"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Splenda is 95-99% Sugar! Surprised?

Splenda's makers--Johnson & Johnson--state their product Splenda doesn't have any calories. You can read it for yourself on their ubiquitous yellow packets or the Splenda website, where it states, "SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener contains sucralose (SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener), the no calorie sweetener made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar, with no unpleasant aftertaste."
However, about 95-99% of what's in a Splenda packet are sugars--dextrose and maltodextrin to be precise--aka "bulking agents." The Splendonistas sugarcoat the the language and refer to these bulking agents as carbohydrates. The active ingredient in Splenda vastly credited for its sweetness is sucralose. Sucralose in fact is about 600X sweeter than sugar hence the miniscule amounts thrown into each packet, and the need for a bulking agent to give the things a little weight and volume.

It seems the makers of Splenda submitted studies to the FDA using research on strictly sucralose, not Splenda itself, when seeking FDA approval. Hence, the loopholish workaround to get their product on the market and claim it's a "no calorie" sweetener. How many sales would they lose to consumers bent on using zero calorie sweeteners if they had to advertise their product as the "4 calorie sweetener," when competitor Sweet'N Low packets read, "Zero calorie sweetener" and Equal packets read, "0 calorie sweetener?" (To be fair, Sweet'N Low and Equal also contain sugars in their products so it's not like the Splendonians are the only shifty ones here.)

Talk about marketing wars.

So next time you dump three packets of Splenda into your coffee, remember the three "no calorie" packets provide 12 calories. But it's not really the handful of calories they sneak into your body that's aggravating but the disingenuous tactics they use in manipulating the consumer in thinking they've escaped the dangers of sugar while still achieving sweetness apart from ingesting a calorie.

P.S. For the nerdy amongst us wondering where the 95-99% figure came from, the Splendanites consent to there being one gram of "carbohydrates" (i.e. sugar) in their 0.035 oz yellow packets. With one ounce of something containing 28.34-30 grams (depending on your definition of an ounce), you can run the numbers and find that if there's one gram of sugar (dextrose and maltodextrin in these packets that only leaves room for about 0.015-0.05 gm (or 15mg to 50mg) of sucralose per 0.035 oz (1015mg- 1050mg) packet.



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