NILU and IVL research on artificial sweetener attracts attention in US

0
For the first time, scientists from Norwegian Institute of Air Research (NILU) and Swedish Environmental Research Institute Ltd. (IVL) have traced sucralose, an artificial sweetener, also known as Splenda, first in the Norwegian and secondly in the Swedish environment. The chemical is found completely unchanged both in the Oslo fjord and in raw and treated wastewater. Due to the chemical’s long life span, from five to ten years, the scientists are worried about the potential effects on the environment.

The report, commissioned by the Swedish environmental protection agency, has attracted the attention of American news after the results were published in the renowned magazine “Environmental Science & Technology”. Sucralose or Splenda is being manufactured in the States and was introduced to the Norwegian market in 2005. One year later it is proven to be omnipresent in the environment. NILU scientists worry about the damage it may have on the ecosystems.

Sucralose is a chlorinated derivative of sucrose. The chlorine atoms in the sucralose molecule make it much `sweeter` (approximately 600 times) than sucrose. It is also more or less impossible for the body to digest. As it is not digested by the human body it passes straight through without contributing any calories to the diet, and end up in the wastewater.

NILU and IVL research on artificial sweetener attracts attention in US
`Sucralose is a problem for humans. But since all the sucralose will end up in the aquatic environment we may need to look for effects there. The biggest problem is that it is both very potent, at least as far as one physiological function (sweetness) is concerned, and is very persistent in the aquatic environment`, says Henrik Kylin from NILU. Although it will not bioaccumulate, which is the big problem with more familiar pollutants, such as DDT, Henrik Kylin fear the effects on the aquatic ecosystem that so far have not been studied.

Customer comments

No comments were found for NILU and IVL research on artificial sweetener attracts attention in US. Be the first to comment!