What is sucralose made of

Sweet additives: sugar substitutes and sweeteners

Sugar, sugar substitutes, sweeteners, sweetening ingredients, types of sugar - it is easy to lose track of the variety of names for sweeteners in processed foods.

In addition to the various single and double sugars such as sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) or glucose (grape sugar), so-called sweeteners are often used. A distinction is made here between sweeteners and sugar substitutes.


Sweeteners have a sweetening power that is 30 to 3,000 times higher than that of sugar. In the small amount used, sweeteners contain minimal or no calories. They are mainly used in low-calorie foods, for example in light soft drinks, and as table sweeteners - for example in the form of tablets to sweeten food or beverages.

Eleven sweeteners are approved as additives in the EU:

  • Acesulfame K (E 950)
  • Aspartame (E 951)
  • Cyclamate (E 952)
  • Saccharin (E 954)
  • Sucralose (E955)
  • Thaumatin (E957)
  • Neohesperidin (E 959)
  • Steviol glycosides (E960)
  • Neotame (E961)
  • Aspartame acesulfame salt (E 962)
  • Advantam (E 969

Sugar substitutes

Sugar substitutes are also part of the sweeteners. The so-called sugar alcohols are used in the metabolism independently of insulin. Therefore, they were previously used in diabetic foods. Their energy content is estimated at 2.4 kilocalories per gram. This means that they are significantly lower in calories than sugar. Erythritol is calorie-free. Since they do not promote caries, they are particularly found in "sugar-free" candies and "tooth-friendly" sweets. They are also used more and more in the production of sweet drinks and finished products. Larger amounts of sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect, i.e. cause diarrhea.

Eight sugar substitutes are approved in the EU:

  • Sorbitol (E 420)
  • Mannitol (E 421)
  • Isomalt (E 953)
  • Maltitol (E 965)
  • Lactitol (E 966)
  • Xylitol (E967)
  • Erythritol (E 968)
  • Polyglycitol syrup (E 964)


The Food Information Regulation has been in force since December 2014. Since then, sweeteners and sugar substitutes have been grouped under the term "sweeteners".

A number of special labeling regulations apply to sweeteners in food:

  1. Foods that contain any of the above additives must have the Note "with sweetener (s)" wear. If the food contains both sugar and the sweeteners listed above, the label must read: "With sugar (s) and sweetener (s)".
  2. In addition, the ingredient list As with all additives, name the class name - in this case "sweetener - and the substance or the E number of the additive, for example" sweetener aspartame ".
  3. When it comes to sugar substitutes, the Warning "Can have a laxative effect if consumed in excess" appear on the packaging if they account for more than 10 percent of the total product.
  4. Special labeling is also mandatory for aspartame and aspartame-acesulfame salt. If one of the two sweeteners has been added, the manufacturer must indicate that the food has one Source of phenylalanine contains. This information is important for people with the rare metabolic disease phenylketonuria.
At food sold in bulk the individual sweetener does not have to be named explicitly. It is currently sufficient to state “with sweetener (s)” on a sign and, if necessary, information about the laxative effect or the source of phenylalanine.