Also known as neohexyl-aspartame
Neotame is produced by adding a 6-carbon (neohexyl) group to the amine nitrogen of aspartame.
Neotame is sweet, with a potency about 8,000 times sucrose, on a weight basis. There is little or no off-taste, except that, at high sweetness levels, it has a slight licorice-like cooling effect in the mouth. Its sweetness is slower in onset than sucrose, and it lingers significantly at high sweetness levels.
Neotame does not provide any calories.
Neotame has better stability than aspartame. Like aspartame, its stability is pH-dependent, with optimum stability at about pH 4.5. Its stability is also temperature dependent, but it is sufficiently heat stable to work in baking applications.
Neotame was approved by the FDA in 2002 for use in the United States. JECFA approved neotame in 2003. It is approved in Australia and New Zealand, and a number of countries in Europe and South America.
The taste quality of neotame (particularly the slow onset) limits its usefulness as a sole sweetener. It is most often used in combination with one or more other sweeteners, to achieve a balanced sweet taste.