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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.