Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol the body uses slowly. It is an artificial sweetener used in diet foods. It is called a nutritive sweetener because it has four calories in every gram, just like table sugar and starch. Sorbitol is a white, sweetish, hygroscopic, crystalline sugar alcohol of six-carbon. It is found naturally in various berries and fruits or it is prepared synthetically by high-pressure catalytic hydrogenation of glucose sugar derived from cornstarch. It melts at 93 to 98 C depending on the form. It is used as a a food additive, toothpaste, tobacco, toiletries and in cosmetics. It is used for vitamin-C fermentation. It is also used in the manufactue of polyethers for polyurethanes and surfactants.
Sorbitol is also produced by the body. Too much sorbitol in cells can cause damage. Diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy may be related to too much sorbitol in the cells of the eyes and nerves.
Sorbitol is used as a humectant in many types of products for protection against loss of moisture content. The moisture-stabilizing and textural properties of sorbitol are used in the production of confectionery, baked goods and chocolate where products tend to become dry or harden. Its moisture-stabilizing action protects these products from drying and maintains their initial freshness during storage.
Sorbitol is very stable and chemically unreactive. It can withstand high temperatures and does not participate in Maillard (browning) reactions. This is an advantage, for example, in the production of cookies where a fresh color with no appearance of browning is desired. Sorbitol also combines well with other food ingredients such as sugars, gelling agents, proteins and vegetable fats. It functions well in many food products such as chewing gums, candies, frozen desserts, cookies, cakes, icings and fillings as well as oral care products, including toothpaste and mouthwash.
In general, hexitols and their derivates particularly sorbitol, are used in diverse industries viz. pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, toothpastes, cigarette, foods, textiles, adhesives, cigarette, foods, confectionery, printing ink, etc. One of the major uses of Sorbitol is as an humectant and conditioning agent. Many products under day-to-day atmospheric changes require the addition of a humectant to assist them to retain their freshness, softness and flexibility and to maintain ideal manufacturing conditions. In candy manufacture, Sorbitol is used together with sugar to increase shelf-life. The function of Sorbitol is to retard the solidification of sugar often associated with staleness in candy. It also helps to improve softess, taste and texture. In butter creams, an additional benefit is enhanced flavour. Sorbitol may be used in diabetic chocolates. Sorbitol is used as a humectant and softner in shredded coconut, its decided advantage over sugar being that the darkening of the product does not occur. A small quantity of 70 % Sorbitol added to peanut butter has been shown to reduce dryness and crumbleness and improve spreadability. Sorbitol functions in textile in applications basically as a dispensing agent, humectant, bodying agentand sequestering agent. In printing, a paste of 2 % to 3 % Sorbitol liquid 70 % (on the weight of the gum in the dye paste) prevents livering of the paste. Improves brightness & intensity of colour assists penetrations, prevents bleeding and promotes leveling. In textile sizing, Sorbitol acts as a humectant, and especially in winter it preserves the film of the adhesive from becoming dry and maintain its plasticity. In scouring operations, it mainly acts as a sequestering agent. In finishing, it gives a soft feel, good drape and proven dimension stability to the fabric. Sorbitol finds use as a bodying agent in pharmaceuticals syrups and elixirs. The use of Sorbitol in cough syrups reduces the tendency of the bottle caps to stick due to the crystallization of the sugar present. Sorbitol is a good humectant and plasticiser and these properties make it useful in emulsion ointments, non - fat soluble ointments and gelatine capsules. Ointments, creams and pastes will show satisfactory spreading capacity with Sorbitol as adjuvant. Aqueous Sorbitol Solutions are not subject to fermentative decomposition, and that is why Sorbitol finds increasing use in the preparation of dental formulations for buccal cavity. Sorbitol liquid 70 % has proved a useful additive for improving the aesthetic appeal of glycerine carbolic soap by imparting better transparency. Generally speaking, Liquid Sorbitol 70 % can replace other humectants, weight by weight where the humectant percentage is less than 10 %. Sorbitol imparts to frozen desserts, body and textures as well as some sweetness. Sorbitol is used in frozen desserts for diabetics because it is slowly absorbed from the intestine and is metabolised as fructose. In the manufacture of sugarless chewing gum, Sorbitol provides the water-soluble solids; further a 70 % solution of Sorbitol in water provides proper plasticity. Sorbitol resists fermentation of acids by microorganisms in the mouth, and therefore it is believed not to contribute to the incidence of dental caries. In artificially sweetened canned fruits, the addition of Sorbitol syrup provides body and also reduces the undesirable after - taste of saccharine. In low -caloric soft drinks, Sorbitol finds use as a bodying agent in addition to its use as a sequestering agent in canned soft drinks.
Pharmaceutical grade d-sorbitol ((molecular formula: C6H14O6 molecular weight: 182.17) is mainly used in amino acid infusion for equilibrating amino-group, stabilizing internal pressure and protecting immunoglobulin. It can be used as excipient for direct compression tablet because of its good flowability and compressibility. It effectively binds actives and increases the tablet’s disintegration. Food grade of crystalline D-sorbitol is used for candy. It will not induce hyperglyemia due to its sugar-free and will not bring about any dental caries because no effect by microorganism takes place in mouth. As its novel cooling taste, the product is the optimum material for gums; it can also be applied as sweetening agent and hydroscopic agent for cakes, fish jams and beverages. Sorbitol has the functions of improving tissue structure, preventing starch from aging and prolonging shelf life. No Maillard reaction is found. The product can be used as antistaling agent for aquatic products due to the inhibition of bacteria by sorbitol. Industrial grade of crystalline D-sorbitol is applied in polyether polylol and textile aids. It is also used in toothpaste and cosmetics as hygroscopic agent, thickening agent, and stabilizing agent for moistening and improving stability of aromatics.
Sorbitol chemical information:
Synonyms: cholaxine, clucitol, diakarmon, gulitol, l-gulitol, karion, nivitin, sionit, sorbicolan, sorbite, d-sorbitol, sorbo, sorbol, sorbostyl, sorvilande
Molecular formula: C6H14O6
CAS No: 50-70-4