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What Is Sorbitol?

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol. It’s often used as a substitute to other sugars, like cane and corn sugars. Sorbitol has a very low glycemic response and fewer calories than sucrose. It’s about half as sweet as sucrose.

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol with a sweet taste which the human body metabolizes slowly.

Sorbitol Is A Common Substitute

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol commonly used as a substitute for cane and corn sugars. Sorbitol occurs naturally in fruits such as apples, cherries, and apricots.

Sorbitol can be produced synthetically from glucose. (source 🗗)

Sorbitol has about half the sweetness of sucrose. The sweetness profile of sorbitol compares more to glucose than sucrose.

Sorbitol In Foods

In foods, sorbitol is mostly used in sweet food categories such as cakes, pastries, confectionery, chewing gum, and snack bars.

It is also used to sweeten medications. (source 🗗)

Sorbitol is stable when being heated. So it is often used in baking. For instance, is there is browning when using sorbitol as a sweetener. (source 🗗)

Low GI

Sorbitol has a very low glycemic response and fewer calories than sucrose. That is why it is commonly used as a sugar replacement for people with diabetes. (source 🗗)

Side-Effects Of Sorbitol

Sorbitol has diuretic, laxative, and cathartic properties. It was formerly used as a diuretic and may still be used as a laxative and in irrigating solutions for some surgical procedures. (source 🗗)

Sorbitol can cause diarrhea and IBS-like symptoms with as little as 10g per day. (source 🗗)

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Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator


I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family. Nutrition is my passion. I have spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies. Nutrition is the foundation you build a healthy and fulfilling life upon!