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 UK Food Standards Agency
- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Health Canada
- Food Standards Australia/New Zealand
- Japanese Food Sanitation Council
- The Joint (Food and Agriculture Organisation/World Health Organisation) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)
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 organisations 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.
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 over the past 25 years.
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 20+ kilograms 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 carbohydrate: Sucralose is not recognised by the body as a carbohydrate and is not metabolised or otherwise broken down for energy
In other words, you can eat sucralose without worrying about any health consequences. The scientific studies, all the regulatory agencies agree, show sucralose to be safe.
FACT: Sucralose is safe for people with diabetes
Numerous studies show that sucralose is not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate and so 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 (US 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
No-calorie sweeteners can be one tool in a healthy, balanced weight reduction plan. They can also help people moderate their intake of sugars. However, 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
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 bio accumulate. 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.
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 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 as a sweetener in more than 80 countries.