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Splenda is not an Acceptable Replacement for Sugar in Sugar Cookies

by Kaylee Petter, Erica Vishevsky, and Cheyenne Walker

Kaylee Petter, Erica Vishevsky, and Cheyenne Walker

As of January 2011, there are 25.8 million adults and children in the United States with diabetes. There are 18.8 million people diagnosed, 7 million people undiagnosed, and 79 million people pre-diabetic. In 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in individuals over the age of 20. Based on statistics, about 1 in every 400 persons over the age of 20 has diabetes (1).

After obtaining these statistics, we designed a study that tested the acceptability of Splenda as a sugar replacer in sugar cookies. On January 29, 2013 twenty-seven subjects ranging from 18 to 26 years old were given samples of an 100% sugar, sugar cookie, 50% Splenda-50% sugar, sugar cookie, and a 100% Splenda sugar, sugar cookie. Subjects were presented various sensory tests in tenderness, sweetness, overall preference and two triangle tests to distinguish differences among samples.

Objective tests included the TA.XT2 (Texture Technologies Corp., Scarsdale, NY/Stable Micro Systems, Godalming, Surrey, UK) that indicated sheer force, and digital calibrators that determined height and width. Results of the triangle difference tests showed that judges could distinguish between samples. This indicated a significant difference among the three cookies, which showed Splenda is not an adequate sugar substitute in sugar cookies.

Tenderness and sweetness tests revealed the 100% Splenda cookie being softer and less sweet than the other two samples. Overall preference test results indicated Splenda as the least preferred cookie. Based on these subjective tests, we concluded that Splenda is not an acceptable sugar replacer in sugar cookies.

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