Sucralose (1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-b-D-fructo-furanosyl 4-chloro-4-deoxy-a-D-galactopyranoside), sold under the trade name Splenda (R), is usually categorized as non-nutritive sweetener or flavor enhancer. The molecular formula is C12H19Cl3O8 (1). It exists at room temperature as a white to off-white, crystalline powder, which is freely soluble in water, in methanol, and in alcohol, and slightly soluble in ethyl acetate (1). Sucralose has molecular weight of 397. 64 (2). As a sweetener, it has 400 to 800 times that of sucrose (2).
Its melting point has been recorded as 130 degrees Celsius, and the boiling point is between 614. and 724. 4 degree Celsius under the condition of press 760 Torr (3). Sucralose is stable in solution at low pH, and also stable in solution at high temperatures as sucrose. Therefore, it can be stored for several years in liquids (3). The density of sucralose is about 1. 694 g/cm3 (3). The below chemical structure for sucralose was retrieved from the Dictionary of Food Compounds (2): Sucralose was first synthesized by Hough and co-workers at the Queen Elizabeth College at the University of London during the 1970s and was developed commercially as an intense sweetener by Tate & Lyle, LLC and McNeil Specialty Products Co (4).
Sucralose is made by the selective substitution of three hydroxyl groups of sucrose with three chlorine atoms, which was first approved as a food additive in Canada in 1992 and has subsequently been approved in over 80 countries as an intense sweetener (4). Sucralose can be slowly hydrolyses to the two monosaccharides 1,6-dicholorofructose (1,6-DCF) and 4-chlorogalactose (4-CG) under severe acidic conditions, so the formula cannot be found in natural waters (4). Sucralose is usually used in baked goods, sugars, alcoholic drinks, dairy products, cereals, fruit, beverages and nut products (3).
In general, sucralose may cause toxicity to aquatic organisms at concentrations ? 1123 mg/L (4). A range of long-term mammalian toxicity studies indicates that sucralose has no known specific mode of toxic action and causes no adverse effects on major physiological systems (4). Recent research concerns that the potential biological effects in non-target species living in areas receive discharges from anthropogenic activities due to the widespread usage and the high stability of sucralose.
The Predicted Environmental Concentration (PEC) for sucralose, based on measured data in surface water, was determined to be 10 ? g/L. During the process, data support that sucralose does not cause toxic effects. In conclusion, the resulting conservative PEC risk quotient is 0. 08, thus indicating low risk to aquatic organisms. Although available data suggest that sucralose is persistent in the aquatic environment, current knowledge also suggests that this intense sweetener should not be classified either as bioaccumulative or toxic using standardized and regulatory valid PBT criteria (4).
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