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Sorbitol: A Comprehensive Overview

  • Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol with the formula C₆H₁₄O₆.
  • Found naturally in fruits like apples, pears, and prunes.
  • Produced commercially through the hydrogenation of glucose.
  • Used as a sweetener and humectant in food and pharmaceutical products.
  • Low-calorie and does not contribute to tooth decay.

What is Sorbitol?

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener and humectant in various food and pharmaceutical products. It is naturally occurring and has the chemical formula C₆H₁₄O₆.

Sources of Sorbitol

Natural Sources

Sorbitol is found in many fruits and vegetables, with high concentrations in apples, pears, and prunes.

Industrial Production

Commercially, sorbitol is produced through the hydrogenation of glucose, a process that converts glucose into sorbitol.

Uses of Sorbitol

Food Industry

Sorbitol is used as a sugar substitute in sugar-free and low-calorie products, such as candies, chewing gum, and baked goods.


In the pharmaceutical industry, sorbitol is used as an excipient in the formulation of syrups, tablets, and oral care products due to its sweetness and moisture-retaining properties.

Benefits of Sorbitol

Low Calorie

Sorbitol provides fewer calories compared to regular sugar, making it a popular choice for diet and diabetic-friendly products.

Dental Health

Unlike sugar, sorbitol does not contribute to tooth decay, making it a safer alternative for oral health.

Potential Side Effects

Excessive consumption of sorbitol can lead to digestive issues such as bloating and diarrhea. It is recommended to consume sorbitol in moderation.


Sorbitol is a versatile and beneficial ingredient used in various food and pharmaceutical products. Its low-calorie content and dental benefits make it a preferred choice for health-conscious consumers.

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