Sucralose is a non-nutritive sweetener made from sugar (sucrose).
We use sucralose in a number of our products because we believe it's the best substitute for cane sugar. It's 600 times sweeter than sugar and is so strong that only a fraction of a percentage is needed. It's a fairly exact science actually - you don't want to be getting the decimal point wrong!
We think that sucralose is far more pleasant than some other sweeteners such as stevia, which has a chemical taste and requires more flavours (and sometimes other sweeteners) to try to overcome.
Sweeteners are required in products because flavours require a sugar or sweetener to be used in conjunction with them in order for the flavour profiles to be present (ie, flavours don't work without them).
It's worth noting that we always try to use minimum, and feedback received from the vast majority of customers regard our products as far less sweet than most other brands.
Benefits of Sucralose
Sucralose is structurally nearly identical to sucrose (sugar), meaning it has a clean sugar taste without chemical notes.
It's 600 times sweeter than sugar so only a tiny fraction of a percentage is used.
It's non-nutritive meaning that it has no nutrients and zero calories. The body doesn't recognise it as a carbohydrate so it has no effect on blood sugar levels (on the flip-side, therefore nor does it assist with muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise). Even if it did raise blood sugars, the amount used is tiny.
The body doesn't break it down. Instead it flows through the body mostly unabsorbed and minimally metabolised and is eliminated through excretion. About 8-20% enters the blood and is excreted in urine, essentially unchanged.
It's shelf stable meaning that you don't have to worry about it going off anytime soon.
It's widely approved by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the FDA, the European Union's Scientific Committee on Food, the Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada, and more.
Sucralose Side Effects
Sometimes sucralose gets a bad rap, depending on the source you look at. A quick google search into sucralose can reveal sites with good claims and then sites with all sorts of claims like it'll cause obesity, diabeties, and other chronic conditions - or turn you blind, cause brain damage, or this or that.
Like with anything the reality is that some sources try to come up with a point of difference to try and attract attention and viewers.
The reality is that sucralose is heavily researched; there have been over 100 studies over 20 years and it's widely approved for consumption.
Most of the controversy began in response to an Italian study that found it caused tumours in mice. This study didn't even use sucralose - instead, a similar chemical. This study has since been invalidated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) due to a number of errors, and the EFSA has deemed sucralose as safe.
It has been rumoured that sweeteners cause weight gain, however studies have consistently shown that low calorie sweeteners do not cause weight gain.
It's also been rumoured that they have a negative effect on diabeties but again, sucralose is not broken down by the body. It passes through our systems without being digested so has no effect on blood sugar levels.
The American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics support the use of low calorie sweeteners (including sucralose) for being useful in weight management and diabetes.
The European Commission Scientific Committee on Food found that sucralose does not harm the immune system, or cause infertility or cancer, does not affect blood sugar levels, or pose a risk to pregnancy. It also has no effect on tooth decay.
The FDA deem the acceptable daily intake of sucralose to be 5mg per kilogram of body weight per day. The NHS UK deem the acceptable daily intake to be 15mg per kilogram of body weight per day. In either case, a 75kg man could have more than 10 shakes per day and it would still be well below this.
No short or long term effects have been found from consuming sucralose in the diet. No unsafe interactions with any food ingredients or drugs have been determined.
These opinions are our own from experience and from research and authorities, as indicated.