Is Polyglycitol A Sugar Alcohol? A Complete Guide

Are you looking for a sugar substitute that won’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels or your waistline?

Look no further than polyglycitol syrup!

This natural sweetener is derived from plant-based carbohydrates and has gained approval from the FDA and other regulatory bodies around the world.

But what exactly is polyglycitol, and how does it compare to other sugar alcohols and sweetening alternatives?

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of polyglycitol syrup and why it might just be the perfect sweetener for you.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about this sweet and safe sugar substitute.

Is Polyglycitol A Sugar Alcohol?

Yes, polyglycitol syrup is indeed a sugar alcohol. It is a glucose-based sugar alcohol that is about 25 to 50% as sweet as sugar. Polyglycitol syrup is a combination of maltitol and sorbitol, two other common sugar alcohols.

Sugar alcohols are a type of carbohydrate that are commonly used as sweeteners in food and beverages. They are called “sugar alcohols” because their chemical structure is similar to both sugar and alcohol. However, they do not contain ethanol, the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages.

Polyglycitol syrup is often used as a moisturizer, artificial sweetener base, bulking agent, and base for essences. It has about 2.8kcals/g, which is far lower than other sweetening alternatives like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

What Is Polyglycitol Syrup?

Polyglycitol syrup is a hydrogenated starch hydrolysate (HSH) syrup that is a blend of glucose and maltitol molecules. It is a clear, colorless, 70% solids syrup that is specially developed to provide excellent moisture and body for cosmetic and personal care applications such as emollients and shaving creams. Polyglycitol syrup is primarily used as a sugar substitute in foods such as candies, chewing gum, and desserts, to provide a sweet taste without the calories from sucrose. It also helps to bulk up products as it is a bulk sugar alternative.

Polyglycitol syrup has a glycemic index of 39, meaning that it will spike your blood sugar and interfere with ketosis. However, it has very low glycemic index compared to other sweeteners like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, making it a popular sweetener choice for people with diabetes or those looking to watch their sugar intake.

The European Food Safety Authority Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food says there are no safety concerns when using appropriate levels of polyglycitol syrup as a food additive. However, conservative estimates of the exposure to polyglycitol syrup have shown that it may cause gastric disturbance in some individuals when administered as bolus doses. Despite this, there are no indications of a safety concern for the proposed uses and use levels of polyglycitol syrup.

How Is Polyglycitol Different From Other Sugar Alcohols?

Polyglycitol syrup is different from other sugar alcohols in a few key ways. First, it is a combination of two sugar alcohols, maltitol and sorbitol, whereas most other sugar alcohols are single compounds. This combination allows for a more balanced sweetness profile and can help to reduce the laxative effects that some people experience when consuming large amounts of other sugar alcohols.

Another difference is that polyglycitol syrup is a glucose-based sugar alcohol, whereas some others, like erythritol, are produced through fermentation of glucose. This means that polyglycitol syrup may have a slightly different taste and texture compared to other sugar alcohols.

Additionally, polyglycitol syrup has a slightly higher caloric content than some other sugar alcohols, with about 2.8kcals/g compared to erythritol’s 0.2kcals/g. However, it still has significantly fewer calories than regular sugar, which has about 4kcals/g.

Finally, polyglycitol syrup has a lower laxative limit than some other sugar alcohols. The maximum daily intake per kilogram of body weight to avoid laxative effects for polyglycitol syrup is not listed in the provided information, but it is likely similar to or slightly higher than maltitol’s limit of 0.34g/kgbw/day.

The Benefits Of Using Polyglycitol As A Sugar Substitute

There are several benefits to using polyglycitol syrup as a sugar substitute. One of the main advantages is its lower glycemic index compared to regular sugar. This means that it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly or as much as sugar does, making it a suitable option for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.

Another benefit of using polyglycitol syrup is its lower caloric content. It has about 50-75% fewer calories than regular sugar, making it a great option for those looking to reduce their calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight.

Polyglycitol syrup is also a good alternative for those who are trying to reduce their sugar intake but still want to enjoy sweet treats. It has a similar taste and texture to sugar, making it an easy substitution in recipes for baked goods, candies, and other sweet treats.

Additionally, polyglycitol syrup is safe for teeth and does not contribute to tooth decay like regular sugar does. This makes it a good option for those who are concerned about their dental health.

Potential Side Effects Of Polyglycitol Consumption

While polyglycitol syrup is generally considered safe for consumption, it can cause some potential side effects in certain individuals.

One of the most common side effects of consuming polyglycitol syrup is digestive issues. Like other sugar alcohols, polyglycitol syrup is not completely absorbed by the body and can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea in some people. It is recommended to start with small amounts of polyglycitol syrup and gradually increase the amount consumed in order to reduce any possible side effects.

Additionally, polyglycitol syrup can affect blood sugar levels. While it has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, it can still cause a temporary spike in blood sugar levels in some individuals. This can be especially problematic for individuals with diabetes or other blood sugar-related conditions. It is important to monitor blood sugar levels carefully when consuming polyglycitol syrup.

Finally, some people may be allergic or sensitive to polyglycitol syrup. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming polyglycitol syrup, seek medical attention immediately.

How To Incorporate Polyglycitol Into Your Diet

Polyglycitol syrup is a popular sugar substitute that can be incorporated into your diet in various ways. Here are a few ideas:

1. Use it in baking: Polyglycitol syrup is a great substitute for sugar in baked goods like cakes, cookies, and muffins. It can also be used to make sugar-free frosting and glazes.

2. Add it to your coffee or tea: If you’re looking for a low-calorie sweetener for your morning cup of coffee or tea, try adding a small amount of polyglycitol syrup.

3. Use it in homemade jams and jellies: Polyglycitol syrup can be used as a sweetener in homemade jams and jellies. It will help thicken the mixture and give it a sweet taste without the added calories.

4. Mix it with yogurt or oatmeal: Polyglycitol syrup can be added to yogurt or oatmeal to give it a sweet taste without the added sugar.

5. Use it in candy-making: Polyglycitol syrup is commonly used as a sweetener in sugar-free candy-making. It can be used to make hard candies, gummies, and other types of confections.

It’s important to note that while polyglycitol syrup is a healthier alternative to regular sugar, it should still be consumed in moderation. Excessive consumption of polyglycitol syrup can cause digestive issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. The European Union has set a maximum daily intake limit of 50 grams per day for polyglycitol syrup to avoid these side effects.

Conclusion: Is Polyglycitol The Right Sweetener For You?

When it comes to choosing the right sweetener for you, there are a few things to consider. Polyglycitol syrup is a good option if you are looking for a low-calorie alternative to sugar. It is also a good option if you are looking for a sweetener that does not raise blood sugar levels as much as regular sugar does.

However, it is important to note that polyglycitol syrup, like other sugar alcohols, can cause digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea if consumed in large amounts. It is also important to note that polyglycitol syrup is not as sweet as regular sugar, so you may need to use more of it to achieve the same level of sweetness.