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Sucralose

 

Splenda is the most common product made from sucralose (but splenda is mixed with bulking agents). Discovered in 1976, it is produced by chemical transformation of sugar molecules by replacing three hydrogen-oxygen groups with chlorine atoms. Sucralose is about 600 times sweeter than sugar and has no kilojoules (zero calories).

 

Due to being so much sweeter than sugar, a lot less sucralose is needed to match the same sweet effect of sugar. 

 

The scientific consensus shows sweeteners such as sucralose are safe for consumption.

There is no conclusive evidence that sucralose is harmful to human health at the doses we consume. After reviewing the evidence available, sucralose has been approved for consumption in food products by various food authorities including in Europe, US (FDA) and by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).  

 

The human digestive system does not breakdown sucralose and it travels through the digestive system unchanged. This is why it is considered inherent safe for human consumption and provides zero calories when consumed.

ADI

An ADI of 0 to 15 mg/kg bw/day has been established based on animal studies 

 

The FDA recommends an ADI between 0 and 5 mg/kg bw/day.

 

The good news is: even high intake consumers would consume less than 3mg/kg/day.

This is based on consumption estimate studies, even with conservative approaches and studies targeted specifically for children and those with special dietary needs.

 


How is it safe for consumption?

 

FSANZ carries out safety assessments on food additives before they can be used. FSANZ checks whether:

  • ​the food additive is safe (at the use levels being proposed)

  • there is a good technological reason for using the additive.

FSANZ’s safety assessment process follows an internationally accepted (Codex Alimentarius) model involving a hazard (safety) assessment of the chemical and dietary exposure (consumption levels) assessment.

 

Food additives are approved only if no harmful effects are likely to result from their use.

 

For more information see

https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/additives/additivecontrol/Pages/default.aspx

 

Similarly the FDA approved the use of sucralose as a sweetener after reviewing over 110 safety studies. 

 

For more information see

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/additional-information-about-high-intensity-sweeteners-permitted-use-food-united-states

Common Myths


 

There are many myths circulated about sucralose. There is no available scientific evidence that can conclude any of these myths to be true.

 

  • Sucralose has been incorrectly concluded to cause damage to our gut bacteria and immune system dysfunction. To date there is no evidence to make this conclusion. 

  • Sucralose has been incorrectly associated with causing cancer (or being a carcinogen)

  • The chlorine atoms in sucralose do not cause any damage to our health. Since we do not metabolise sucralose, the chlorine is not released into our body. Many fruits and vegetable such as lettuce and celery also contain chlorine.

  • Sucralose has been incorrectly concluded to lead to increased risk of heart disease. The studies monitored a group's diet and any cardiovascular diseases. So there is a correlation in the foods and heart disease, but not causation between sweeteners and heart disease. The likely cause is these diets consisted of more processed foods.

  • Some studies have suggested sucralose is not suitable for baking as it can break down at higher temperatures. However these studies do not represent real-life uses of sucralose as they involved heating pure sucralose or being dissolved in high concentration of oil.

  • Sucralose and other sweeteners do not cause weight gain or overeating. Despite observational studies showing the potential link with sweeteners, controlled trials actually showed sweeteners can help with weight loss by changing eating behaviors.

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