The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that it will allow food manufacturers who substitute sugar with sucralose, or Splenda, to make limited health claims.
Splenda, an artificial sweetener produced by the ingredients division of UK sugar company Tate & Lyle, is used in a variety of products including low-calorie drinks and snacks. McNeil Nutritionals, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, petitioned the FDA 2004 to allow health claims associated with use of the product to appear on packaging. In response, the agency has said that products containing Splenda can state that they do not promote tooth decay.
Ferne Hudson, head of media and PR at Tate & Lyle, told just-food: “It has been known for a long time that sucralose is non-cariogenic. However, we welcome the rule from the FDA confirming this and for providing wording for a claim should any of our ingredient customers wish to incorporate it in their consumer communications materials.”
The FDA will not allow the health claims to be made for the sweetener, which is sold as a table-top sweetener in individual packets and in granulated form by McNeil, because then it contains dextrose and is not classified as ‘sugar free’.