WASHINGTON, April 24 (Xinhua) -- PepsiCo will introduce Diet Pepsi free of a controversial sweetener called aspartame later this year but this change is happening only in the United States, the company said Friday.
"Increasingly, U.S. diet cola drinkers have been asking us for a great tasting Diet Pepsi without aspartame," a PepsiCo spokesperson said in an email.
"We've worked hard perfecting an aspartame-free, zero-calorie diet cola to address this needs."
According to the company, Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi will then be sweetened with a blend of artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, and the new drinks will be available in the U.S. beginning in August.
The spokesperson told Xinhua that PepsiCo currently has no plan to remove the sweetener from Diet Pepsi in China.
"Consumers in China love Diet Pepsi just as it is today," said the spokesperson. "Pepsi uses a variety of approved sweetener options to create great-tasting colas, including aspartame, which remains an important sweetener in some Pepsi beverages around the world, including Diet Pepsi in China."
Aspartame is used in many foods and beverages because it is about 200 times sweeter than sugar, so much less of it can be used to give the same level of sweetness.
There are claims that aspartame causes a number of health problems, including cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, stated that more than 100 studies support aspartame's safety.
Editor: Mu Xuequan