Table 2—

Sugar alcohols: caloric content and regulatory status

Sugar alcoholCaloric content (kcal/g)FDA designation
Erythritol0.2GRAS affirmation petition accepted for filing
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates3.0GRAS affirmation petitions accepted for filing
Isomalt2.0GRAS affirmation petition accepted for filing
Lactitol2.0GRAS affirmation petition accepted for filing
Maltitol3.0GRAS affirmation petition accepted for filing
Mannitol*1.6Food additive permitted in food or in contact with food on an interim basis pending additional study
Sorbitol*2.6Affirmed as GRAS
Xylitol2.4Food additive permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption
  • Caloric content based on Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, “The evaluation of the energy of certain polyols used as food ingredients,” June 1994, (unpublished), and Life Sciences Research Office: “Evaluation of the net energy value of maltitol,” April 1999 (unpublished).

  • *

    * “Excess consumption may have a laxative effect” must be on label for foods whose reasonably foreseeable consumption may result in the daily ingestion of 20 g mannitol or 50 g sorbitol.