What Is Malitol?

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Malitol (pronounced mall-ti-tall) is a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol, which are water-soluble compounds that occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Malitol is produced from starches that are rich in the sugar maltose (a disaccharide consisting of two

The basics of malitol
Malitol (pronounced mall-ti-tall) is a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol, which are water-soluble compounds that occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Malitol is produced from starches that are rich in the sugar maltose (a disaccharide consisting of two glucose molecules). It is used in food items such as baked goods, chewing gum, sugar-free chocolates, chocolate coatings, hard candies and ice cream to provide body, sweetness and creamy texture.
Malitols safety has been reviewed and confirmed by health authorities around the world, including the World Health Organization, the European Union, and countries such as Australia and Canada. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also declares what is malitol and malitol syrups eligible for use.
While the safety of malitol (and other sugar alcohols) is well-documented, when eaten in excessive amounts, some sugar alcohols (e.g., mannitol and sorbitol) can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including gas, bloating and diarrhea. As a result, packaged foods that contain mannitol or sorbitol must include a warning on their label about potential laxative effects. Malitol has been shown to be well-tolerated at commonly consumed doses and does not require a warning on products in which its contained.  
Like most sugar alcohols, malitol is neither as sweet nor as caloriedense as sugar. Malitol is about 90% as sweet as sugar and has about half as many calories per gram (2.1 calories for what is malitol compared with 4 calories for sugar). 

Malitol and health
Malitols contributions to health go beyond calories. Two areas in which sugar alcohols such as malitol are known for their positive effects are oral health and impact on blood sugar. 
1.Oral health 
Sugar alcohols have been shown to benefit oral health in several ways. When we eat a food containing what is malitol, bacteria in our mouths begin to metabolize it, though this process is incomplete because we lack the necessary enzymes. As a result, oral bacteria produce much less acid (1030% less) compared with sugar. Thus, malitol is considered noncariogenic (ie. tooth-friendly) because the acids produced from malitol metabolism do not contribute to enamel erosion or cavity formation.
The act of chewing also protects teeth from cavity-causing bacteria by promoting the flow of saliva. This increased saliva and other noncariogenic properties (e.g., sweetness and cool taste) are why sugar alcohols like malitol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol are used in sugar-free chewing gum. Because of these attributes, the FDA recognizes malitol and other sugar alcohols as beneficial to oral health. 
2.Blood sugar 
Like other sugar alcohols (with the exception of erythritol), what is malitol contains calories in the form of carbohydrate. Malitol is slowly and incompletely metabolized in the small intestine into equal amounts of glucose and sorbitol. Glucose is readily absorbed in the small intestine and sorbitol continues to the large intestine where it is fermented by microbes in the gut. Because of this, malitol consumption (compared with an equal amount of sugar) requires less insulin secretion, which helps keep blood glucose levels lower. 

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