In the search for alternatives to refined sugar, many people are turning to xylitol to satisfy their longing for something sweet. This sweetener touts a 40-percent lighter caloric load compared to table sugar and a lower glycemic index. The crystalline substance has the same look and just about the same level of sweetness as sugar with little or no aftertaste, making it an immensely popular food additive. Xylitol is shown to be effective in oral health and medical applications.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol whose derivative, xylose, naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables as well as within the human body. European scientists discovered the sweetener in the 1890s, and it became a staple in European nations as a result of wartime sugar shortages. The FDA approved xylitol for dietary use in the United States in 1963. Since the 1970s, the scientific community has recognized several health benefits of the sugar replacement, facilitating its inclusion in many food and medical products. Xylitol is a non-nutritive food additive. It does not contain any vitamins or minerals. However, it does contain a small amount of calories, carbohydrates, and other organic compounds.
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