Danish food firm Arla Foods has said that its functional sweetener, Gaio tagatose, is used in a new soft drink made by US beverages giant PepsiCo.

PepsiCo is launching a Diet Pepsi-flavoured Slurpee, with Gaio tagatose as a taste enhancer.

Gaio tagatose is produced from lactose, a residual product from cheese-making, Arla said.

Arla Foods Ingredients owns the rights to produce and sell the sweetener. The company began commercial production of the product, which is approved for use in food and drinks in the US and Korea, in May 2003 in a joint venture with Germany’s Nordzucker.

Australia and New Zealand are expected to approve the sweetener at the end of the year, while Japan is expected to approve the product next year, reported AFX News.