Little Yellow Packets
In the United States, Sucralose is marketed under the brand name Splenda. Most diabetics have heard of this sugar alternative, marketed as the no-calorie sweetener made from sugar. According to an entry on Wikipedia,: “Sucralose is approximately 600 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar),twice as sweet as saccharin, and four times as sweet as aspartame. “ Today not only diabetics, but many others use Sucralose in all of their sweetened foods/drinks every day.
How Safe Is It?
Sucralose was discovered in 1976 by, according to popular legend, by a cross in communication. A researcher thought he was asked to taste the powder, when he was actually asked to ‘test’ it. He found that the Sucralose was very sweet and it was from there that Sucralose began its journey to our kitchens. The Canadian equivalent of the U.S. FDA allowed Sucralose to be introduced to the Canadian market in 1991 and the Canadian Diabetes Association concluded that a person of 150 pounds could ingest what amounts to 75 packets of Sucralose a day with no ill effects for a lifetime.
One adverse effect that is suspected: Sucralose may trigger migraines in some people who are prone to them.
Sucralose has been marketed as zero calories. The actual product does contain a very low amount of calories, but in the United States, if a product contains a very small amount, almost negligible, it can state 0 calories. Sucralose actually contains nearly the same amount of calories as sugar per 100 grams. The difference in calorific content becomes clear when the volume is measure. Sucralose is only 14.5% the volume of sugar, meaning less is needed for the identical amount of sweetening. When Sucralose is added to manufactured food products, no fillers are used, so no calories are added to the final product.
The makers of Splenda have found themselves at the center of controversy often in the past few years. Another alternative sweetener company brought suit against the Splenda manufacturers for stating that Splenda was made from sugar. Originally the product was made from sugar, so the company used that as their marketing strategy. Recently, a complaint to the FTC stated that Sucralose was not found in nature, so it could not be considered a natural alternative. In countries around the world, Splenda is facing the same accusations of misleading consumers.
Use of Splenda is not considered harmful by the health and food government institutions, but diabetics are urged by many health groups to find more natural ways to sweeten their foods.