a white, crystalline, odorless, slightly water-soluble noncarbohydrate powder, C 14 H 18 N 2 O 5 , synthesized from amino acids, that is 150–200 times as sweet as sugar: used as a low-calorie sugar substitute in soft drinks, table sweeteners, and other food products.
Origin of aspartame
1970-75;aspart(yl phenyl)a(linine)m(ethyl)e(ster), the powder's chemical name
commercial name of an artificial sweetener, 1973, from aspartic acid (1836), formed irregularly from asparagine (1813), a compound found in asparagus, beet-root, etc., from asparagus + chemical suffix -ine (2). The reason for -ame is unknown.