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Chemical structure of maltitol
IUPAC name
Other names
585-88-6 YesY
ChemSpider 432001 N
Jmol-3D images Image
PubChem 493591
Molar mass 344.31 g·mol−1
Melting point 145 °C (293 °F; 418 K)
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N verify (what isYesY/N?)
Infobox references

Maltitol is a sugar alcohol (a polyol) used as a sugar substitute. It has 75-90% of the sweetness of sucrose (table sugar) and nearly identical properties, except for browning. It is used to replace table sugar because it is half as caloric, does not promote tooth decay, and has a somewhat lesser effect on blood glucose. In chemical terms, maltitol is known as 4-O-α-glucopyranosyl-D-sorbitol. It is used in commercial products under trade names such as Lesys, Maltisweet and SweetPearl.

Production and uses[edit]

Maltitol is a disaccharide produced by Corn Products Specialty Ingredients (formerly SPI Polyols), Cargill, Roquette, and Mitsubishi Shoji Foodtech, among other companies. Maltitol is made by hydrogenation of maltose obtained from starch. Maltitol syrup, a hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, is likewise made by the hydrogenation of a mixture of carbohydrates hydrolyzed from starch; this product is "50-80% maltitol by weight, with the remainder being predominantly [sorbitol] and a small number of other sugar-related substances." [1]

Maltitol's high sweetness allows it to be used without being mixed with other sweeteners, and exhibits negligible cooling effect (positive heat of solution) in comparison with other sugar alcohols, and is very similar to the subtle cooling effect of sucrose.[2] It is used especially in production of sweets: sugarless hard candies, chewing gum, chocolates, baked goods, and ice cream. The pharmaceutical industry uses maltitol as an excipient, where it is used as a low-calorie sweetening agent. Its similarity to sucrose allows it to be used in syrups with the advantage that crystallization (which may cause bottle caps to stick) is less likely. Maltitol may also be used as a plasticizer in gelatin capsules, as an emollient, and as a humectant.[3]

Nutritional information[edit]

100g of maltitol has 35 kcalories.[4]

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 146.5 kJ (35.0 kcal)
0 g
0 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Chemical properties[edit]

Maltitol in its crystallized form measures the same (bulk) as table sugar and browns and caramelizes in a manner very similar to that of sucrose after liquifying by exposure to intense heat. The crystallized form is readily dissolved in warm liquids (120 °F/48.9 °C and above); the powdered form is preferred if room temperature or cold liquids are used. Due to its sucrose-like structure, maltitol is easy to produce and made commercially available in crystallized, powdered, and syrup forms.

It is not metabolized by oral bacteria, so it does not promote tooth decay. It is somewhat more slowly absorbed than sucrose, which makes it somewhat more suitable for people with diabetes than sucrose. Its food energy value is 2.1 kilocalories (Cal) per gram (8.8 kJ/g); (sucrose is 4.0 Cal/g (16.7 kJ/g)).

Laxative effect[edit]

Like other sugar alcohols (with the exception of erythritol), large quantities of maltitol can have a laxative effect.[5]

Government warnings[edit]

In countries such as Australia, Canada, Norway, Mexico and New Zealand, maltitol carries a mandatory warning such as "Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect." In the United States, it is a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) substance, with a recommendation of a warning about its laxative potential when consumed at levels above 100 grams per day.


  1. ^ Application A537 - Reduction in the energy factor assigned to Maltitol: Final Assessment Report, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, 5 October 2005, retrieved 27 January 2014 
  2. ^ Field, Simon Quellen; Simon Field (2007). Why There's Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste. p. 86. ISBN 9781556526978. 
  3. ^ Cargill:Products and Services
  4. ^ "Calories in Maltitol Sweetener" (2014) calorie count
  5. ^ Cargill – Food and Beverage Ingredients: Maltidex® maltitol

External links[edit]