The environment committee of the European Parliament meets next week to discuss a draft law permitting the use of two additives that promise to help chewing gum retain its flavour longer.

Aspartame-acesulfame salt and sucralose were approved by the executive Commission of the EU last summer once scientists gave them the all-clear as far as consumer health is concerned.

Sucralose, some 600 times sweeter than sugar, has already been approved in 40 countries outside the EU, including Australia, Japan and the US. It is commonly found in carbonated soft drinks, desserts and confectionery products, reports Reuters.

Marketed by Johnson & Johnson as Splenda in the US, sucralose is unusual in retaining its sweetness even at high temperatures.

Aspartame-acesulfame salt is a hybrid of two sweeteners that are already permitted, aspartame and acesulfame. According to its manufacturer, the salt retains the sweetness of the chewing gum for longer.

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Should the two products get the go-ahead from the environment committee, it is expected that a full parliamentary session will address the bill within the next few months.