Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-11-10 Origin: Site
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol found in fruits and plants with diuretic, laxative and cathartic property. Unabsorbed sorbitol retains water in the large intestine through osmotic pressure thereby stimulating peristalsis of the intestine and exerting its diuretic, laxative and cathartic effect. In addition, sorbitol has one-third fewer calories and 60 % the sweetening activity of sucrose and is used as a sugar replacement in diabetes.
Sorbitol is a sugar substitute, and when used in food it has the INS number and E number 420. Sorbitol is about 60% as sweet as sucrose (table sugar).
Sorbitol is referred to as a nutritive sweetener because it provides dietary energy: 2.6 kilocalories (11 kilojoules) per gram versus the average 4 kilocalories (17 kilojoules) for carbohydrates. It is often used in diet foods (including diet drinks and ice cream), mints, cough syrups, and sugar-free chewing gum. Most bacteria cannot use sorbitol for energy, but it can be slowly fermented in the mouth by Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium that causes tooth decay. In contrast, many other sugar alcohols such as isomalt and xylitol are considered non-acidogenic.
It also occurs naturally in many stone fruits and berries from trees of the genus Sorbus.
Health care, food, and cosmetic uses
Sorbitol often is used in modern cosmetics as a humectant and thickener. It is also used in mouthwash and toothpaste. Some transparent gels can be made only with sorbitol, because of its high refractive index.
Sorbitol is used as a cryoprotectant additive (mixed with sucrose and sodium polyphosphates) in the manufacture of surimi, a processed fish paste. It is also used as a humectant in some cigarettes.
Beyond its use as a sugar substitute in reduced-sugar foods, Sorbitol is also used as a humectant in cookies and low-moisture foods like peanut butter and fruit preserves.In baking, it is also valuable because it acts as a plasticizer, and slows down the staling process.
As is the case with other sugar alcohols, foods containing sorbitol can cause gastrointestinal distress. Sorbitol can be used as a laxative when taken orally or as an enema.
Sorbitol is used in bacterial culture media to distinguish the pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 from most other strains of E. coli, because it is usually unable to ferment sorbitol.
Sorbitol is also used in the manufacture of softgel capsules to store single doses of liquid medicines.