Believe it or not, there’s some misinformation on the internet today regarding artificial sweeteners. One in particular, sucralose, deserves some clarification. Sucralose is a sucrose (table sugar) molecule with three hydroxyl groups replaced with three chloride groups. This tinkering with the molecule has some important effects. Firstly, it makes the sucralose molecule about 600 times as sweet as regular sugar, and secondly, our bodies cannot absorb it, making it zero calories. It is currently approved for use in about 80 countries, and it was approved in the U.S. in 1998. Sucralose comes in the brand name forms of Splenda, Sukrana, SucraPlus, Cukren, and Nevella, and it can be used to replace sugar or other artificial sweeteners. It is also heat and pH-stable, making it usable in baked goods, soft drinks, canned goods, and candy.
Contrary to what some people have said on the internet, all evidence overwhelmingly supports its safety and proper use. Sucralose has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Joint Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives, the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Food, Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada, and Food Standards Australia-New Zealand (FSANZ). Sucralose is one of only two (the other incidentally is Neotame) artificial sweeteners approved by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. In 110 animal and human studies, the FDA has unanimously agreed that there was a lack of risk associated with its consumption. In testing maximum dosage, researchers noted that enormous doses in mice could cause damage. The equivalent human dose would be 11,450 packets of Splenda per day!
These studies have proved the sucralose is safe for consumption, but for those of you who are still skeptical about sucralose, we’d like to hear about it. What have you heard or what about sucralose bothers you?