Sucralose is an artificial sweetener used in place of sugar. It is much sweeter than many other artificial sweeteners, but is not easily absorbed by the human body. This chemical is not found in nature and is synthesized in manufacturing plants. It is normally used in beverage and food products as a replacement for sugar and other natural and artificial sweeteners.
Sucralose is made by adding chloride molecules to selective spots on a sucrose molecule. Hydroxyl groups consist of an oxygen and hydrogen molecule. Three chloride molecules are added. Acetylation and chlorination make the molecule replacement. The protection is removed from the selected hydroxyl groups, with the final molecule being sucralose.
The properties of sucralose are different from regular sugar and other sweeteners. Sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sucrose. It is three times sweeter than aspartame and two times sweeter than saccharin. This sweetener is stable under a range of pH's and heat. Unlike other artificial sweeteners, sucralose can be used for cooking and baking as it will not degrade.
This sugar replacement is an ingredient in many low or no-calorie products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of this product in foods in 1998. Products containing it are widely available in grocery stores and food outlets.
In its purest form, sucralose alone does not contain any calories. Some products containing it are mixed with fillers, including dextrose and maltodextrin. These fillers may contain some calories, though overall the calorie content is generally less than five calories per serving.
This molecule is not absorbed by the body as the addition of chloride molecules means that it can no longer fit into sweetness receptors in the body. The chlorine makes the fructose part of the molecule more hydrophobic, or unable to mix with water. Binding in the body is no longer possible and the molecule simply passes through the digestive system.
Unlike many artificial sweeteners, sucralose is largely considered safe for human consumption, according to the Center for Science in Public Interest. No major side effects were found in 110 studies when the estimated daily intake was followed. There are no known carcinogenic effects and the product is considered safe for individuals with diabetes. There are also no known environmental effects to this sweetener products and disposal.