A Safe Food Ingredient
All food ingredients have to undergo extensive testing before they are allowed to be sold. Sucralose is no exception.
An overwhelming body of science supports the fact that sucralose has an excellent safety profile and is conclusively tested. The safety of sucralose is supported by scientific studies conducted over a 20-year period.
The safety of sucralose has been considered by leading medical, scientific and regulatory authorities around the world including:
- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
- Health Canada
- Food Standards Australia/New Zealand
- Japanese Food Sanitation Council
- The Joint (Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)
Sucralose and Environmental Safety
All have found sucralose to be safe for use as a food ingredient by the general population, including children and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is also suitable for people with diabetes, because it does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels.
Unfortunately, some individuals and organizations have taken results from some of the safety studies out of context, to try to raise doubts about the safety of sucralose (e.g. highlighting the results of a study that was not designed to assess a particular health parameter, while ignoring the results of other studies that were). Such out of context criticism could be made of the focus of any scientific study. It’s bad science, scare-mongering and plain wrong. And it has also created a variety of myths about sucralose.
Full scientific scrutiny has been made of sucralose by regulatory agencies and it is our view that they are the best qualified people to listen to on such matters.
The safety profile of sucralose
Sucralose has been conclusively studied and has an exemplary safety record. Below is a sample of some of the research conducted on sucralose.
Safety studies show that sucralose is a safe and essentially inert ingredient. Conclusions from the studies include the following:
- No known side effects
- Not toxic: No adverse effects seen in test animals, even in amounts equivalent in sweetness to 40+ pounds of sugar per day for life
- No effect on carbohydrate metabolism
- No effect on short- or long-term blood glucose control or on serum insulin levels: Sucralose is suitable for people with diabetes
- No calories or carbohydrates: Sucralose is not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate and is not metabolized or otherwise broken down for energy
The scientific studies demonstrate, and regulatory agencies agree, that sucralose is safe.
FACT: Sucralose is safe for people with diabetes Details >>
Numerous studies show that sucralose is not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate and thus, has no effect on blood glucose control or insulin response. These studies included high-dose prolonged-use studies involving people with diabetes and those without the condition. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) concluded that the overall data on sucralose supports its safety for the general population, including people with diabetes.
Fact: Sucralose can be helpful in a weight reduction program Details >>
No-calorie sweeteners can be one tool in a healthy, balanced weight reduction plan. The US Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines recommend consumers choose foods and beverages that moderate their intake of sugars. Products sweetened with sucralose can help consumers achieve this goal. People who want to lose weight must consider many factors, including exercise, overall diet and psychological, cultural and emotional factors.
Fact: Sucralose is safe for the environment Details >>
As part of the safety assessment of sucralose, a number of environmental studies were undertaken in order to ensure that sucralose has no adverse impact on the environment. The environmental studies clearly demonstrated that sucralose is not harmful to plants or wildlife and does not bioaccumulate. Moreover, sucralose does not interfere with the sewage treatment process. Sucralose is inherently biodegradable. In soil, sucralose breaks down to salt, water and carbon dioxide. For more, the Calorie Control Council sat down with Duane Huggett, PhD for a Question and Answer session.
Download: Sucralose Fact Sheet
Download: Facts About Sucralose Brochure
How sucralose is made from sugar
Researchers at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, discovered sucralose in 1976, during a collaborative research program with UK sugar producer, Tate & Lyle, PLC.
Sucralose is made by a multi-step process that starts with ordinary table sugar (sucrose) and replaces three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule with three chlorine atoms. This results in a stable sweetener that tastes like sugar, but is calorie-free.
After being discovered, sucralose was put through a conclusive safety testing program over a 20-year period. Today sucralose is permitted for use worldwide.