NutraSweet will reopen line to increase aspartame supply

by Jeff Gelski
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NEW YORK — The NutraSweet Co. will increase production of aspartame, a sugar substitute, by about 30% by restarting a production line at a plant in Augusta, Ga., this year.

Beverage manufacturers such as the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo use about 80% of NutraSweet’s aspartame, said Craig Petray, NutraSweet’s chief executive. Diet drinks from both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo saw increases in sales last year.

Reopening part of the Augusta facility, which was shut down in 2003, should increase NutraSweet’s aspartame production capacity to 10,000 tons. The plant should reach full capacity by 2006, Mr. Petray said.

NutraSweet, a privately held company, is based in Chicago.

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