Splenda is a calorie-free sweetener that can be used as a sugar replacement. The sweetener can be used by diabetics and anyone watching their sugar intake.
Splenda was first discovered in England in 1976. In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration approved Splenda as a safe ingredient for some products. The product was determined to be a safe ingredient for all uses in 1999.
Splenda, known as sucralose, is derived from sucrose, which is plain white sugar. To change sugar to sucralose, the molecule must undergo a chemical process by which three hydroxide groups are removed from the molecule and replaced with chlorine molecules. Because of chemical changes in the molecule, the body does not recognize Splenda as sugar and does not break it down into energy.
Splenda also contains small amounts of filler ingredients such as dextrose and maltodextrin, which make a cup of Splenda equally sweet as a cup of plain white sugar. Although the body does break down these additional ingredients into energy, the effect is not significant enough to add additional calories to a serving of Splenda.