Diet Pepsi Artificial Sweetener: How One Incredibly Artificial Soda Is about to Get Even Faker by Adding New Heat-Resistant Chemicals

By Anthony Smith on August 31, 2012 3:41 PM EDT

Diet Pepsi
Diet Pepsi is about to get even faker by replacing its artificial sweetener "aspartame" with heat-resistant "ace-K" to increase its shelf-life. (Photo: PepsiCo)

Even before you think "half-hearted diet," when you think Diet Pepsi, you think "Artificial Sweetener," like aspartame. But all that's about to change: you're about to think "artificial sweetener" even harder than you ever have before.

And longer, too. At present, PepsiCo is currently retreating into its test kitchen to concoct a new blend of artificial sweeteners that will allow the company to help its diet soda keep its science-project taste for even longer than it used to.

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Now, I know what you're thinking: how long do supermarkets keep Diet Pepsi on their shelves that this is an actual problem that PepsiCo's Research and Development team is going to be pouring tons of money into?

We prefer not to think of it. But here's the problem for PepsiCo at current: aspartame, the artificial sweetener du jour, loses its flavor so much faster than its more fattening cousin, high fructose corn syrup, the lifeblood of just about everything ever in America.

According to a source, PepsiCo had thought about importing versions of Diet Pepsi that have been distributed in other countries. But they've come to a different conclusion: they'll be trying out a new version that could come out as early as 2013.

After losing tons of market share to their long-time rival Coca Cola, PepsiCo is attempting to do whatever it takes to reinvigorate their flagship brand of pop at present. As such, the company has poured more money than they ever have into boosting their advertising, which for the last two years was outspent and outperformed by Diet Coke for the spot of Number Two soda in the country. Regular Coke remains the unchallenged Number One.

Unfortunately for Diet Pepsi, they rank Number 7, and earned about half as much money last year as Diet Coke did.

According to the source, the newer, older Diet Pepsi is going to have the same overall taste as the soft drink it's replacing, but it will star ace-K, rather than Aspartame, in order to increase its shelf life. Aspartame is more sensitive to heat, while ace-K is basically The Incredible Hulk.

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