Sucralose Pharmacology

The Science of SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener

SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (sucralose), the sweetening ingredient in all SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, is manufactured through a process that begins with sugar and produces a sweetener (sucralose) that is about 600 times sweeter than sugar. This means that average daily intakes are small—estimated at just 1 mg/kg/day. Sucralose is noncaloric and is not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate.

Sucralose Chemical Structure

Sucralose is manufactured using a patented multi-step process in which 3 hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar (sucrose) molecule are selectively replaced with 3 chlorine atoms. Sucralose, sold as SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener, starts with sugar and tastes like sugar, but sucralose is not sugar.

What is Sucralose?

The Role of Chlorine Atoms in the Sucralose Formula

The tightly bound chlorine atoms used in making sucralose are exceptionally stable and prevent the sucralose from being metabolized for energy. As a result, studies show that sucralose does not elevate blood glucose or serum insulin levels. The chlorine atoms also provide heat stability, enabling sucralose to be used in cooking and baking without losing sweetness.

Sucralose Absorption and Distribution

The majority (about 85%) of consumed sucralose is not absorbed and passes through the gastrointestinal tract unchanged. About 15% of ingested sucralose is passively absorbed, which is related to the fact that sucralose is a very small, very water-soluble molecule. Because sucralose is highly water soluble, absorbed sucralose is distributed to essentially all tissues. Sucralose is not lipophilic and does not bioaccumulate.

Sucralose Metabolism

Sucralose is not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate. Sucralose is not broken down for energy and provides no calories. About 2% of ingested sucralose is biotransformed into a toxicologically insignificant component and excreted in the urine. Sucralose does not bind to blood or other proteins. There is also no dechlorination or breakdown of the sucralose molecule to its component monosaccaride-like derivatives.

Sucralose Elimination

Most ingested sucralose is eliminated unchanged in the stool. Research shows that sucralose has no gastrointestinal effects. This is not an unexpected finding. Unlike some other poorly absorbed substances, sucralose is not broken down by gastrointestinal bacteria to lead to gas that can cause discomfort. Nor would sucralose be expected to cause any osmotic effects. The maximum estimated sucralose daily intake is so low (<3 mg/kg/day) that it is trivial in terms of volumes necessary for exerting any osmotic effects in the gastrointestinal environment.

Watch "Sucralose
in the Body" Video

View a short animation on what happens to sucralose after consumption.


SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener Compared to Sugar

How sucralose compares with granulated sugar in taste, carbohydrate content and calories.

Questions or comments? Call toll-free 1-866-867-7536 or Click Here for Customer Service.
© Heartland Consumer Products 1996-2015 | Carmel, Indiana USA. All rights reserved.
This site is published by Heartland Food Products Group, LLC which is solely responsible for its contents. This site and its contents are intended for U.S. healthcare professionals only.
This site may contain links to which our Privacy Policy does not apply. We encourage you to read the Privacy Policy of every website you visit.
Legal Notice  |  Privacy Policy

We have made updates to our site. Please confirm that your current information is correct and enter your medical license number, type, and specialty before continuing so that we can better meet your needs.