Aspartame is made from bacteria feces, patent confirms

(Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Your next diet soda may not taste so sweet. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

What makes diet sodas taste sweet without all the sugar? The simple answer is artificial sweetener, but a patent has confirmed what the commonly used sugar substitute aspartame is really made of: the feces of genetically modified E. coli bacteria.

According to the patent, which is available for the public to read online, genetically modified E. coli are cultivated in tanks and fed so that they can defecate the proteins that contain the aspartic acid-phenylalanine amino acid segment used to make aspartame. The proteins are then collected and treated in a process called methylation to produce the sweetener.

The patent was first filed in 1981, but this is the first time it has been made publicly accessible.



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Comments

2

  1. What a ridiculous headline. I would lover to hear how bacteria produce “feces”. Feces are animal waste, and bacteria are not animals. Someone is using “feces” to make something sound disgusting, when it has nothing in the world to do with feces, in any form.

  2. Is this satire? If not, here are some more stories you might want to look into:

    Shocking report: Beer is made from fungus ‘feces’

    Breaking news: Air is made from plant and animal ‘waste’

    Damning revelation: Children’s ice cream contains cow mammary gland secretions

    (I have lots more, if you want them.) ;)