479694 Xylitol: Low-Calorie Sweetener

Monday, November 14, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Daniela Gonzalez, National University of Colombia, Bogota, Colombia

Xylitol: low-calorie sweete

D. Gonzalez

Department of chemical and environmental engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

The xylitol is a polyol that contains 5 carbons, it can be obtained by reducing D-xylose sugar. It is classified as an alternative sweetener, because their properties are very similar to sucrose since it has a sweet taste, so you can get to replace fully contributing to food, main field in which it is used, the conditions. They are to be obtained from sucrose and reducing negative effects on the health of consumers.

This is very stable due to the absence of reducing groups, such as aldehydes and ketones, which are present in the reducing sugars. Xylitol has a heat load of 2.4 kcal / g and a relative sweetness equal to that of sucrose, so is the polyalcohol with greater sweetening power.

The World Health Organization recommends eating different types of sugars to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases. This is concerned with the prevention of weight gain up to unhealthy levels. It also establishes that dental diseases, whose occurrence is associated with the consumption of traditional sugars, non-communicable diseases are most prevalent in the world. (WHO, 2015)

Below is a comparison table where some of the representative characteristics of sucrose, sweetener comprehensive global consumption, and xylitol are discussed with respect to their effects on human health is presented.



negatively affects health, causing:

  • Diabetes

  • Damage in the oral cavity

  • Obesity

safe sweetener for human consumption, in appropriate amounts, can promote the health of both children and adults.

It is metabolized by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans, which cause ear infections and dental cavities respectively.

As a polyalcohol is not metabolized by certain species of bacteria such as those mentioned for sucrose.

There is no proven a laxative effect

It has been found that excessive consumption produces a laxative effect.

Not suitable for people who suffer from diabetes mellitus or are deficient in glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase

It is suitable for people who suffer from diabetes mellitus or are deficient in glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in the food industry and also pharmacological level for the formulation of dental products as dentifrice, mouthwashes and whiteners. In the cosmetics industry it is used as humectant and hygroscopic due to its viscosity as emulsifier.






generate sweetness

Emulsifier / Thickener

form emulsions


microbiological stabilizer

Inhibits bacterial growth


moisturizing effect



inhibits the formation of caries


osmotic lubricant

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded