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Systematic name 1,6-Dichloro-1,
Other names 1',4,6'-Trichlorogalactosucrose
Trichlorosucrose E955
TGS, Splenda
Molecular formula C12H19Cl3O8
Molar mass Molar mass::397.633514 g/mol
Appearance white crystalline powder
CAS number CAS number::56038-13-2
Density and phase Density::1.375 g/ml, solid
Solubility in water 283 g/l (20°C) Freely soluble in water,
methanol and ethanol;
slightly soluble in ethyl


Melting point Melting point::125 °C
Boiling point Boiling point::669.4 °C
MSDS Material safety data sheet
Main hazards No adverse effects expected.
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png

Flash point 358.659 °C
RTECS number LW5440140
Related compounds
Related Sweeteners Aspartame, Stevia, saccharin
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener made from sucrose. Being around six hundred times sweeter than regular sugar and deemed safe by the FDA, the compound is often used for those looking for a low calorie sweetener. Sucralose, commercially recognizable as Splenda, is metabolized without being broken down; this means the body does not gain any calories or energy from consuming it. It is also very stable at almost all temperatures making it safe for baking. Splenda can be found in any major supermarket and has been a popular product for several years. [1]


Sucralose is similar in appearance to this granulated sugar.

Synthesized from sucrose molecules, sucralose is six hundred times sweeter than sugar, four times as sweet as aspartame, and about twice as sweet as saccharin.[1] It is produced in a white crystalline powder, which is very stable. With a boiling point of 669.431 °C at 760 mmHg and a flash point of 358.659 °C, it can be used safely at any practical temperature. At these temperatures, sucralose will retain its sweetness. [2]The property of sucralose that really sets it apart from sucrose is that when consumed, human metabolisms do not identify sucralose as a carbohydrate and in turn do not intake any calories. [3] The compound has been altered so it passes through the digestive system unchanged and unmetabolized. This also means that sucralose does not give the body any energy, like sugar would, when consumed. [1] Having no effect on glucose or insulin levels, sucralose is a diabetic friendly substitute.


Sucralose is a complex compound, and understanding sucralose synthesis is quite a task for the non-chemist. According to a patent submitted on June 28, 2006 by Fei Wang, Haibing He, Xin Yang, Yongzhu Yu, and Zhisong Fan, one way of synthesizing sucralose can be summarized as follows. The abstract for patent number 7884203 states:

An improvement method of sucralose synthesis yield, it takes azo reagent as catalyst, acetic acid as acylating reagent and synthesizes the cane sugar into sugar-6-acetate under proper dissolvent; then the sugar-6-acetate and proper chlorinated reagent are synthesized into sucralose-6-acetate under non-proton polar solvent with TCA as catalyst. At last, the alcoholysis of sucralose-6-acetate is completed in KOH/methanol system and then the product sucralose is synthesized. With the advantages of mild reaction conditions, high selectivity, high yield rate, and brief operation etc., the invention is prone to industrial production.

Simply put this tells that sucralose is derived from sucrose. It is derived through extraction and purified through crystallization.


Packets of Splenda, a product made of sucralose

In this modern age of artificial sweeteners, sucralose is found in many foods. In food, sucralose can be a substitute for sugar. It can be utilized wherever sugar can be used and is a very versatile substitute. People choose to use sucralose when their diet requires fewer calories. In situations where individuals need to cut down on their calorie intake, people will often purchase diet, light, or sugar-free food.

Many foods with such labels will contain a sugar substitute like sucralose or aspartame, another popular sugar substitute. Sucralose is safe for people of all age, even young children and women who are breastfeeding or pregnant. [4] Children struggling with obesity often are recommended to eat more foods with less sugar. There are some 4,000+ products containing sucralose. Some of these products include: dairy products (low-fat flavored milk, light yogurt, low-fat coffee creamer, etc.), cereals & cereal bars, desserts (light pudding, light ice cream, popsicles, etc.), snack foods (light canned fruit, reduced calorie baked goods, candy, etc.), beverages (light juice, iced and hot tea, diet soda, coffee beverages, etc.), syrups and condiments (light maple syrup, low-calorie jams, jellies, etc.), nutritional products, and dietary supplements. [4]

The chances are extremely high that most people in developed countries have consumed sucralose because of the sheer number of appearances it makes in popular food items people enjoy. When it is not in a processed food item, sucralose can be identified by one of its other names, Splenda. Splenda has become a household name. Most people recognizes the little yellow packets in restaurants and cafes next to other substitutes like Sweet and Low and real sugar options like Sugar in the Raw. Like the placement would suggest, Splenda can be used to sweeten teas and coffees just like sugar. Consumers can also purchase Splenda in large quantities. Bags of granulated Splenda can be found at most supermarkets. This version of Splenda can be used in baking and other cooking procedures that call for large amounts of sugar. Though the compound can be substituted in most baking instances, the flavor, texture, and/or cooking time may differ somewhat to what people are familiar with when using sugar. [4] Nowadays, many people utilize Splenda or similar products when they want their baked creations to have a few less calories.

Mainstream Reactions to Sucralose

Like many processed chemical food products and additives, sucralose endures scrutiny from some groups of people and total support from others. Consumers tend to be somewhat wary of chemicals added to their food. Many will do anything to avoid them and keep their diets as natural as possible. Then there are the people who could care less about the ingredient list and just consume for the taste or price. Additionally there is the group that uses substitutes and additives for dietary reasons. Some cannot consume sugar for various health reasons and look to products like sucrose to sweeten things up a bit. The FDA approved sucralose in 1998 and because of this people for the most part believe that it is safe for human consumption, like the FDA said. [5]However there are always those who disagree. Through continued testing, some off putting results arose. These results were due to extreme conditions that a human would most likely never reach in their consumption of sucralose. Nonetheless some people believe that sucralose poisons the body and that it is just another product neglecting people's health and well being just to turn a profit.[6]

In 2002 a study was conducted with sucralose that found that very large intakes of the compound caused DNA damage in mice. These levels were again unrealistic but still pointed out that sucralose may not be entirely harmless. An independent study in 2012 found that sucralose caused leukemia in mice. This study would benefit from other conclusions. With just one independent study, it is hard to reach the decision that sucralose will be an actual hazard to people's health.[5]


British Nutrition Foundation video delving into the topic of artificial sweeteners.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gordon, Samantha. Chemical-Properties-of-Sucralose eHow. Web. Date-of-access Feb 27, 2013.
  2. Sucralose ChemSpider. Web. Date-of-access Feb 27, 2013 Unknown Author(specify which).
  3. Ophardt, Charles.Sucralose UCDavis-ChemWiki. Web. Date-of-access March 17, 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-Sucralose Food-Insight. Web. publication January 12, 2010 Unknown Author.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chemical-Cuisine Center-For-Science-In-The-Public-Interest. Web. Unknown-Author. date-of-access March,18 2013.
  6. Which-Food-Additives-Are-Safe?-Which-Aren’t? Center-For-Science-In-The-Public-Interest. Web. Unknown-Author. date-of-publication April 29, 2008.