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Maltitol Sugar-free Sweetener is available in crystalline and powder form.
Use in place of real sugar in cooking and baking.
Maltitol is a member of a family of bulk sweeteners known as polyols or sugar alcohols. It has a pleasant sweet taste--remarkably similar to sucrose. Maltitol is about 90% as sweet as sugar, non-cariogenic, and significantly reduced in calories. Maltitol is especially useful in the production of sweets, including sugarless hard candies, chewing gum, chocolates, baked goods and ice cream.
Maltitol is made by the hydrogenation of maltose which is obtained from starch. Like other polyols, it does not brown or caramelize as do sugars. Maltitolís high sweetness allows it to be used without other sweeteners. It exhibits a negligible cooling effect in the mouth compared to most other polyols. Although maltitol is often used to replace sugars in the manufacture of sugar-free foods, it may also be used to replace fat as it gives a creamy texture to food.
Maltitol is slowly absorbed. Therefore, when maltitol is used, the rise in blood glucose and the insulin response associated with the ingestion of glucose is significantly reduced. The reduced caloric value of maltitol (2.1 calories per gram versus 4.0 for sugar) is consistent with the objective of weight control. Products sweetened with maltitol in place of sugar may be useful in providing a wider variety of reduced-calorie and sugar-free choices to people with diabetes. Recognizing that diabetes is complex and requirements for its management may vary between individuals, the usefulness of maltitol should be discussed between individuals and their health care providers. Foods sweetened with maltitol may contain other ingredients which also contribute calories and other nutrients. These must be considered in meal planning.
Reduced Calorie Alternative to Sugar - Absorption of maltitol by the human body is slow, allowing part of the ingested maltitol to reach the large intestine where metabolism yields fewer calories. Therefore, unlike sugar which contributes four calories per gram, the caloric contribution of maltitol is only 2.1 calories per gram. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated it does not object to the use of this value for maltitol in nutrition labeling of foods. For a product to qualify as "reduced calorie" in the United States, it must have at least a 25 percent reduction in calories. Maltitol is, therefore, useful in formulating "reduced calorie" products.
The lower caloric value of maltitol and other polyols is recognized in other countries as well. For example, the European Union has provided a Nutritional Labeling Directive stating that all polyols, including maltitol, are assigned a caloric value of 2.4 calories per gram.
Excess consumption may cause a laxative effect.