July 11, 2020

Popularity of eating healthy has increased immensely in las decade, giving birth to many different diets and many different “online health influencer “suggesting those diets.

As people look for effective ways to stay healthy or lose weight, the no-sugar diet has been trending and to cater this trend food and beverage industry are focusing heavily on the concept of “Low Sugar or Zero Sugar”. But are you aware what exactly goes in this food that tastes a lot like sugar induced food but are low on calories Keep in mind that sugar can be listed by over 50 different names.. Sugar-free candies use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes called Polyols otherwise known as Sugar Alcohol to create a sweet taste while foregoing real sugar aka Sucrose. These products are chemically defined as saccharide derivatives in which a ketone or aldehyde group is replaced by a hydroxyl group and include sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, lactitol, isomalt, xylitol and erythritol. One might ask why polyols such as Sorbitol are better compared to sucrose, well let’s find out.

One of the polyol majorly used in such sugar free confectioneries is Sorbitol. Sorbitol less commonly known as glucitol Is obtained by reduction of glucose produced from corn and potato starch it is available either in various crystalline forms or as liquid syrup. Sorbitol consists of 2.6 kilocalories per gram versus the average 4 kilocalories for carbohydrates and is 60% as sweet as Sucrose. Also it is poorly absorbed by the body, so it does not raise insulin levels as much as sugar does. Sorbitol is also less cariogenic in nature compared to sucrose. What is cariogenic? Well cariogenic bacteria are the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, now you know why your parents denied you plenty of chocolates (truth to be told they too must be unaware why chocolate causes tooth decay).

Sorbitol not only has characteristic which are good for health but is also good for commercial business. Sorbitol works as plasticizer; plasticizer are additives which decreases viscosity of material and in turn slows down the stalling process which means better shelf life. It also works as a cooling agent A characteristic property of all polyols is their negative heat of solution which gives a cooling sensation in the mouth. For mints the cooling sensation is often a desired characteristic and now you know from where you get that effect. When you eat cakes the most important requirement besides tasting good is tasting fresh. Bakery items containing Sorbitol have additional advantages due to higher hygroscopicity and humectancy, which give better resistance to drying out and in result tastes fresh for longer time.

Whether one agrees or not but we usually select toothpaste on what it taste likes. The sweet taste on basis of which we like the toothpaste is due to Sorbitol. Sorbitol is preferred in oral care industries because it is non- cariogenic in nature, provides that cooling effect and also works as a humectant. It’s also used by pharmaceutical companies because it increases palatability (agreeable to pallet) and works as a bodying agent.

Now you know how and why sugar free food are better than regular sugar. Thus it’s very important not to blindly follow any diet but to eat right, know what you are eating and will it really help you or not. Stay tuned as we will further bring blogs regarding food products and chemical used in them.