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Why is sugar alchol used in non sugar products?


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Hi there,

Let me first explain what sugar alcohols are. Sugar alcohols are neither sugars nor alcohols. They are carbohydrates with a chemical structure that partially resembles sugar and partially resembles alcohol, but they don’t contain ethanol as alcoholic beverages do. The body cannot metabolize and absorb them completely, therefore they contribute fewer calories. Sugar alcohols are polyols (is a hydrogenated form of carbohydrate, whose carbonyl group has been reduced to a primary or secondary hydroxyl group) commonly used in as replacement for sugar and include:
    Maltitol syrup

They occur naturally in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but also are synthetically produced from other carbohydrates. Besides the sweet taste they add to the foods, polyols perform other functions such as inhibiting the browning that occurs during heating in foods, providing cooling taste and ad bulk and texture.

Sugar alcohols are mostly used for sugar free products as a sweetener and sugar replacer. Mostly, they are intended for diabetic nutrition and food products. Newly, some weight loss products use them in their carbohydrate controlled nutrition plans.

From the other side, they could cause some gastrointestinal issues, like diarrhea or abdominal gas and discomfort. Daily consumption could primarily drive laxative effects. According to The American Dietetic Association, greater than 50g/day consumption of sorbitol on daily basis or greater than 20g/day of mannitol may cause diarrhea!

Some positive effects are that sugar alcohols are not acted upon by bacteria in the mouth, and therefore do not causes tooth decay. Even more, the xylitol has been found to inhibit oral bacteria, and is often used in sugarless mints and chewing gums for this reason. The Food and Drug Administration authorizes the use of a health claim in food labeling that sugar alcohols do not promote tooth decay.

I think this will help you and answer your question!

Take care!