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Splenda, Essay Example

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Essay

The product Splenda is an artificial sweetener, of which the main component is sucralose. Splenda is owned byTate & Lyle, a British company and Johnson & Johnson, an American company. Sucralose is a substance that was first discovered in 1976 by scientists working for Tate & Lyle. The researchers were initially studying sucrose and analyzing its uses and its other artificial derivatives. One of the researchers was asked to test a compound of sugar that was chlorinated.  The researcher thought he was asked to taste it, which he did and from there, found the substance to be remarkably sweet (Gratzer, 2002). The substance has since been patented by Tate and Lyle in the same year and is now used as an artificial sweetening agent.

The substance sucralose is about 600 times sweeter than the regular sugar (Friedman, 1998) and remains to be sweeter compared to other sugar alternatives such as saccharin and aspartame. It remains stable under hot temperatures and is suitable for baking, thus accounting for its large commercial success. It was approved in 1998 in the United States and was introduced the following year. Since its introduction, Splenda has overtaken the brand Equal in terms of sales with Splenda gaining 212 million dollars in 2006 while Equal gained 48.7 million dollars (Johnson, 2007).

Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda have gained popularity largely due to the fact that they have been marketed as non-caloric and a healthier alternative to sugar. However, recent studies suggest that artificial sweeteners can stimulate sugar cravings and appetite, leading to weight gain. In addition, it contains chemical substances that can affect body systems in the long run (Ford et al., 2011). Experts state that it is better to adhere to a low-sugar diet or consume natural sweeteners such as honey or agave.

References

Friedman, M. (1998). Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption; Sucralose Federal Register: 21 CFR Part 172, Docket No. 87F-0086

Ford, H.E. et al. (2011). Effects of oral ingestion of sucralose on gut hormone response and appetite in healthy normal-weight subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 65(4):508-13.

Gratzer, W. (2002). Light on sweetness: the discovery of aspartame. Eurekas and Euphorias: The Oxford Book of Scientific Anecdotes.

Johnson, A. (2007). How Sweet It Isn’t. Wall Street Journal, p.B1

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