What is Sucralose?
Sucralose is a high-intensity artificial sweetener made from sugar (sucrose) through a chemical process. It was discovered by accident in the UK in 1976 and was first approved for use as a sweetener in Canada in 1993, followed by the European Union in 2004.
Sucralose is identified by its electronic number 955 and has a systematic name of 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside. Its chemical formula is C12H19Cl3O8. It is a white, nearly tasteless crystalline powder that is about 600 times sweeter than sugar.
Sucralose is present in over 4,000 food products and is a popular sweetener in the sports industry as it provides virtually no additional calories. It does not provide calories because the body has difficulty breaking down sucralose. Within five days, 85.5% of the sucralose intake is excreted through urine, and 11% is eliminated in feces. Only 3% is metabolized in the kidneys.
China has the most factories producing sucralose, with 255 suppliers. The United States is second with 28 suppliers, and the UK, where sucralose was invented, has 11 suppliers. It is sold under many different brand names,.
Is Sucralose Safe?
For all approved artificial sweeteners, the answer is the same: yes, they are safe enough to be approved as long as you stay below the acceptable daily intake (ADI).
According to the Swedish Food Agency, the ADI for sucralose is set at 15 milligrams per kilogram of body weight and is based on feeding rats extremely high doses of sucralose and monitoring them for weight loss on the second day. (ADI values correspond to the highest amount of a substance that a person can consume every day of their life without harm.)
A 2014 Israeli study on mice published in the scientific journal “Nature” showed that saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame can affect gut bacteria, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Whether humans will have the same results remains unknown.
The biggest concern about sucralose is that it is an organic chlorinated compound, similar to the now-banned insecticide DDT and PCBs. Some researchers believe that sucralose must have the same harmful effects, but the completed studies do not support this claim. Salt also contains chlorine, and salt is a compound of sodium and chlorine. That’s something we eat every day.
The Benefits of Sucralose
Sucralose, also known as Splenda, is a widely used artificial sweetener that has gained popularity due to its many benefits. Here are some of the benefits of using Sucralose:
- It is inexpensive. Compared to other sweeteners, Sucralose is relatively cheap, making it a popular choice among consumers.
- It is 600 times sweeter than sugar. This means that a small amount of Sucralose can go a long way in sweetening your food or drinks.
- It is heat stable. Unlike some other sweeteners, Sucralose can withstand high temperatures, making it suitable for use in cooking and baking.
- It is stable. Sucralose has a long shelf life and does not break down easily, making it a popular choice among manufacturers who require a long-lasting sweetener.
- It is low in calories. Sucralose is not metabolized by the body and is excreted in the feces, making it virtually calorie-free.
- It is made from sugar. Sucralose is made from sugar, which gives it a “natural” connotation, unlike other artificial sweeteners that are made from chemicals.
Overall, Sucralose has many benefits and is a safe and effective alternative to sugar for those who are looking to reduce their sugar intake or manage their weight.
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