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Sorbitol: A Natural Sugar Substitute
December 30, 2019

Sorbitol (CAS #50-70-4) is a sugar alcohol found in fruits and other plants which is used as a sugar substitute sweetener.  It is about 60% as sweet as table sugar, is slowly metabolized by the human body and has 30% fewer calories (at 2.6 calories per gram vs 4 calories per gram for sugar). 

Products that commonly use sorbitol include sugar-free chewing gum, mints, toothpaste, and medications.  Sugar-free foods such as cookies and chocolates sometimes use it as a sweetener as well.  Sorbitol is also used as a food additive in the form of a humectant, emulsifier, and thickener. 

Health benefits of sorbitol include not only the lower caloric content, but also a much lower glycemic index and the ability to protect against cavities and tooth decay.  It is recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, but is meant to be ingested in small amounts as a sweetener.  In large amounts it can cause gastrointestinal distress and bloating for some people, and in fact, doctors will sometimes use sorbitol in larger doses as a laxative.  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends consuming no more than 50 grams of sorbitol a day. 

Contact Independent Chemical to request a quote on sorbitol or to learn about additional food additives and ingredients. 

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