Sweeteners are food additives which are used:

• To impart a sweet taste in foodstuffs
• As table-top sweeteners

As for all food additives, sweeteners are regulated substances which are subject to safety evaluation prior to market authorisation. In the European Union (EU), the European Commission, Parliament and Council regulate the use of food additives; in particular, the Commission and Member States decide which additives can be used in foods and at what levels. All food additives are included in the ingredient lists on product labels which must identify both the function of the food additive in the finished food (i.e. sweetener) and the specific substance used either by referring to the appropriate E number or its name (e.g. E 954 for ‘Saccharin’).