From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
IUPAC name
(2R,3R,4R,5R)-6-[[(2S,3R,4S,5S,6R)- 3,4,5-Trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)-2-tetrahydropyranyl]oxy]hexane-1,2,3,4,5-pentol
Other names
64519-82-0 YesY
ChemSpider 80068 YesY
Jmol interactive 3D Image
PubChem 88735
UNII S870P55O2W YesY
Molar mass 344.31 g·mol−1
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oil Health code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentine Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
YesY verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Isomalt is a sugar substitute, a type of sugar alcohol, used primarily for its sugar-like physical properties. It has only a small impact on blood sugar levels and does not promote tooth decay, i.e. is tooth-friendly. Its energy value is 2 kcal/g, half that of sugars.[1] However, like most sugar alcohols, it carries a risk of gastric distress, including flatulence and diarrhea, when consumed in large quantities. Therefore, isomalt is advised to not be consumed in quantities larger than about 50 g per day for adults and 25 g for children. Isomalt may prove upsetting to the intestinal tract because the body treats it as a dietary fiber instead of as a simple carbohydrate. Therefore, like most fibers, it can increase bowel movements, passing through the bowel in virtually undigested form. As with other dietary fibers, regular consumption of isomalt might eventually lead one to become desensitized to it, decreasing the risk of intestinal upset.[citation needed] Isomalt is typically blended with a high-intensity sweetener such as sucralose, so that the mixture has about the sweetness of sugar.

Isomalt is an equimolar mixture of two disaccharides, each composed of two sugars: glucose and mannitol (α-D-glucopyranosido-1,6-mannitol) and also glucose and sorbitol (α-D-glucopyranosido-1,6-sorbitol). Complete hydrolysis of isomalt yields glucose (50%), sorbitol (25%), and mannitol (25%).[2] It is an odorless, white, crystalline substance containing about 5% water of crystallisation. Isomalt has a minimal cooling effect (positive heat of solution[3]), lower than many other sugar alcohols, in particular, xylitol and erythritol.

Isomalt is manufactured in a two-stage process in which sucrose is first transformed into isomaltulose, a reducing disaccharide (6-O-α-D-glucopyranosido-D-fructose). The isomaltulose is then hydrogenated, using a Raney nickel catalyst. The final product — isomalt — is an equimolar composition of 6-O-α-D-glucopyranosido-D-sorbitol (1,6-GPS) and 1-O-α-D-glucopyranosido-D-mannitol-dihydrate (1,1-GPM-dihydrate).

Isomalt has been approved for use in the United States since 1990. It is also permitted for use in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Iran, and the European Union. (Note: List of countries is not exhaustive).

Isomalt is widely used for the production of sugar-free candy, especially hard-boiled candy, because it resists crystallisation much better than the standard combinations of sucrose and corn syrup. It is used in sugar sculpture for the same reason.


  1. ^ Position of The American Dietetic Association (use of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners). J Am Diet Assoc. 1998;98:580–587.
  2. ^ Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). "Isomalt". International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS). Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Wohlfarth, Christian. CRC Handbook of Enthalpy Data of Polymer-Solvent Systems. CRC Press, 2006. Google Books result: ISBN 0-8493-9361-2

External links[edit]