Eurofins Chemical control: sugar alcohols content

The main objective of European Regulation No. 1169/2011 is to establish a high level of health protection for consumers and to ensure that consumers are appropriately informed about the food they consume in accordance with their right to information. This regulation added several components to the list of components on a nutrition label. As a result a nutritional label may declare the amounts of one or more of the following components: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, sugar alcohols, starch, fibre, minerals and vitamins. In particular, there is an increasing interest in the consumption of sugar alcohols due to their lower energy value compared with sugars (they are metabolised in a different way) and because of their potential health benefits. Sugar alcohols (polyalcohols or polyols) are hydrogenated carbohydrates. The most common polyols present in food are glycerol, lactitol, maltitol,  mannitol, isomalt, erythritol, sorbitol  and xylitol.

As most of them display a slightly lower sweetness compared to sucrose, they are used in similar amounts to sugar to replace the bulk and (part of) the sweetness of sugar. High-intensity (also called high-potency)  sweeteners (such as  saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame.) in  low amounts might be used to adjust  the sweetness profile of such  lowcalorie products to that of products sweetened with regular sugar. Sugar alcohols are non-cariogenic or in case of xylitol, even anti-cariogenic,  have a low glycemic  index and insulin index (useful in  obesity and diabetes), are digested  more slowly and also have osmotic  properties showing water holding  properties beneficial to the colon.  Due to their laxative effects the  approval is restricted and the  products with more than 10% added  polyols must bear the words  "excessive consumption may  produce laxative effects".

Eurofins  offers different state-of-the-art  methods for the detection and  quantification of sugar alcohols and  similar components in different food  matrices.

> Supplemental information added as part of nutrition labelling: sugar alcohols content (PDF)

Aggiornato da: bdqu
Ultimo aggiornamento: venerdì 17 aprile 2015