On 20 March the Food Standards Agency published the findings of a study which looked at reactions to the sweetener aspartame in people who have reported symptoms in the past compared to people with no reported symptoms.
The study concluded that the participants who were self-diagnosed as sensitive to aspartame showed no difference in their response after consuming a cereal bar, whether it contained aspartame or not.
The study looked at various factors including psychological testing, clinical observations, clinical biochemistry and also metabolomics (which is the scientific study of small molecules generated by the process of metabolism).
In December 2013, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an opinion on aspartame following a full risk assessment after undertaking a rigorous review of all available scientific research on aspartame and its breakdown products, including both animal and human studies. The EFSA opinion concluded that 'aspartame and its breakdown products are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure'.
For more on the story and to read the report, visit food.gov.uk.