Polydextrose is an indigestible synthetic polymer of glucose. It is a food ingredient classified as soluble fiber by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as Health Canada, as of April 2013[update]. It is frequently used to increase the non-dietary fiber content of food, to replace sugar, and to reduce calories and fat content. It is a multi-purpose food ingredient synthesized from dextrose (glucose), plus about 10 percent sorbitol and 1 percent citric acid. Its E number is E1200. The FDA approved it in 1981.
Commercial manufacture of edible polydextrose originated with a process developed by Hans H. Rennhard. Dr. Hans Rennhard of Pfizer, Inc. began investigating the potential of polysaccharides as low-calorie replacements for sugar, fat, flour, and starch. In 1965, he created polydextrose, a polymer of dextrose, produced from the naturally occurring components: glucose, sorbitol, and citric acid.
Polydextrose is commonly used as a replacement for sugar, starch, and fat in commercial beverages, cakes, candies, dessert mixes, breakfast cereals, gelatins, frozen desserts, puddings, and salad dressings. Polydextrose is frequently used as an ingredient in low-carb, sugar-free, and diabetic cooking recipes. It is also used as a humectant, stabiliser, and thickening agent.
Polydextrose is a form of soluble fiber and has shown healthful prebiotic benefits when tested in animals. It contains only 1 kcal per gram and, therefore, is able to help reduce calories.
Polydextrose is known in the US by the brand names Litesse, Sta-Lite, and Winway.