The name of sucralose it makes us understand that it could be one sweetening substance, but are we really sure? And where is this food product, have we ever seen it on the labels? Let's find out by framing it also within its categories, comparing it to other substances with similar characteristics.
Sucralose: what it is
It really is a substance that belongs to the category of artificial sweeteners. In the chemical field it is defined as a chlorinated derivative of sucrose, because three hydroxyl groups of this sugar are replaced by three chlorine atoms. Without going into too much technical terms, let's see what effect this substance has on us and where it is used.
Compared to the very common cooking sugar we are used to thinking when talking about sweetness, that is, sucrose, sucralose has a much greater sweetening power, we are talking about well 600 times higher. From the point of view of the organoleptic characteristics, many similarities can be identified but if we look at the calories we realize that, if sucrose contains 4 per gram, sucralose not even one.
A substance with so few calories but with such a high sweetening power is not easy to manage when doses have to be made and it is also for this reason that it is generally conveyed by maltodextrin, i.e. short-chain glucose polymers.
The products that most often contain the sucralose are supplements and dietary products, we also find it in some foods. It is very appreciated by those who are following a low-calorie diet to lose weight even if it should be consumed with meaning. If you substitute this for sucrose artificial sweetener but you continue to eat in a disordered way and do not do physical activity, certainly you will not get great results.
Another case where this sweetener proves invaluable is when it comes to embarking on one diabetic diet. This is because sucralose does not affect blood sugar levels unlike what happens with common table sugar and other sweeteners with similar sweetening power.
Sucralose and aspartame
Ever since we began to suspect that aspartame might be toxic, the sucarlose it has risen in altitude and continues to enjoy important commercial success. There is still no final verdict on aspartame but many prefer to be cautious. When we talk about aspartame we mean a substance other thansweetener to which we dedicated the article, it is a combination of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine and it is the latter that is particularly toxic for phenylketonurics, which is why products containing this artificial sweetener must clearly state that they are a source of phenylalanine.
In addition to being non-toxic, the sucralose unlike aspartame, it has the advantage of being stable at the temperatures at which normal baked goods are normally prepared. In the ingredients we find aspartame with the initials E951 while the sucralose with the initials E955, the acceptable daily dose (D.G.A.) set for the latter is 15 mg per kg of body weight.
The news comes from 2017, when theEfsa (European Food Safety Authority) has decreed that the sucralose (E955) it is safe and its consumption is not related to the onset of cancer. There are still doubts on the part of some scholars who continue to support some dangers related to this sweetener which officially is neither toxic nor In particular at the time of the verdict there was an Italian study conducted by Morando Soffritti of the Ramazzini Institute which showed the carcinogenic effect of the sweetener in mice.
The Parma Authority replied that "The available data do not support the authors' conclusions" underlining some limitations of the research carried out by the Bolognese institute. The methodology chosen by the researchers, for example, is unconventional and has led to inconclusive results, which cannot demonstrate any cause-effect relationship between the intake of sucralose and tumor development. Furthermore, the effects observed on the mouse model are not superimposable to what could occur in humans.
On the other hand, the safety of the sucralose it had already been proven by more than 110 scientific studies aimed at identifying possible adverse effects by the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies. The evaluations carried out confirm the safety of the sweetener also for children, for pregnant and lactating women.
Sucralose in the kitchen
Sucralose to date is the most stable artificial sweetener that we can find for sale, it is therefore natural to think of using it in many recipes to completely replace sugar but it is not always possible to do so.
When it is sold in granular form and is mixed with other compounds, then it is a excellent sugar substitute and there is no need to change the original recipe. However, when quantities greater than a cup of sugar are required, or more than 280 ml of sugar, then it is not possible to proceed with the automatic replacement of sugar with sucralose. The same goes for those recipes in which cooking sugar plays the role of a leavening activator.
Other cases in which it is not possible to make this change in sweetness are those situations in which sucrose is used for its ability to darken, as in caramels. The sucralose it does not have this "gift" and it is better to try to replace the cooking sugar at least with products composed of a mixture of sucralose and cooking sugar.
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