Sucralose is a no-calorie sweetener 600 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose). It was discovered in 1976 by researchers at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, during a collaborative research program with the sugar producer Tate & Lyle, PLC. Sucralose is made by replacing three hydrogen-oxygen groups on a sucrose molecule with three chlorine atoms. Sucralose is used as an ingredient in a broad range of foods and beverages and as a tabletop sweetener under the name SPLENDA®.
Sucralose is safe for the entire family, including children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is permitted for use in foods and beverages in nearly 80 countries including Canada, Australia and Mexico. Sucralose was approved for use in 15 food and beverage categories by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 1998 and as a “general purpose” sweetener in 1999. Like other low- and no-calorie sweeteners, sucralose is also suitable for individuals with diabetes.
Research demonstrates that it has no effect on carbohydrate metabolism, short- or long- term blood glucose control, or insulin secretion. Following its discovery, sucralose underwent extensive safety testing. More than 100 safety studies have been conducted over a 20-year period, with no safety concerns found. These studies include assessments for cancer, genetic damage, reproduction and fertility, birth defect, immunology, central nervous system, and metabolic assessments.
The safety of sucralose has been confirmed by leading medical, scientific and regulatory authorities around the world including, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food, Health Canada and Food Standards Australia/New Zealand.
Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)
The US FDA has set the ADI for sucralose for children and adults at 5 mg/kg body weight. This means a 150-pound (68 kg) person can safely consume 340 mg of sucralose every day over his or her lifetime without adverse effects. The amount of sucralose in Diet Coke with Sucralose sold by The Coca-Cola Company in the U.S. is 60 mg per 12-fl. oz. serving.*
*Amount as of May 2012; rounded up to the nearest 5 mg.
The vast majority of ingested sucralose passes through the digestive system unchanged. The small amount of sucralose that is absorbed is not metabolized, but is rapidly eliminated in urine as sucralose. Sucralose does not accumulate in the body.
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