Splenda: Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar...How?

Splenda - Anyone who uses it in their coffee or bakes with it knows it does in fact taste like sugar…Not exactly like it but close enough. My question is: How does one make Splenda from sugar itself? Is it a chemical process? What’s the difference from it an Equal. I know there is no Saccarin (sp?) in splenda.

What’s the dope on this?

It’s just sucrose (table sugar) where three of the hydroxyl groups are replace with chlorine atoms. Splenda is known under the generic name sucralose.

Wait, wait, splenda is a chlorocarbon? Like in old ozone-destroying aeresol sprays? How is that not poisonous?

Sucralose isn’t poisonous because the body doesn’t break it down or absorb it.

The Wikpedia article on Splenda.

So, yes it is created from a chemical reaction that replaces some regular atoms with chlorine ones. It is about 600 times sweeter than sugar, but is cut with other indgrediants to bring it back to about the same sweetness as sugar by volume.

From my point of view the main benefit of sucralose is that it is thermally stable and you can bake with it without losing the sweetness.

Here’s some info:

So you’re saying that if my morning coffee tastes like pool water, it’s MY fault? :dubious:

First off, those were pretty much all chlorofluorocarbons, not just chlorinated organic molecules. These are generally highly volatile, highly substituted organic compounds (basically, all hydrogens have been replaced by F or Cl.) Freon-11, for instance, is CFCl3. Most haloalkanes aren’t that pleasant–I use dichloromethane and chloroform all the time as solvents, and very occasionally carbon tetrachloride and dichloroethane. They have all potential health effects and are more of a pain to dispose of (luckily, I just dump the stuff in the right bucket, the school takes care of the disposal end.)

Just because something is halogenated, however, doesn’t mean it’s automatically unsafe. Sucralose is an example. 4’-Deoxy-4’-iododoxorubicin (warning: PDF) is an example that’s in clinical trials as an anti-cancer drug–that’s an I at the R’ position. A lot of other drugs use at least one halogen in the modification of natural products. (Sorry, I can’t come up with a lot of examples as most hits on Google aren’t open PDFs.) Polymers like polyvinylchloride are examples.

Sorry, the idea that all chemicals are dangerous or that all halogenated chemicals are dangerous or so on really gets at me. (As I’ve said in the past, us smartass organic chemists, when seeing something that claims it is “chemical-free” starts wondering or asking what’s actually in there if the person making the claim is present. Some kind of fancy hologram, maybe?)

Okee Dokee - so, is regular sugar better for me? non flamable?

Absolutely; annoys me too. In fact, while I was looking for a link or two about sucralose, I came across this site which contains this hilariously idiotic line:

Well, no fucking shit, Einstein. :smack:

Bad for your teeth and rediculously high in empty calories. If you drink regular soda or commercial drinks in general, you’re probably getting way to much sugar, but the sugar industry sure likes it.
Sugar can burn, but it’ll melt first making a lovely hard surface on the top of creme brule.

On Edit: So sugar isn’t a chemical substance? :rolleyes:

Of course it isn’t, silly…it comes from plants, so it’s natural! :wink:

Just like cyanide.

I don’t mind “empty” calories now and then - have to be careful. But for my money, I want SUGAR, not corn syrup, and that’s what is used in lieu of sugar in virtually all soda/softdrinks/pop, sugar being considered too expensive. Yick. Interestingly with the price of corn higher recently, the soft drink makers are looking elsewhere yet again. So the sugar industry probably cares very little how many Cokes anyone drinks.

Personally I really dislike Ersatz food, it has its place but not in my diet.

Splenda has a huge place in my diet. I dislike empty calories.

So I wake up this morning reread what people have written and I still wonder…Is splenda good for you even though it tis chemically altered with some sort of chlorine?

Yes it’s fine. You know how you’re supposed to make drinking water safe in emergencies by adding chlorine bleach? That’s because the chlorine is not going to kill you and is safe in small quantities.

To answer your question, you’d have to define what is meant by “good for you.”
Is it good to ingest less sugar? Most likely. American diets are pretty stuffed with refined sugar. Is sugar inherently bad? Eh. All things in moderation, unless you’ve got other health considerations like diabetes.

I think what you’re really asking is is Splenda bad. Many studies have been done to prove the safety of the sweetener, and they all appear to point to the fact that it is not harmful. AFAIK it passes through the digestive system undisturbed because it is a stable molecule that is unrecognized by the standard digestion process. Could we find out 20 yrs from now that people who eat Splenda grow a third arm? Possibly. But that’s no more likely than finding out any of the other “unnatural” substances in our food chain are harmful - things like colors, stabilizers, package coatings, etc. “Chemicals” are already all through our food chain. We just don’t like to think about it until we want Twinkies that don’t turn rancid before we bring them home from the grocery store.

Some of the “chemicals” in food that are suspected to be harmful, like acrylamide in fried foods, are there “naturally” (assuming you believe frying food is natural). It doesn’t have to be made in a reactor to be dangerous.

Like everything in life, it’s a risk/benefit balance.
Are you willing to take the (assumed small due to much scientific testing) risk of eating Splenda as a means of getting your sweets without the calories?
If you’re not comfortable with artifical sweeteners, you could eat sugar. Or not eat sweet foods.
And on a related note regarding synthesis, I do know Splenda can be made with phosgene. I don’t know that this is the current production route.
Splenda! It’s made from phosgene so it tastes like sugar!

I don’t trust natural stuff. People are always dying of natural causes.