Splenda® is among the family of non-nutritive sweeteners that contain no calories and are used as sugar replacements. Sucralose, a byproduct of sugar, is the main ingredient. As an artificial sweetener, it is not digested as a carbohydrate and therefore causes no spike in insulin levels.
Splenda® is used in equal amounts as granulated sugar. While pure Splenda® is about 600 times sweeter than table sugar, fillers such as maltodextrin and dextrose (both are sugars) are added for bulk and shelf life. The advantage of Splenda® over comparable sweeteners is its ability to retain flavor when heated.
It was first intended – in 1976 – as an insecticide. The process of substituting chlorine atoms for the oxygen and hydrogen found in sugar produced surprising results that were “tasted” instead of “tested.”
In 1998, the USDA approved Splenda® for use in commercially manufactured food products, including baking mixes, cereal, candy, ice cream, and soft drinks. More than 60 countries now have approved its use.
Splenda® is marketed as a “No-Calorie Sweetener” and as a “Blend,” which contains either white or brown sugars. The blended mix enhances baking. It is sold in individual packets (with maltodextrin and dextrose) or “granular” (maltodextrin only) in larger boxes.
It will keep a very long time and does not require refrigeration. Leftover baked goods should be refrigerated or frozen.
• Recipes that rely on sugar for bulk, such as meringue, may not perform well with the use of artificial sweeteners.
• Increase the mixing time to achieve a fluffier texture and decrease the baking time.
• Sweet’N Low® (saccharin; has a bitter aftertaste, but can be heated).
• Equal® (aspartame, dextrose, maltodextrin; at the table).
• NutraSweet® (aspartame; at the table).
• Sunette® (acesulfame K; baking, desserts, and at the table).
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