The Physics Police

The Physics Police

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Baking with Splenda

Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, an artificial sweetener. There are people out there who make a living by creating a fear-driven market for "chemical free" foods, include sugar substitutes like Stevia extract, Agave nectar, etc.

Sayer Ji is one such snake-oil salesman. His latest post is Sucralose's (Splenda) Harms Vastly Underestimated: Baking Releases Dioxin. He claims that a newly published study:
... reveals an extensive array of hitherto underreported safety concerns, not the least of which is the formation of highly toxic chlorinated compounds, including dioxins, when Splenda is used in baking...
The study in question is Sucralose, a synthetic organochlorine sweetener: overview of biological issues by Susan Schiffman, author of several Nutri/System Flavor books. It's safe to say she has a horse in the game, which explains the extreme lengths this critical review goes to expose any potentially harmful effects of sucralose. She describes potential byproducts from cooking with sucralose including "dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls" (dl-PCBs).

Her source for this claim is Unintentionally produced dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls during cooking by Shujun Dong which examined the byproducts from cooking with and without sucralose.

B1 is beef plus soybean oil. BS4 is B1 plus added Sucralose. BP5 is B1 plus 1,3-DCP.
The results clearly show that overall, the same (or fewer!) dl-PCBs were produced with the addition of sucralose, whereas a different organochlorine molecule (1,3-DCP) did cause higher dl-PCBs.

This demonstrates that knowing a molecule is an organochlorine does not imply it will necessarily result in elevated dl-PCBs as a byproduct of cooking. Chemistry is more complicated than that! This is sort of addressed in the conclusion of the study:
Sucralose and 1,3-DCP are only model chemicals for chlorine-containing compounds, which may be used during daily cooking processes. Thus, appropriate use of chlorine-containing additives and flavorings during cooking could help reduce the risk of human exposure to dl-PCBs.
You know what else is a chlorine-containing compound? Salt!

Salt is a chlorine-containing compound = deadly toxic sludge.
Oh no! Quick, buy some Agave nectar!

No comments:

Post a Comment