Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fooled Again By The Splenda-Maltitol Bait And Switch On Sugar-Free Candy

Sugar-Free Mentos snags another victim of dubious side effects

There oughta be a big bold WARNING label placed on any sugar-free product that purports to be "sweetened with Splenda" if sucralose is not the top sweetener. You know what I'm talking about--while the Splenda logo appears prominently on the front of the packaging of many low-carb, sugar-free products, the truth is there's something else making that product sweet.

That something else is sugar alcohols usually, most notably and notoriously the one called maltitol. Just as sugar-free doesn't mean the product is necessarily low-carb, neither does having the Splenda emblem on the packaging mean it is the primary sweetener. In fact, many times it comes in dead last in the ingredients.

If this is happening, then why does maltitol show up as the #1 ingredient, hmmm? Sounds like a bait and switch scam to me! I've warned about the negative impact this sugar alcohol can have on your stomach many times and even had this humorous story from a reader named Fred Scuttle who found out the hard way what the sugar alcohol maltitol can do to you.

Now I've got another horror story to share with you from Sarah who thought she would get away with downing some Sugar-Free Mentos without a hitch. HA!

Here's what happened to her:

My experience with maltitol happened just today at my restaurant job.

I bought some Sugar-Free Mentos just the other day and was relieved to see the Splenda emblem proudly displayed on the package...I have had problems with other artificial sweeteners, so I thought I was safe.


So, while I was busy serving food on a busy lunch shift, I snacked on the box of candy. Mind you, this was a small package---maybe 15 pieces or so.

Well, an hour into my shift, my stomach started to do that dreaded gurgle and roll and I knew immediately I was in trouble.

I literally had to run to the bathroom, lest I "sharted" in my pants. It was totally awful. It felt disgusting having explosive diarrhea while serving food to customers and the gas and bloating were so terrible I had to go to the bathroom to undo my pants.

Upon closer inspection of the box, in all capital letters I noticed (too late), this disclaimer: EXCESSIVE CONSUMPTION MAY CAUSE A LAXATIVE EFFECT!

That's nice. Glad to know that candy now has the ability to make me shit my pants."

Some lessons can only be learned through experience. This will certainly make Sarah read food labels carefully from now on, don't ya think?

By the way, that's the first and last time you'll ever see the word "sharted" at my blog. TMI and EWWWW!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, God...

6/13/2007 9:57 PM  
Blogger The Bunnell Farm said...

This obsession with sweets and carbs and sweeteners and stimulants, can't you see it.

6/14/2007 12:39 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Sarah reminded me of YOU, Diet King!

6/14/2007 8:53 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

C'mon jimmy! I think you should try working "sharted" into EVERY blog post! I'm seriously dying laughing over here. Guess I'll be avoiding the sugarfree Mentos...cuz that is sooooo not The Freshmaker!

6/14/2007 8:55 AM  
Blogger Pot Kettle Black said...


As you no doubt know, ingredient labels list the ingredients in terms of quantity, from greatest to least. As you also know, sucralose is like 10K times sweeter than sugar. If it were anywhere further up the ingredient list, it would be too sweet and get that sour gross taste like sweet and low straight.

What's sad is that people don't know how to read a label. The nutrition notes that there are sugar alcohols present, and where there are high SA ingestion lies high inDIgestion.

Last: I hate to agree with Bunnell, who I think it pretty far out there, but if folks stop trying for the sweet in general, they will never have the Malitol Malaise. Or diabetes.

Curious to know what Kimmer has to say about Mentos, SF or not.

6/14/2007 10:53 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Good point about the concentration of sucralose, Pot. But with maltitol as the TOP ingredient, it's still VERY disingenuous of companies that make these products "sweetened with Splenda" to put MUCH higher quantities of a gut-busting sugar alcohol than they do the sweetener they display so prominently on the front of the packaging.

6/14/2007 10:59 AM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

What, you haven't heard "sharted" before?? Oh Jimmy...where's your sense of bathroom humor? ;)

6/14/2007 11:12 AM  
Blogger Pot Kettle Black said...

The Splenda logo on the front says, "Sweetened with Splenda". Since the Splenda is the active sweetening agent, it's not false or even misleading. It's 600 times sweeter than sucrose.

Malitol is .9 times as sweet as sugar. So, it may be the bulk of the product, content wise, but it doesn't provide the bulk of the sweet.

It's not crystal clear to the average consumer, but produce something that is crystal clear and you will confuse the buyer more than they currently are.

Last thing: If you want to lose weight, a tube of mentos, SF or full of sugar, is probably not the best idea. At no point will a mento be confused for a "real" food, unless you confuse it with a lima bean.

6/14/2007 2:12 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Marjorie,

I never said I hadn't HEARD of "sharted" before. I've just never used it in a blog post nor will I ever use it again. In a word, EWWW!

6/14/2007 2:17 PM  

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