Thermal degradation of sucralose: a combination of analytical methods to determine stability and chlorinated byproducts

Sci Rep. 2015 Apr 15;5:9598. doi: 10.1038/srep09598.

Abstract

In the late years, much attention has been brought to the scientific community regarding the safety of sucralose and its industrial applications. Although it is the most used artificial sweetener in foods and pharmaceuticals, many questions still arise on its potential to form chlorinated byproducts in high temperatures, as demonstrated by several recent studies. In the present contribution, we use a combination of differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis coupled with infrared spectroscopy (DSC/TGA/IR), Hot-stage microscopy (HSM) and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) on samples submitted to water bath at mild temperatures to evaluate a broad spectrum of hazardous compounds formed in the degradation of this product. TGA/IR has revealed that there is effective decomposition in form of CO2 along with the formation of hydrogen chloride and other minor compounds. HSM results have provided accurate information, where the melting of the crystals was observed, followed by decomposition. Chlorinated derivatives, including polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (PCAHs) were also confirmed by HRMS. These findings not only corroborate the suspected instability of sucralose to high temperatures, but also indicate that even exposed to mild conditions the formation of hazardous polychlorinated compounds is observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Sucrose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sucrose / chemistry
  • Temperature*
  • Thermogravimetry

Substances

  • Sucrose
  • trichlorosucrose