The science of low calorie sweeteners - separating fact from fiction 

Thursday 15th April 2010 

The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG  Coffee and sweeteners

Energy reduction is high on the agenda for many involved in food and health whether from the perspective of public health policy, dietary advice, product formulation and development, or making available food and drinks that people enjoy.  Intense sweeteners have been available as a means of reducing sugar intake for more than a century and have made possible low and no-sugar brands which feature in almost everyone's diet.  Furthermore, they could also be important in helping us to reduce energy intake in the future. But for some, perceptions of the role and value of intense sweeteners can be somewhat negative. So we've set out to explore the facts behind the stories and see where low calorie sweeteners fit into today's foodscape.

The objective of this one-day conference was to make available the latest science and research on sweeteners, to explore where these ingredients can be a useful choice in foods and beverages, to review their safety and consider negative perceptions where they exist. The event is designed to appeal to anyone interested in food, nutrition and health and to provide an interactive, scientifically sound and engaging debate.

The final programme can be downloaded from the attachments below. Selected presentations are also available below to download in pdf form. A full report on the conference will be published in Nutrition Bulletin in due course.

Panel discussionseparating fact from fiction: an opportunity to discuss the science behind the media headlines, with Professor Tom Sanders (King's College London), Professor Andrew Renwick (School of Medicine, University of Southampton), Professor Nick Finer (Dept of Medicine, University College London), Catherine Collins (St George's Hospital NHS Trust) and Brigid McKevith (Cereal Partners UK).

A panel discussion was held at the conference to discuss some of the science behind the headlines about sweeteners. This was an opportunity to discuss issues such as consumer perceptions of intense sweeteners and specific concerns that people may have about their use.

The discussion was chaired by Professor Judith Buttriss, Director General, British Nutrition Foundation & Professor John Blundell, Professor of BioPsychology, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds and can be viewed in the video below.


The views expressed are those of the speakers. At British Nutrition Foundation conferences, each participating organization is responsible for the accuracy of the information it provides. 

Financial support for this event was received from Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland  to enable the cost to delegates to be subsidised.

For further information, including factsheets on sweeteners, please click here