Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is made from sugar through a multi-step procedure. This chemical procedure produces a sugar substitute that has neither calories nor carbohydrates. This sweetener also is known by the brand name Splenda.
Splenda also has other ingredients added to it, such as dextrose and maltodextrin that are bulking agents. Although these ingredients may have about 5 calories per serving, the calories are so few that the FDA still permitted the product to be labeled as no-calorie, according to the Splenda website. Splenda is nearly 600 times more sweet than regular sugar.
Sucralose has approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1998 for use in 15 different categories of food. Sucralose received this approval for use as a sweetener after the FDA reviewed over 110 safety studies, states the FDA. Similarly, the World Health Organization and other regulatory agencies also deemed sucralose as a safe sweetener.
However, due to an Italian animal study that showed a connection between sucralose and a higher risk for leukemia, Splenda (sucralose) has been downgraded in safety rating from safe to caution, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Although there has been a change in safety rating, the Center for Science in the Public Interest specifies that sucralose may still be safer to use than other sweeteners, such as saccharin and aspartame.