Alitame is an artificial sweetener developed by Pfizer in the early 1980s and currently marketed in some countries under the brand name Aclame. Like aspartame, alitame is an aspartic acid-containing dipeptide. Most dipeptides are not sweet, but the unexpected discovery of aspartame in 1965 led to a search for similar compounds that shared its sweetness. Alitame is one such second-generation dipeptide sweetener. Neotame, developed by the owners of the NutraSweet brand, is another.
Alitame has several distinct advantages over aspartame. It is about 2000 times sweeter than sucrose, about 10 times sweeter than aspartame, and has no aftertaste. Its half-life under hot or acidic conditions is about twice as long as aspartame's, although some other artificial sweeteners, including saccharin and acesulfame potassium, are more stable yet. Unlike aspartame, alitame does not contain phenylalanine, and can therefore be used by people with phenylketonuria.
Alitame has approved for use in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and China. Danisco Cultor America Inc.'s Food and Drug Administration petition to permit alitame's use in the United States is currently in abeyance.
- Ellis, J.W. 1995. Overview of sweeteners. J. Chem. Educ. 72: pp. 671-675.
- US FDA Petitions Currently Held in Abeyance, Accessed July 10, 2007