Neotame is an artificial sweetener made by NutraSweet that is between 7,000 and 13,000 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). It is moderately heat-stable, extremely potent, rapidly metabolized completely eliminated, and does not appear to accumulate in the body.
The major metabolic pathway is hydrolysis of the methyl ester by esterases that are present throughout the body, which yields de-esterified neotame and methanol. Because only trace amounts of neotame are needed to sweeten foods, the amount of methanol derived from neotame is much lower than that found in common foods.
The product is attractive to food manufacturers, as its use greatly lowers the cost of production compared to using sugar or high fructose corn syrup (due to the lower quantities needed to achieve the same sweetening), while also benefitting the consumer by providing fewer "empty" sugar calories and a lower impact on blood sugar.