What are maltitol and maltitol syrup?
As all polyols, maltitol and maltitol syrup are sugar alcohols or hydrogenated carbohydrates. They are also known as sugar replacers, bulk sweeteners or sugar-free sweeteners. Maltitol is a bulk sweetener coming from wheat and maize. This is a white, crystalline powder very similar to sucrose. Its clean sweet taste and physico-chemical properties very closed to that of sucrose make it a high quality sugar alternative. Maltitol is 2.4kcal/g in Europe, provides low glycaemic and insulinaemic responses (GI of 29) and is not cariogenic. The article of commerce is supplied both as a syrup and as a solid product.
In what products are maltitol and maltitol syrups used?
Thanks to a clean sweet taste and no cooling effect and behaviour very similar to sucrose, maltitol (European safety number E 965; International number INS 965) can be used in a wide range of food applications:
- Coating: maltitol is the polyol offering the optimal crunchiness to confectionery or gum coating with the best stability.
- Chewing Gum: maltitol is very often used in chewing gum coating (see above) or in the chewing gum mass (especially for soft gums). It is adapted to all range of flavours especially fruit notes.
- Chocolate, Cakes and Biscuits: maltitol gives premium taste and texture (similar to that with sugar) while reducing sugars and calories.
- Tablets: maltitol offers the possibility to produce crunchy compressed tablets and is particularly suitable for fruit flavours.
- Jam and ice cream: maltitol is the ideal partner for sugars replacement.
- Safe for teeth applications: maltitol is not cariogenic and offers the opportunity to formulate safe for teeth applications (chewing gum, chocolate, candies, etc.).
The various maltitol syrups are available and differ from their composition and therefore their viscosity and anticrystallizing power. This helps use them in a wide range of food applications, especially chewing gum, all types of sugar confectioneries (hard-boiled candies, gums and jellies, chewy sweets, etc.), baked goods, bars and fillings, jams, and many others. Some grades of maltitol syrups are also safe for teeth. See also Polyols – food applications
Maltitol takes advantage of its properties (sugar free, non-cariogenic) to replace sucrose in pharmaceutical formulations. Very stable chemically, inert and not hygroscopic. Maltitol is an excipient of great interest for pharmaceutical industry. Maltitol solution is used in syrups, either alone or in combination with other excipients, such as sorbitol to get sugar free medicines. Crystalline Maltitol powder is used as a excipient and in hard coating to replace sucrose or as a diluent in tablets, sachets, capsules and several other oral dosage forms. See also Polyols – pharmaceutical applications