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Sweeteners
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Sucralose: An Overview

Sucralose is a non-caloric sweetener made from sugar. Sucralose is derived from sugar through a multi-step patented manufacturing process that selectively substitutes three atoms of chlorine for three hydroxyl groups on the sugar molecule. This change produces a sweetener that has no calories, yet is 600 times sweeter than sucrose. Sucralose tastes like sugar. It has a clean, quickly perceptible, sweet taste that does not leave an unpleasant aftertaste. The exceptional stability of sucralose allows both food manufacturers and consumers to use it virtually anywhere sugar is used, including cooking and baking.

Discovered in 1976, sucralose has been developed jointly by McNeil Specialty Products Company, a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and Tate & Lyle, PLC, a world leader in sweeteners and starches. Sucralose was granted approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 1, 1998 and approved for use in 15 food and beverage categories. This is the broadest initial approval ever granted by FDA for a food ingredient. The FDA expanded the uses for sucralose in 1999, approving it as a "general purpose" sweetener. Sucralose has also been approved for use in foods and beverages in more than 40 countries including Canada, Australia and Mexico.

Sucralose is not utilized for energy in the body because it is not broken down like sucrose. It passes rapidly through the body virtually unchanged. Sucralose has been extensively tested in more than 100 studies during a 20-year period and found to be a safe and remarkably inert ingredient. It can be used by all populations, including pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children of all ages. No population subgroup has been excluded from using sucralose. Sucralose is beneficial for individuals with diabetes because research demonstrates that sucralose has no effect on carbohydrate metabolism, short- or long-term blood glucose control, or insulin secretion.

One advantage of sucralose for food and beverage manufacturers and consumers is its exceptional stability. It retains its sweetness over a wide range of temperature and storage conditions and in solutions over time. Because of its stability, food manufacturers can use sucralose to create a number of great-tasting new foods and beverages in categories such as canned fruit, low-calorie fruit drinks, baked goods, and sauces and syrups. Sucralose also can be used as a sweetener in nutritional supplements, medical foods, and vitamin/mineral supplements.

Sucralose is available as an ingredient for use in a broad range of foods and beverages under the name SPLENDA Brand Sweetener. Currently, a range of products sweetened with SPLENDA are on supermarket shelves, such as carbonated soft drinks, low-calorie fruit drinks, maple syrup, and apple sauce.

Sucralose is available in supermarkets as a tabletop sweetener under the brand name SPLENDA in two forms - granular and packets. The granular tabletop sweetener can be used as a spoon-for-spoon replacement for sugar. It pours, measures, and cooks and bakes like sugar.

BENEFITS

Tastes Like Sugar - Sucralose tastes like sugar and has no unpleasant aftertaste. In scientific taste tests conducted by independent research organizations, sucralose was found to have a taste profile very similar to sugar.

Can Help Control Caloric Intake - Sucralose is not metabolized, thus it has no calories. It passes rapidly through the body virtually unchanged, is unaffected by the body's digestive process, and does not accumulate in the body. By replacing sucralose for sugar in foods and beverages, calories can be reduced substantially, or, in many products, practically eliminated.

Advantageous for People with Diabetes - Sucralose is not recognized as sugar or a carbohydrate by the body. Thus, it has no effect on glucose utilization, carbohydrate metabolism, the secretion of insulin, or glucose and fructose absorption. Studies in persons with normal blood glucose levels and in persons with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes have confirmed that sucralose has no effect on short- or long-term blood glucose control.

Does Not Promote Tooth Decay - Scientific studies have shown that sucralose does not support the growth of oral bacteria and does not promote tooth decay. Extraordinary Heat Stability - Sucralose is exceptionally heat stable, making it ideal for use in baking, canning, pasteurization, aseptic processing and other manufacturing processes that require high temperatures. In studies among a range of baked goods, canned fruits, syrups, and jams and jellies, no measurable loss of sucralose occurred during processing and throughout shelf life.

Long Shelf Life - Sucralose combines the taste of sugar with the heat, liquid and storage stability required for use in all types of foods and beverages. It is particularly stable in acidic products, such as carbonated soft drinks, and in other liquid based products (e.g., sauces, jelly, milk products, processed fruit drinks). Sucralose is also very stable in dry applications such as powdered beverages, instant desserts, and tabletop sweeteners.

Ingredient Compatibility - Sucralose has excellent solubility characteristics for use in food and beverage manufacturing and it is highly compatible with commonly used food ingredients, including flavors, seasonings, and preservatives.

SAFETY

The safety of sucralose is documented by one of the most extensive and thorough safety testing programs ever conducted on a new food additive. More than 100 studies conducted and evaluated over a 20-year period clearly demonstrate the safety of sucralose. Studies were conducted in a broad range of areas to assess whether there were any safety risks regarding cancer, genetic effects, reproduction and fertility, birth defects, immunology, the central nervous system, and metabolism. These studies indicate that sucralose:

Does not cause:

  • tooth decay
  • cancer
  • genetic changes
  • birth defects

Has no effect on:

  • carbohydrate metabolism, short or long-term blood glucose control or insulin secretion
  • male or female reproduction
  • the immune system

Source: Calorie Control Council

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