Diet Pepsi quietly changes sweetener

Published: .
Updated: .

Diet Pepsi has been quietly changing how it sweetens the soft drink.

Diet Pepsi used to contain only the sweetener aspartame, which is sensitive to heat and breaks down more easily. Now it also contains another sweetener (acesulfame potassium) that's used in a wide range of foods including baked goods, chewing gum and gelatin desserts.

The goal of the pairing is to help the soda maintain its potency longer.

This summer, PepsiCo wouldn't say whether it would go ahead with such a change after reports surfaced that it was testing the new sweetener combination.

Although the switch is only intended to help prevent the taste from degrading over time, companies are often sensitive to public perceptions that they might be tinkering with major brands.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)