What does hydroloysis mean?

On their websites and in various literature, the marketers of Splenda often refer to sucralose and its “hydrolysis” products.  Many may not fully understand what hydrolysis means, so here is a short explanation:

Hydrolysis is the chemical process in which a molecule is broken into parts by a molecule of water. One fragment of the parent molecule gains a hydrogen ion from the water molecule. The other group collects the remaining “hydroxyl” group from the water molecule. Hydrolysis can be considered the opposite of condensation, in which two fragments are joined together for each water molecule produced. Hydrolysis results in a “by-product” so to say; when water is added, the creation of another molecule occurs.

Sucralose and its hydrolysis products were tested in several in vitro and short-term in vivo genotoxicity tests:

1. A chromosomal aberration test in cultural human lymphocytes (Test E012*) was inconclusive.
2. Sucralose was weakly mutagenic in a mouse lymphoma mutation assay (Test E014*).
3. Other assays [human lumphocytes (Test E012*)], rat bone marrow (Test E027*) were inconclusive.
4. 1,6-DCF was weakly mutagenic (Test E020*).
5. Both sucralose and its hydrolysis products showed weakly genotoxic responses in some of the genotoxicity tests.

*FDA Final Rule Report

And this is important information: research also shows the hydrolysis of sucralose can occur under conditions of prolonged storage at elevated temperatures in highly acidic aqueous food products. This means sucralose can break down in heat (not specified at what temperature) in acidic solutions such as a cola can and it can break down when stored for a prolonged time period.


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