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A 7-year temporal trend study of artificial sweetener consumption was performed by determining per capital mass loads in 293 influent wastewater samples collected from a wastewater treatment plant in Australia between 2012 and 2018. Population-weighted per capita mass loads of the four detected artificial sweeteners ranged from 2.4 ± 0.8 mg d-1 p-1 for saccharin to 7.8 ± 2.0 mg d-1 p-1 for acesulfame over the study period. Negligible intra-week fluctuations were observed, however the consumption of acesulfame was seen to be significantly influenced by season with the highest consumption in summer. The consumption of sucralose and saccharin significantly increased with an annual increase rate of 10% and 6.0%. Cyclamate consumption declined over the same period with average annual decrease rate of 11%, which agrees with data from market surveys. Sucrose equivalence of total artificial sweeteners consumption showed an increase between 2012 and 2016, then decreased in 2018. This is the first long-term trend study of artificial sweetener consumption by wastewater analysis and highlights the feasibility to quantitatively measure artificial sweeter consumption over time. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Dandan Li, Jake W O'Brien, Benjamin J Tscharke, Phil M Choi, Fahad Ahmed, Jack Thompson, Jochen F Mueller, Hongwen Sun, Kevin V Thomas. Trends in artificial sweetener consumption: A 7-year wastewater-based epidemiology study in Queensland, Australia. The Science of the total environment. 2021 Feb 01;754:142438

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PMID: 33254907

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