How Sucralose (aka Splenda) Is Made And Why You Want To Avoid It

I wanted to comment on Splenda.  Splenda, also known as sucralose, was created accidentally when some chemists were trying to produce an insecticide.  Here is the process by which they produce the formula sold in stores:

“1.  Sucrose is tritylated with trityl chloride in the presence of dimethylformamide and 4-methylmorpholine, and the tritylated sucrose is then acetylated with acetic anhydride.

2.  The resulting sucrose molecule TRISPA is chlorinated with hydrogen chlorine in the presence of tolulene.

3.  The resulting 4-PAS is heated in the presence of methyl isobutyl ketone and acetic acid.

4.  The resulting 6-PAS is chlorinated with thionyl chloride in the presence of toluene and benzyltriethylammonium chloride.

5.  The resulting TOSPA is treated with methanol in the presence of sodium methoxide to produce sucralose.”  (Note that methanol, wood alcohol aka paint remover,  is one of the questionable ingredients in aspartame.)

In addition, the bags and packets of Splenda commercially available are not pure sucralose.  They also contain bulking agents.  All artificial sweeteners use bulking agents.  Do you know what they use?  Sugar.  Dextrose, sucrose, and maltodextrin.  (Maltodextrin is corn syrup solids composed primarily from fructose and glucose in a starch form.)   All sweetener packets are at least 96 percent sugar.  Splenda is 99% sugar.

The packets are labelled calorie free as a result of manipulating a loophole in the food labeling laws.  The product can be described as sugar free if a serving contains less than 5 grams of sugar, and calorie free if a serving is less than 5 calories.  So they set the serving size on bags at .5 grams  and the packets contain a serving of 1 gram.  A one gram packet contains 4 calories.   This can be confirmed on the manufacturer’s website in the FAQ section:  “Like many no and low calorie sweeteners, each serving of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener contains a very small amount of common food ingredients, e.g., dextrose and/or maltodextrin, for volume. Because the amount of these ingredients is so small, SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener still has an insignificant calorie value per serving and meets FDA’s standards for “no calorie” sweeteners. “

To make matters worse, when sucralose was shown to not raise blood sugars, it was the pure substance that was tested, not the mixture that is sold to the public.  Dextrose, sucrose, and/or maltodextrin are definitely going to raise a diabetic’s blood sugar.  There is also a great deal of evidence that artificial sweeteners actually cause an increase in appetite, causing people who consume them to take in more calories than they would otherwise.

Stevia, on the other hand, lowers blood sugar, making it a much better choice.  If you have tried stevia in the past and did not like the flavor, you might want to try another brand.  SteviaClear is a good brand which will sweeten beverages and some foods using just a very small amount.  For sweeting hot liquids, you might prefer KAL stevia powder. For baking, recipes are a little harder to convert because sugar in baked goods liquifies when heated.  To replace sugar with stevia for baking, you need to find a way to add extra liquid to the recipe.

Parents, if you want to be sure your children are avoiding sucralose, remember to check their medications.  Many over the counter medications, prescription medications, and even chewable vitamins contain sucralose or other artificial sweeteners.  If you are looking for whole foods vitamins without artificial sweetener, colors, or flavors, here are some safe choices.

Information about artificial sweeteners is available in greater detail in Dr. Mercola’s book, Take Control of Your Health or through his website, sweetdeception.com.

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