ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

All About Sucralose

Updated on May 1, 2012

Don't get this one confused with sucrose, or cane (table) sugar. Sucralose is one of the sweetest artificial sweeteners on store shelves today, and you may recognize it by one of its names on the market: Splenda. Not only does sucralose have a better taste when compared to the likes of aspartame or saccharin, it's also stable enough for baking and about 600 times sweeter than sugar. Despite these positives, there are several drawbacks to using sucralose.

What is sucralose?

Sucralose has been on the artificial sweetener scene since 1976 and is researchers' attempt to create an insecticide. Its name itself is highly controversial, since it contains the suffix -ose which isn't normally used for additives, and its proposed name was originally trichlorogalactosucrose. The Food and Drug Administration permitted it retain the name sucralose.

It was discovered when--you guessed it--researcher Shashikant Phadnis tasted the compound in a lab after mistakenly believing another researcher, Leslie Hough, asked him to taste it. Sucralose didn't become widely used in foods and beverages until sometime later, with the United States approving it for use in 1998, while Canada was the first country to approve the sweetener in 1991. The Food and Drug Administration amended regulations for use of sucralose in foods in 2006.

Sucralose is now used in thousands of foods and beverages because it adds no calories to foods, goes easy on the teeth (i.e. doesn't contribute to cavities) and unlike other sweeteners doesn't affect insulin levels in the body. The sweetener isn't sold individually in pure form and is otherwise mixed with bulking agents such as maltodextrin or dextrose when sold as Splenda. The additional agents help stabilize the sucralose, which can break down in higher temperatures.

Sucrose
Sucrose
Sucralose
Sucralose

On a molecular level, sucralose is made when table sugar undergoes selective chlorination.

Sounds fancy, eh?

The process involves replacing three hydroxyl groups with chloride, by way of selectively protecting those primary alcohol groups through acetylation. Acetylation is just a technical way of saying a reaction which adds an acetyl functional group to the already existing chemical compound to creating another (adding "one" and "two" to get "three"). This is followed by the deprotection of those primary alcohol groups. The partially acetylated sugar is then chlorinated with phosphorus oxychloride (though other compounds may be used) and the acetyl groups removed to give us sucralose. This is just a simple way to explain the process, as the likes of acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, methanol in the presence of dimethylformamide, trityl chloride, thionyl chloride, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, benzyltriethlyammonium chloride, methyl isobutyl ketone and sodium methoxide are all used to make sucralose.

Should I be consuming sucralose?

Sure, if you find acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, methanol in the presence of dimethylformamide, trityl chloride, thionyl chloride, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, benzyltriethlyammonium chloride, methyl isobutyl ketone and sodium methoxide to be quite tasty!

In short, because sucralose is a processed additive, natural sweeteners will always fair better for consumption by default.

The creation of sucralose involves well-known carcinogens, such as chlorine. Chlorine is a major component in many insecticides (from which sucralose was discovered by accident in the first place), pesticides, various poisons, plastics and cleaners. Since sucralose hasn't been in circulation for human consumption for very long there aren't too many definitive studies on its long term effects, but some consumers have reported the following short term symptoms after consuming it:

  • Nausea
  • Rashes and other skin issues
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Allergy-like reactions (itchy eyes, sore throat, runny nose, ect...)
  • Chest pains
  • Anxiety

It's important to note while sucralose contains no carbohydrates, the addition of maltodextrin or dextrose to it does. This can be of concern for diabetics, who may get more of their daily recommended value of carbs if used regularly.

Yes, there are alternatives!

There most certainly are alternatives to using artificial sweeteners, so don't worry, more on those are coming shortly. As said previously, by default anything natural is always healthier than processed foods, so instead of shying away from your favorite dishes opt for natural sweetening options instead.

Here is more information on foods and additives you may want to avoid:

The Dangers of Processed Foods

All About Trans Fat

All About Aspartame

All About Saccharin

All About High Fructose Corn Syrup

All About Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • HarperDavis profile imageAUTHOR

      HarperDavis 

      5 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for visiting! :)

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for sharing this info. I've now moved from Splenda to Truvia.

    • HarperDavis profile imageAUTHOR

      HarperDavis 

      6 years ago from Midwest

      @Pamela99 Thanks!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have not used any artificial sweeteners for years. This is a very good informative hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)