NEOH Ingredients / NEOHpedia: Maltitol, Xylitol, Sucralose

Maltitol, Xylitol, Sucralose

If the craving for something sweet overcomes you, then you must also satisfy it with something sweet. Of course you could also reach for an apple or a banana, but let's face it, if we are already craving sugar, we want to enjoy the satisfying feeling of sugar. But then you immediately have a bad conscience, reminding you that sugar not only makes you fat, but also damages your teeth and is actually not good for the body. But we would not be NEOH if we did not have a solution for this problem as well. Sugar substitutes! Now, most people are gonna think: “Hm, sounds cool, but what is that?“ Sugar substitutes are substitutes for sugar that taste the same as commercial, white, refined sugar, but have only a fraction of its calories. In addition, they are not recognized by the body as sugar and are therefore not metabolized like sugar. They remain undetected. This is the reason for the low calorie count, besides other great properties, such as a very low glycemic index and tooth friendliness as well as positive effects on the mineral content of the body. So sugar substitutes are true heroes and exactly what makes our NEOH bar so sweet. True to our motto: Fight sugar – unleash taste!  

The effect on the blood sugar level is very low for all three substances, since the sugar substitutes cannot be digested by the body, i.e. converted into energy. Most of these substances are excreted unchanged in the urine. This is also the reason why the calorie count is so low. However, fructose-intolerant people must be careful when consuming sucralose, as about 15% of sucralose is converted into 1.6-dichlorofructose, which can lead to the same side-effects as fructose. 

 Like most other sugar substitutes, maltitol has been found to be safe in patients with diabetes. It has a very low glycaemic index and therefore has very little effect on blood sugar levels. Individual clarification by a doctor is nevertheless recommended.  

All three sugar substitutes have been classified as safe by the FDA. No ADI value was assigned to xylitol and maltitol Sucralose has an ADI of 15 mg per kilogram body weight when consumed daily. The substances are therefore harmless to humans. 

Maltitol, xylitol and sucralose are sugar alcohols and belong to the sugar substitutes. The special thing about them is that they have only half the calories or no calories at all with almost the same sweetening power of sucrose. As a result, they are increasingly used in the food industry to reduce the calorie density in foods while maintaining the same sweetness and taste.  The sugar alcohol maltitol is another member of the family of sugar substitutes and has a sweetening power of between 60% and 90% compared to refined sugar. As syrup the sweetening power is 50%-75%.

Per gram, maltitol contains 2.1 kcal. Maltitol is also used as a carrier for aromas and vitamins and as an ingredient in various cosmetics.  Xylitol, also called birch sugar, was first extracted from beech wood chips in 1890. Sorbitol is naturally found in strawberries, raspberries, plums and cauliflower, as well as in the bark of birch trees.

With the same sweetening power as sugar, xylitol has only half as many calories, namely 2.4 kcal.  Sucralose has a sweetening power 600 times higher than crystal sugar. Nevertheless, it has no calories and its taste is very similar to sugar.

Although sucralose was successfully produced for the first time in 1976 by the company Tate & Layle in cooperation with Queen Elisabeth College in London, it is still a very young substance, which was only approved in Germany in 2005 by the Additives Approval Ordinance. It was already approved in the USA in 1999. 

The sweeteners mentioned are all used in the food industry to reduce or replace the sugar content. Thus, the number of calories in processed foods is reduced to make them accessible even to people with diabetes. They also all have in common that there is no unpleasant after-taste when consumed, which makes them even more attractive.

Maltose is made from corn starch or the starch from wheat. This is further processed and maltitol is produced by hydrogenation. 

 Xylitol can be obtained in two different ways. On the one hand by fermentation; here, different yeasts convert glucose into xylitol. The second way to obtain xylitol is hydrogenation. Wood sugar, for example, is extracted from birch bark and further converted into xylitol.  

Sucralose is produced by chlorinating sucrose in a process in which the three hydroxy groups are exchanged for chlorine atoms. 

• Sweetening power is almost equal to that of sugar
• Only half as many calories as sugar 
• Little influence on the blood sugar level 
• Xylitol has a positive effect on dental health, as it has tooth-protecting properties 
• Xylitol has a positive effect on the mineral content in bones 
• Sucralose has 600 times the sweetness of crystal sugar with zero calories

Online Sources

https://www.zentrum-der-gesundheit.de/zuckerlexikon.html https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/additional-information-about-high-intensity-sweeteners-permitted-use-food-united-states

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