Sugar alcohol


Sugar alcohol

A sugar alcohol (also known as a polyol, polyhydric alcohol, or polyalcohol) is a hydrogenated form of carbohydrate, whose carbonyl group (aldehyde or ketone, reducing sugar) has been reduced to a primary or secondary hydroxyl group. Its general formula is H(HCHO)n+1H, whereas sugar's is H(HCHO)nHCO. They are commonly used for replacing sucrose in foodstuffs, often in combination with high intensity artificial sweeteners to counter the low sweetness. Furthermore, they do not contribute to tooth decay.

Some common sugar alcohols:
*Glycol
*Glycerol (aka glycerine)
*Erythritol
*Arabitol
*Xylitol
*Ribitol
*Mannitol
*Sorbitol
*Isomalt
*Maltitol
*Lactitol

Disaccharides and monosaccharides can both form sugar alcohols; however, sugar alcohols derived from disaccharides (e.g. maltitol and lactitol) are not entirely hydrogenated because only one aldehyde group is available for reduction.

ugar alcohols as food additives

As a group, sugar alcohols are not as sweet as sucrose, and they contain fewer calories than sucrose. Their flavor is like sucrose, and they can be used to mask the unpleasant aftertastes of some high intensity sweeteners. Sugar alcohols are not metabolized by oral bacteria, and so they do not contribute to tooth decay. They do not brown or caramelize when heated.

In addition to their sweetness, some sugar alcohols can produce a noticeable cooling sensation in the mouth when highly concentrated, for instance in sugar-free hard candy or chewing gum. This happens, for example, with the crystalline phase of sorbitol, erythritol, xylitol, mannitol, lactitol and maltitol. The cooling sensation is due to the dissolving of the sugar alcohol being an endothermic (heat-absorbing) reaction, one with a strong heat of solution. [cite journal
first = HK
last = Cammenga
authorlink =
coauthors = LO Figura, B Zielasko
year = 1996
month =
title = Thermal behaviour of some sugar alcohols
journal = Journal of thermal analysis
volume = 47
issue = 2
pages = 427–434
id =
url =
doi = 10.1007/BF01983984
]

Sugar alcohols are usually incompletely absorbed into the blood stream from the small intestines which generally results in a smaller change in blood glucose than "regular" sugar (sucrose). This property makes them popular sweeteners among diabetics and people on low-carbohydrate diets. However, as for many other incompletely digestible substances (such as dietary fiber), overconsumption of sugar alcohols can lead to bloating, diarrhea and flatulence because they are not absorbed in the small intestine. Some individuals experience such symptoms even in a single-serving quantity. With continued use, most people develop a degree of tolerance to sugar alcohols and no longer experience these symptoms. As an exception, erythritol is actually absorbed in the small intestine and excreted unchanged through urine, so it has no side effects at typical levels of consumption.

The table above presents the relative sweetness and measured caloric content of the most widely-used sugar alcohols. Despite the variance in caloric content of sugar alcohols, EU labeling requirements assign a blanket value of 2.4 kcal/g to all sugar alcohols.

People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, specifically Roux-en-Y (RGB), should be careful not to eat too many sugar alcohols as doing so can lead to "dumping".Fact|date=April 2007

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sugar alcohol — noun a hydrogenated form of carbohydrate, whose carbonyl group has been reduced to a primary or secondary hydroxyl group; sugar alcohols are commonly used as sugar substitutes in food, often in combination with artificial sweeteners. Syn:… …   Wiktionary

  • sugar alcohol — The polyalcohol resulting from the reduction of the carbonyl group in a monosaccharide to a hydroxyl group. * * * a polyhydric alcohol having no more than one hydroxy group attached to each carbon atom, formed by the reduction of the carbonyl… …   Medical dictionary

  • sugar alcohol — /ʃʊgər ˈælkəhɒl/ (say shooguhr alkuhhol) noun a hydrogenated form of carbohydrate with the general formula H(HCHO)n + 1H, as opposed to sugar H(HCHO)nHCO; used as a sweetener for processed food to avoid using sugar …   Australian English dictionary

  • deoxy sugar alcohol — noun A sugar alcohol in which one on more hydroxy groups have been replaced by hydrogen …   Wiktionary

  • Alcohol — This article is about the generic chemistry term. For the kind of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, see Ethanol. For beverages containing alcohol, see Alcoholic beverage. For other uses, see Alcohol (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Sugar — For other uses, see Sugar (disambiguation). For common table sugar, see Sucrose. White sugar redirects here. For the Joanne Shaw Taylor album, see White Sugar (album) …   Wikipedia

  • Alcohol dehydrogenase — Crystallographic structure of the homodimer of human ADH5.[1] Identifiers …   Wikipedia

  • Sugar crust — Sugar Crust, in chocolate confectionery, is a method to prepare liquid (often liqueur) filled chocolates.The solid sugar crust is formed from a supersaturated sugar solution with a filling of choice. The crust completely seals the filling,… …   Wikipedia

  • Alcohol intoxication — Classification and external resources The Drunkenness of Noah by Michelangelo ICD 10 F …   Wikipedia

  • Sugar — Sug ar, n. [OE. sugre, F. sucre (cf. It. zucchero, Sp. az[ u]car), fr. Ar. sukkar, assukkar, fr. Skr. [,c]arkar[=a] sugar, gravel; cf. Per. shakar. Cf. {Saccharine}, {Sucrose}.] 1. A sweet white (or brownish yellow) crystalline substance, of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English