Maltitol (4-O–glucopyranosyl-D-sorbitol) is a sugar and disaccharide polyol used as an alternative sweetener to sugar because, except for browning, it possesses roughly 90% of sucrose’s sweetness and has similar properties. It has a lower caloric value than saccharose (2.4 vs. four kcal/g). Maltitol occurs naturally in different fruits and vegetables. Small amounts of maltitol naturally exist in roasted malt and chicory leaves. Maltitol possesses similar organoleptic properties to glucose1 and provides good digestive tolerance.


Health Benefits

As with other sugar alcohols, maltitol is poorly absorbed in the small intestine and has a lower insulinemic index (35 vs. 45) and glycemic index (35 vs. 68)2. Adults can eat as much as 40 g of maltitol/per day with no significant symptoms, while children can consume 15 g3. Maltitol exhibits specific prebiotic effects4,5.


  1. Portmann, M.O.; Kilcast, D. Psychophysical characterization of new sweeteners of commercial importance for the EC food industry. Food Chem. 1996, 56, 291–302.
  2. Kearsley, M.W.; Deis, R.C. Maltitol powder. In Sweeteners and Sugar Alternatives in Food Technology, 2nd ed.; O’Donnell, K., Kearsley, M.W., Eds.; John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: Chichester, UK, 2012; pp. 295–308.
  3. Koutsou, G.A.; Storey, D.M.; Lee, A.; et al. Dose-related gastrointestinal response to the ingestion of either isomalt, lactitol, or maltitol in milk chocolate. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 1996, 50, 17.
  4. Beards, E.; Tuohy, K.; Gibson, G. A human volunteer study to assess the impact of confectionery sweeteners on the gut microbiota composition. Br. J. Nutr. 2010, 104, 701–708
  5. Thabuis, C.; Herbomez, A.C.; Desailly, F.; Ringard, F.;Wils, D.; Guérin-Deremaux, L. Prebiotic-like effects of SweetPearl Maltitol through changes in caecal and fecal parameters. Food Nutr. Sci. 2012, 3, 1375.