The analytical method for sweeteners in various food matrixes is very important for food quality control and regulation enforcement. A simple and rapid method for the simultaneous determination of 10 sweeteners [acesulfame potassium (ACS-K), aspartame (ASP), cyclamate (CYC), dulcin (DUL), glycyrrhizic acid (GA), neotame (NEO), neohesperidin dihydrochalcone (NHDC), saccharin (SAC), sucralose (SCL), and stevioside (STV)] in various foods by liquid chromatography/tandem mass chromatography (LC-MS/MS) was developed. The chromatographic separation was performed on a Phenomenex Luna Phenyl-Hexyl (5 μm, 4.6 mm × 150 mm) column with gradient elution of 10 mM ammonium acetate in water and 10 mM ammonium acetate in methanol. The recoveries of the 10 sweeteners were between 75% and 120%, and the coefficients of variation were less than 20%. The limits of quantification were 0.5 μg/kg for NHDC and SCL. For the other sweeteners, the limits of quantification were 0.1 μg/kg. Compared to the traditional high-performance liquid chromatography method, the LC-MS/MS method could provide better sensitivity, higher throughput, enhanced specificity, and more sweeteners analyzed in a single run. The samples included 27 beverages (16 alcoholic and 11 nonalcoholic beverages) and 15 pickled foods (1 pickled pepper, 3 candies, and 11 candied fruits). Two remanufactured wines were found to contain 7.2, 8.5 μg/g SAC and 126.5, 123 μg/g CYC, respectively. ACS-K, ASP, SCL, and NEO were detected in five beverages and drinks. The pickled peppers and candied fruits were found to contain SAC, GA, CYC, ASP, STV, NEO, and ACS-K. The wine with sweeteners detected was remanufactured wine, not naturally fermented wine. Therefore, the ingredient label for the sweeteners of remanufactured wine should be regulated by the proper authority for inspection of sweeteners. © 2014, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan.

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