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Sugar Alcohols

Also indexed as: Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol

Illustration

Preparation, uses, and tips

Sugar alcohols are not commonly used in home food preparation, but are a common ingredient in many processed foods.

Varieties

Sorbitol

Sorbitol is the alcohol form of sucrose. It occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, and is manufactured from corn syrup.

Mannitol

Mannitol is the alcohol form of mannose. It occurs naturally in pineapples, olives, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Mannitol is extracted from seaweed for use in food manufacturing. It is sometimes used as a sweetener in dietetic products.

Xylitol

Xylitol, also called “wood sugar,” is the alcohol form of xylose. It occurs naturally in straw, corncobs, fruit, vegetables, cereals, mushrooms, and some seaweeds. For use in food manufacturing, xylitol is extracted from birch wood chips. Xylitol is used as a sweetener in chewing gums and other dietetic products.

Nutrition Highlights

Mannitol, 1g mannitol
Calories: 2.6
Protein: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: less than 1.0g
Total Fat: 0.0g
Fiber: 0.0g

Sorbitol, 1g sorbitol
Calories: 2.6
Protein: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: less than 1.0g
Total Fat: 0.0g
Fiber: 0.0g

Xylitol, 1g xylitol
Calories: 2.6
Protein: 0.0g
Carbohydrate: less than 1.0g
Total Fat: 0.0g
Fiber: 0.0g

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