'Liquid Splenda' and Sugar-Free Syrups

Sources, Features, Cost Comparisons

EZ-Sweetz Liquid Sucralose
EZ-Sweetz Liquid Sucralose. Photo Courtesy Sweet Solutions Corps

Often when I develop recipes I use a liquid form of sucralose as the sweetener. Why a liquid? Because sucralose, the artificial sweetener in Splenda, is so incredibly concentrated (600 times the sweetness of sugar) that it needs a "carrier" to dilute it in order to be useful. Unfortunately, the carrier in powdered Splenda is made up of dextrose and maltodextrin, fancy words for "sugar" and "sugar," so a packet of Splenda has about one gram of carbohydrate, and a cup of the granular type of Splenda has 24 grams of carb.

Additionally, some of the powdered sweeteners, particularly the bulk types, have an "off-flavor" which many people find objectionable, particularly in baking.

Perhaps the best alternative to the powders is simply to dissolve the sucralose in water, which has zero carbs. Since the manufacturer of Splenda has held back on making a liquid form available, other companies now provide sucralose in liquid forms.

The bad news is that these alternatives are not available in most stores and have to be ordered online. The good news is that not only will you save carbs by using them (and avoid off-flavors), in most cases you will also save money.

Note: Prices quoted in this article have changed since I first wrote it in 2009, and are, frankly, constantly changing depending on where you purchase it.  I left the original prices in, as it will give you an idea of how I think about comparing prices.

Issues with Liquid Sucralose

The full-strength liquid, as it comes to the manufacturers, is very concentrated.

This has two potential problems. The first is that one drop of liquid can be over a teaspoon of "sugar-sweetness" -- not good if you want less in your coffee or tea. The other is that the concentrated liquid tends to create crystals in dispensers over time, clogging them up. Different suppliers have dealt with this in different ways.

  Therefore, you can't assume that the same amount of one product will be the same as a different product.

Here are some forms of liquid sucralose available online:

EZ-Sweetz

This company now sells various sizes of its product, and you can buy the containers singly, or the smaller ones in packs of three or six. The smaller bottles are double the concentration of the larger bottles. EZ-Sweetz is readily available at sites such as Amazon,  and the manufacturer's Web site. With the shipping, a six-pack of this EZ-Sweetz works out to between 57 cents and 63 cents for a cup of sugar equivalent. 

Buy on Amazon:

3-Packs of Small Bottles (450 servings each)

One 1.05-oz Bottle (400 servings)

One 2-oz Bottle (800 servings)

Sweetzfree

Sweetzfree is full-strenth liquid sweetener, with each drop providing the sugar equivalent of about 1½ teaspoons. This is great for recipes requiring a larger amount of sweetener. The smaller size doesn't usually clog. The dispenser on the largest sizes doesn't clog, but drops tend to collect on the outside which crystalize if not removed.

Twice in the course of using the largest size I had to remove a "shell" of crystalized sucralose from the applicator. However, this "shell" was handy for sweetening a pitcher of iced tea.

Sweetzfree comes in several sizes. The largest is 4 oz., which gives the sweetness of 96 cups of sugar for $64 (including shipping). This works out to about 67 cents per cup of sugar equivalent.

Shop for Sweetzfree Here

Fiberfit

Contains both sucralose and a little soluble fiber in a 4 oz. container. Much less concentrated, 1 teaspoon of Fiberfit gives you 8 teaspoons of sugar equivalent. At $5.29 for 4 oz at Netrition.com, this works out to $1.32 per cup of sugar equivalent. The 16 oz. size for $18 is a slightly better deal -- $1.12 per cup of sugar equivalent. (Note: Fiberfit now has a zero carb powder, but I haven’t tried it.)

Shop for Fiberfit Here

Sugar-Free Syrups

Syrups developed to flavor coffees, such as Da Vinci and Torani brands, can be used as sweeteners. Da Vinci makes an unflavored version called “simple syrup.” The drawback is that this is the least concentrated way to get sucralose. It measures about cup for cup, and that’s a lot of liquid in most recipes. At $7.49 per bottle from Netrition.com, it comes out to about 78 cents per cup of sugar equivalent. Torini and Da Vinci syrups are also available in some regular stores.

Shop on Amazon of Da Vinci Sugar-Free Syrups Here (this is Hazelnut, search for other flavors)

Comparison with Splenda

A common price for Splenda packets is $10.00 for a box of 200 packets. That’s about $1.25 per cup of sugar equivalent (plus the 1 gram of carbohydrate per packet). 

 

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