As I am very sensitive to the ingredients in Nutrasweet (aspartame) I read a lot of labels. If the item has natural sugars, I have no problems. I am also able to tolerate Splenda (sucralose.) Typically, if an item has artificial sweeteners in it, I look to the bottom of the ingredients list for the warning: "Warning Phenylketonurics: Contains L-Phenylalanine" or similar; If I see this warning, I set the item back on the shelf. (Or, if I decide to purchase it for my family I make a mental note that I cannot consume any of that product.) This pretty much includes most diet sodas and all sugarless gum. I don't care much for the flavor of Splenda over natural sugar, so I pretty much just stick with items that do not have any artificial sweeteners.
I purchased a few Lunchables for Ian to take to work. We had a brown-bag lunch-and-learn today and I knew I didn't want to wait on a microwave for my normal frozen Lean Cuisine, so I grabbed one of his Lunchables. The new ones have an entire lunch packaged into one, cute, sealed plastic container. A small roll, a little package of sliced turkey and four slivers of cheddar cheese, a container of applesauce, a small package of 'Nilla wafers, a small bottle of water and a single serve packet of drink mix.
I haven't been able to have any of the single serve drink packets because they usually contain, you guessed it, ASPARTAME! So, I considered the packet. Turning it over to read the ingredients I read the following (taken from the Kraft Foods website because I don't have the packet close by):
" TROPICAL PUNCH ARTIFICIAL FLAVORED SOFT DRINK MIX: SUGAR, FRUCTOSE, CITRIC ACID (PROVIDES TARTNESS), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), VITAMIN E ACETATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE (PREVENTS CAKING), ACESULFAME POTASSIUM AND SUCRALOSE (SWEETENERS), ARTIFICIAL COLOR, RED 40, BLUE 1, BHA (PRESERVES FRESHNESS)."
I first read "Sugar;" I was happy I could try this drink mix. Next ingredient, "Fructose." Ok. Still good. Next ingredients, "(blah, blah, blah,)" wait! What's this? "Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose?" But, there's already natural sugars in this product! Why on earth would you put artificial sweeteners in a product that's already using natural sugars???
I set the packet aside on principal. My water was good.