SWEETENER GLOSSARY

SUGAR REPLACERS

Sugar Replacers — Bulk- and volume-providing sweeteners usually less sweet than, and different-tasting from sugar, commonly used on a one-for-one replacement basis for sugar in recipes. Sugar replacers have various names:

"Polyols", "nutritive sweeteners", "sugar alcohols" and "bulk sweeteners".
Sugar replacers are carbohydrates but they are not sugars. Sugar replacers currently approved for use in the US are:
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH)
  • Lactitol
  • MaltitoI
  • Isomalt
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol
  • Mannitol
Sugar Replacers exhibit these characteristics:
  • Generally do not promote tooth decay (dental caries)
  • Energy values range from 1.6 to 3.0 calories per gram, compared to 3.8 to 4.0 calories per gram for most carbohydrates, including sugar.
  • Commonly have a cooling effect on the tongue.
  • Are slowly and incompletely absorbed from the intestine into the blood.
  • Cause only a small rise in blood glucose and insulin levels compared with sugars and other carbohydrates.
  • Are generally metabolized by biochemical mechanisms that do not depend on insulin.
  • Do not help restore blood glucose levels due to hypoglycemia.
  • Excess consumption may have a laxative effect for some people.
D-tagatose — According to its manufacturer, "Sugaree" brand of D-tagatose is a natural, nonfattening sweetener, derived from whey, that looks, feels, tastes and performs like table sugar. It is not approved for use in the US.

Isomalt — a white, crystalline substance made from and resembling sucrose in appearance. Isomalt does not have the cooling effect of some other sugar replacers. (See Sugar Replacers.)

Lactitol — see Sugar Replacers

Maltitol — see Sugar Replacers

Mannitol — see Sugar Replacers

Sorbitol — a widely used sugar replacer, sorbitol is technically a polyhydroxy alcohol (polyol or sugar alcohol) derived from dextrose. It is used as a sweetener in sugarless chewing gums, confections, medicines and other products, plus it possesses humectant and other functional properties. It is about 60% to 70% as sweet as table sugar. (See Sugar Replacers.)

Sugaree® — see D-tagatose ™Trademark of Biospherics, Inc.

Xylitol — similar to, but sweeter than, sorbitol. (See Sugar Replacers.)