URGENT: NutraSweet(tm) Destroys Usenet!!!!

Steven B. Harris sbharris at ix.netcom.com
Thu Aug 3 04:00:54 EST 1995


In <3vpu9b$t0v at ix.cs.uoregon.edu> bretwood at cs.uoregon.edu (Joseph Bret 
Wood) writes: 

>
>In article <3vmvck$fb3 at lys.vnet.net>, AL BELL <allbell at lys.vnet.net> 
wrote:
>>Aspartame:
>>
>>One possibility is that old aspartame breaks down into some 
not-so-great 
>>substance. My recollection is that aspartame that's heated for too 
long 
>>at too high a temperature has an effect similar to that of alcohol.
>
>Not that I'm saying anything pro or con about this debate, but the 
reaction
>you're refering to is taught to all first year organic chemists.  It's 
called
>hydrolysis of an ester.  Aspartame is an ester (compound [1]).  When 
reacted
>with water in a basic or acidic solution (soda pop is acidic), it 
undergoes
>the following reaction, giving aspartic acid and methanol as products.
>Personally, I doubt that one or two cans of diet soda could harm you 
from the
>methanol, because methanol has been a contaminant in moonshine for 
centuries,
>yet it only causes serious side effects if the batch is particularly 
bad,
>and/or a very large quantity is consumed.  And nutrasweet is so potent, 
one
>can of diet coke only requires a VERY small amount of aspartame.  
>
>                            +                    +OH2                  
   OH 
>H3C-O-C=O             H3C-O-C-OH                  |    (3 stp)         
   |
>      |   + H+OH2 ==>       |    + :OH2 ==> H3C-O-C-OH ======> H3C-OH  
+  C=O
>      R                     R                     |                    
   |
>                                                  R              [2]   
   R
>   [1]                
>                                                                       
  [3]
>
>[1] -- Aspartame              This reaction apparently requires heating 
in the
>[2] -- Methanol               case of aspartame.  For some other 
hydrolysis
>[3] -- Aspartic Acid          reactions, it will happen at room 
temperature.
>
>
>-Bret Wood
>-bretwood at cs.uoregon.edu
>

Indeed, as has been pointed out ad nauseum, there is more methanol in 
tomato juice than aspartame sweetened soda.

                                      Steve Harris



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