Sucralose, most commonly known as Splenda®, was an accidental discovery. Shashikant Phadnis, a graduate student at King’s College London was asked to test sucralose in 1976. He misheard the instructions as "taste" and proceeded to do so. His realization that the compound was extremely sweet eventually led to the use of sucralose as an artificial sweetener. Phadnis was doing research for new insecticide.
Sucralose is calorie-free and tastes about 650 times sweeter than sugar. It is made by combining sucrose with chlorine atoms, which is why it is indigestible and calorie-free. It is used in a wide range of foods such as soda, cereal and gum. Proponents claim that sucralose is completely safe and healthy, while opponents argue that it may have side effects. Like most artificial sweeteners, sucralose remains a controversial topic.
More about artificial sweeteners:
- Sucralose was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)in 1998.
- Before World War II, artificial sweeteners in the US were sold primarily for diabetics and labeled: "only for consumption by those who must restrict sugar intake."
- Research suggests that, in those who consume artificial sweeteners regularly, the brain is unable to distinguish between sugar and artificial sweetener.