Similar to sweeteners that already have the green light to make a health claim, sucralose is used as a sugar replacer and is minimally fermented, relative to sugar, by oral microorganisms.
Consequently, the FDA backs the reasoning that sucralose does not contribute to the production of organic acids by plaque bacteria, as do the fermentable sugars that it replaces.
Sucralose is currently bringing strong gains to UK firm Tate & Lyle, that makes and sells the product under the Splenda brand. This latest FDA authorization is likely to bring further sales success for the product.
The health claim petition was actually filed by McNeil Nutritionals, the firm that markets the tabletop Splenda product in the US.
"there was significant scientific agreement for the relationship between slowly fermented carbohydrate sugar substitutes, specifically certain sugar alcohols, and the non-promotion of dental caries."
Based on scientific evidence, the FDA claims it has now determined the non-nutritive sweetener sucralose, like the sugar alcohols, is not fermented by oral bacteria to an extent sufficient to lower dental plaque pH to levels that would contribute to the erosion of dental enamel.
Written or electronic comments should be submitted by July 27, 2005 to the FDA.