-methyl ester
CAS number165450-17-9
Chemical formulaC20H30N2O5
Molecular Weight378.47





It has a clean, sweet taste and is white, crystallized powder or granular.




The aspartame amine nitrogen is attached to a 6-carbon neohexyl group in its molecular structure.



Sodium bicarbonate is highly soluble in alcohol (solubility in alcohol, 18.2g/L at 25°C, aspartame is 10.6g/L).

Stable than aspartame


Cooking and baking can be done at high temperatures with erythritol, while aspartame cannot. Despite this advantage, it would decompose if exposed to 120°C for a long period of time.



There is no sweeter artificial sweetener than this one. Here is a comparison of artificial sweeteners based on sweetness:

Tastes and aftertaste


It tastes like sugar without having a bitter or metallic aftertaste, making it an ideal sugar replacement.

What is the application of neotame?


Food and drinks with low/reduced calories can be sweetened with a very small amount of sugar because it is 6,000 times sweeter than sugar. In addition, it is more heat stable than aspartame, so it can be used in cooking and baking products where aspartame cannot be used.

The sweetener is also used to enhance the sweetness of blends with other high-intensity sweeteners.

Neotame may be found in the following foods:

  • Chewing gum
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Tabletop sweeteners
  • Frozen desserts, yogurt
  • Baked goods
  • Preserved fruits
  • Salad dressings



Because of its heat-tolerance, it is perfect for baking like cookies, cakes, and muffins.



The sweet taste can be maintained while reducing the sugar content and calorie intake while lessening the sugar content of carbonated drinks and juices.

Table top sweeteners


Because it is non-hygroscopic, it can be used as a sweetener in table-top sweeteners.



Chocolate, gums, and candies can contain this ingredient together with sugar alcohols.



It can be used to produce dairy products, like yogurt, desserts, and ice cream, due to its stability in high temperatures for a short period of time.

What are the benefits of neotame?


Neotame has the same three benefits as other sugar substitutes:

  • Calorie-free
  • Glycemic index zero
  • Compared to aspartame, it is safer for people with PKU

Calorie free


In food applications, this property can be used to replace sugar in order to control daily calorie intake.

Glycemic index zero


Consuming it won’t raise blood sugar levels and insulin levels, which makes it a suitable sweetener for diabetics.

Safe for Phenylketonurics (PKU)


It produces very little l-phenylalanine during metabolism, unlike aspartame, which can cause phenylketonuria (PKU).

Is neotame safe to eat for the body?


Yes, Neotame is a low-calorie sweetener with the same chemical structure as aspartame. The sweetness of neotame is around 4000 times greater than sugar and 30 to 60 times greater than aspartame. The FDA approved neotame for use in food on May 9, 2002.



It is safe to use neotame as a sweetener and flavor enhancer in food. ADI is 0.3 mg/kg body weight per day.



A food additive listed as a sweetener in Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 is Neotame (E961).

Safety re-evaluation in 2007


A neotame Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 0-2 mg/kg bw/day was established based on the studies on genetic and carcinogenic toxicity, teratogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and degradation products.

Approved uses

  • Neotame is commonly used as a sweetener in energy-reduced or no-added-sugar products with a maximum dosage range of 2-200mg/kg; or as a “quantum satis” sweetener in liquid/powder/tablets.
  • As a flavour enhancer, it can be used up to 2mg per kilogram.

UK Food Standards Agency


In the “Sweeteners” category

Food Standards Australia New Zealand


Australia and New Zealand have approved its use as an ingredient under the code number E961.



Classification: food additives, sweeteners, flavor enhancers.

As of 2003, the acceptable daily intake was set at 0-2 mg/kg body weight.

What are the side effects of neotame?


Neotame is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, but it’s still a new product and there haven’t been many studies done on its side effects.

Neotame side effects are generally mild, but some people can experience more severe reactions. If you notice any signs of a reaction after eating foods containing neotame, contact your health care provider immediately.

Neotame Side Effects


The most common side effects of neotame include:

Skin rash or itching (urticaria)

Allergic reactions including swelling of the lips and face (angioedema), hives or difficulty breathing (bronchospasm)

Severe headache, dizziness, weakness and fainting (syncope)

Stomach pains, nausea and vomiting


Image of Metabolism of neotame

Difference between aspartame and neotame


Aspartame and neotame are both artificial sweeteners that are commonly used in a variety of food products. These substances have been linked to several health problems in the past, but they are considered safe when consumed in moderation.

Here’s a look at how aspartame and neotame compare with each other:

Aspartame is a synthetic compound that was discovered accidentally in 1965 by James Schlatter, a chemist working for G.D. Searle & Company. It comes in two versions — aspartame-acesulfame salt (ACE) and aspartame-phenylalanine-methanol (AMP).

Neotame is also an artificial sweetener with no calories, but it contains the amino acid phenylalanine. It became available for commercial use in 2002 after receiving approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 based on results from laboratory studies conducted by NutraSweet Co., which makes it

Where to buy neotame?


Neotame can be purchased online from various sources. If you’re looking for a particular brand or type of neotame, we recommend starting with Amazon.com because it’s the largest online retailer in the world and carries a wide variety of products from many different brands. You can also find neotame at other major retailers such as Walmart and Target, but they tend to offer fewer options and higher prices compared to Amazon.

If you’re shopping on a budget, we recommend buying neotame in bulk (powdered form). It’s available in small packets too, but it’s not cost-effective if you’re only making one or two batches of food or drinks at a time with this ingredient. For Grade Chemical is one reliable neotame supplier in China, you can purchase from us.

Frequently asked questions about neotame


What foods contain neotame?


Neotame is a sweetener that has been approved by the FDA. The following list includes some of the foods that contain neotame.


Canned sardines and tuna

Cereal bars

Sauces and dips

Sugar-free lollipops

Ice cream toppings

Is neotame bad for you?


Neotame, an artificial sweetener, is safe for human consumption. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a general-purpose sweetener and flavor enhancer in foods and beverages.

Neotame is about 7,000 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way. Neotame can be used in liquid or powdered form, but it becomes bitter if heated or exposed to high temperatures.

Is neotame safe?


Neotame is a sweetener, which means it’s a man-made chemical that has no nutritional value. It’s about 7,000 times sweeter than sugar, and it’s approved for use in the U.S. and Canada.

Neotame is safe for humans to consume in small amounts, but large doses may cause side effects like headaches and stomach aches. You should avoid using neotame if you have an allergy to aspartame or any other artificial sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose, or acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K).

Where does neotame come from?


Neotame is a sweetener that’s made from aspartame. Aspartame is a synthetic chemical that’s used in many foods and drinks, including diet sodas and low-calorie desserts.

Neotame was discovered by accident—in fact, it was originally created as an insecticide! Scientists were trying to create a compound that would inhibit the growth of insects but accidentally created neotame instead.

Is neotame a food preservative?


Neotame is not a food preservative.

Neotame is a low-calorie sweetener that contains no calories, carbs, or sugar. It’s been approved by the FDA as a general-purpose sweetener, meaning it can be used in place of sugar and other high-calorie sweeteners in foods and beverages.

Neotame is also approved for use in soft drinks, chewing gum, frozen desserts, and gelatins.

Is neotame vegan?


Neotame is not vegan. Neotame is a chemical sweetener, and it’s made from combining genetically modified Aspartame with a peptide.

Is neotame FDA approved?


In 2002, the FDA approved neotame as a sweetener. It is more than 30,000 times sweeter than table sugar and contains zero calories.

Is neotame natural?


Neotame is a man-made additive that’s been approved for use in food products by the FDA since 2002. It’s a derivative of aspartame, which was approved for use in 1974.

Neotame has been used in thousands of products, including soft drinks, candies, and baked goods. Neotame has a sweet taste similar to aspartame but with 30 times the sweetness.

Is neotame sweetener?


Neotame is a sweetener, but it is not a sugar. It is chemically similar to aspartame and has no calories or carbohydrates. It also has no effect on blood glucose levels or insulin secretion, so it can be used in foods that are labeled “sugar-free.”



In short, neotame is a synthetic compound that mimics the taste of sugar. It is safe to consume at the levels that are currently being used in food and beverages. These levels are 4,000 times smaller than the sweetness level found in natural sugar. Neotame has not been linked to any side effects or health problems in humans, but it’s still good to practice moderation when consuming sweeteners like this if you consume a lot of them regularly.

If you have any questions about neotame additives? feel free to tell me to know in the comments.

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng is the author of gradechemical.com, she is the co-founder of the grade chemical network. She has been in grade chemical company since 2017, with a working knowledge of food chemical .

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