The Calorie Control Council sat down with Duane Huggett, PhD Pharmaceutical Sciences for a Question and Answer session.Learn more
The safety of sucralose is documented by one of the most extensive and thorough safety testing programs ever conducted on a new food additive. More than 100 studies conducted and evaluated over a 20-year period clearly demonstrate the safety of sucralose.
The environmental fate, transport and ecotoxicological properties of sucralose were originally reviewed as part of the UK Food Additive Petition and by the US FDA (FDA 1999). In 2012, scientists from Norway and America again reviewed all available environmental data on sucralose (Tollefsen et al. 2012). Both of these reviews indicated that sucralose has no adverse effects on plants or aquatic life.
Studies on sucralose and the environment have been conducted in a broad range of areas, at doses many times higher than actual consumption levels, to assess whether there were any safety risks regarding cancer, genetic effects, reproduction and fertility, birth defects, immunology, the central nervous system, and metabolism. These studies all concluded that sucralose is safe for human consumption.
As part of the overall safety assessment of sucralose, a large number of studies were conducted to understand the environmental fate, transport and ecotoxicity of sucralose. These environmental studies clearly demonstrated that sucralose can degrade in the environment, is not harmful to plants or wildlife, and does not accumulate in the tissues of organisms (i.e. does not bioaccumulate). These studies were designed and conducted using internationally accepted and validated methodologies, which many researchers simply do not follow.
Some ecotoxicity studies suggest that sucralose can be detected in waterways. However, it is important to remember that the concentrations reported in waterways are similar to those predicted back in the 1990’s, prior to the introduction of sucralose into the marketplace. The concentration that was predicted and those reported are orders of magnitude less than were used in the ecotoxicity studies. In fact, no adverse effects were ever noted in the ecotoxicological tests. Therefore, there is a wide margin of safety between the concentration of sucralose that actually exists in the environment and that which may cause an ecological effect.
All food ingredients have to undergo extensive testing before they are allowed to be sold. Sucralose is no exception.