After noticing that some food and drink products advised they had zero sugar in the nutrition label yet they have sweeteners in the ingredient list, I decided to email MPI to see what the deal was. Surely this couldn’t be legal???????
Well yes it is legal.
MPI responded with the following:
“Aspartame is a food additive sweetener and not a sugar. This means that it must be listed in the ingredient list, but there is no need to declare it in the nutrition information panels on drink labels. The amount of sweetener added will be sufficient to replace the sweetness of sugar in the sugar containing drink. Aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar so if a drink contains 10% sugar this would equate to about 0.05% aspartame.
You can find the requirements for nutritional information panels on Standard 1.2.8-6 of the food standards code https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016C00162
and an example of what a NIP should look like here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016C00191 schedule 12. You will find the requirements for statements of ingredients here in Standard 1.2.4 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2015L00392″
This confirms that is it legal to not put sweeteners in the nutrition label.
From my own experience I have found that sweeteners have the same effect on my weight as normal sugar. When I eat a lot of sweeteners, I gain weight. When I stop eating sweeteners I lose weight.
Read your labels, we cannot just rely on the nutrition label, we MUST read the ingredients list. If you are confused or unhappy by what you read, leave it. Find something else, find untouched natural foods.