Sugar Substitute

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Free of: Added sugar, yeast and dairy.

What is Xylitol?  Xylitol is a chemical compound with the formula C5H12O5, or HO(CH2(CHOH)3(CH2)OH; specifically, one particular stereoisomer with that structural formula. It is a colorless or white crystalline solid that is soluble in water. It can be classified as a polyalcohol and a sugar alcohol, specifically an alditol. The name derives from Ancient Greek: ξύλον, xyl[on], “wood”, with the suffix -itol used to denote sugar alcohols. Xylitol is used as a food additive and sugar substitute.

Production of Xylitol  Industrial production starts with lignocellulosic biomass from which xylan is extracted; raw biomass materials include hardwoods, softwoods, and agricultural waste from processing maize, wheat, or rice. The xylan polymers can be hydrolyzed into xylose, which is catalytically hydrogenated into xylitol. The conversion changes the sugar (xylose, an aldehyde) into the primary alcohol, xylitol. Impurities are then removed. The processing is often done using standard industrial methods; industrial fermentation involving bacteria, fungi, or yeast, especially Candida tropicalis, are common, but are not as efficient.

Uses of Xylitol  Xylitol is used as a sugar substitute in such manufactured products as drugs, dietary supplements, confections, toothpaste, and chewing gum, but is not a common household sweetener.


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