What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a naturally occurring alternative sweetener, sometimes known as "wood sugar" or "birch sugar." It is found in many fruits, vegetables and plants, and is even produced by the body itself. It looks and tastes just like sugar. It is manufactured from renewable sources such as birch trees and other hardwoods.
What does it taste like?
Xylitol tastes and looks just like sugar, but provides a cool, clean, fresh feel in your mouth. It has no nasty after-taste.
How do I store it?
Xylitol must be kept in an airtight container, or it will absorb moisture and go hard, or become sticky. If it does become hard, banging it lightly will restore it to its crystal fluidity.
Is it safe?
Xylitol is widely approved for use in food around the world, also for use in oral-hygiene products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and toiletries. After a thorough evaluation, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a scientific body of the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, allocated an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of "not specified" for xylitol. This is the SAFEST category into which JEFCA is able to place a food additive.
Xylitol may have a laxative effect for very sensitive people. Daily consumption of 0.5-1.0g/kg body weight is unlikely to cause laxative effects in most people. This quantity can usually be increased after a suitable adaptation period.
How is xylitol manufactured?
Our xylitol is manufactured on a dedicated line. First xylose is extracted directly from birch and beech wood chips and bark. It is then converted to crystalline xylitol.
What is the Caloric Value?
Xylitol has a caloric value of 2.4 kcal/g, which is 40% less than sugar.
What is the Glycaemic Index?
Xylitol has a Glycaemic Index of 8.3.
Is it Suitable for Diabetics?
Yes, it is. It is a nutritive sweetener that requires next to no insulin to metabolise.
How does xylitol benefit your teeth?
Xylitol is unable to be fermented by Streptococcus Mutans, the bacteria in your mouth that is associated with tooth decay.
Not only does it not ferment with Strep. Mutans, it also helps to inhibit the growth of Strep. Mutans and other closely related bacteria, resulting in reduced numbers of these bacteria in the mouth and reduced plaque build-up.
Xylitol increases salivary flow and reduces oral acidity.
It is suitable for all ages.
What does this xylitol product contain?
Our xylitol is 100% pure. It is free from colours, anti-oxidants, preservatives, genetically modified organisms and animal products.
Also free from allergenic substances such as nuts, dairy, other grains or any of their derivatives in or during any stage of the production.
It is manufactured on a dedicated line so there is no contamination from other food sources, such as peanuts or other allergens.
How much do you need?
To be beneficial for the teeth you need between 8g-12g, at regular intervals over the day, preferably after you have eaten. Rinse your mouth out with water and then have 1-2g xylitol.
Prolonged oral exposure brings the best results, e.g. in 'sip on the go drinks.
Any less than this may not be effective, any more will bring diminishing benefits.
Can I bake with xylitol?
Yes, you can. Use 1 to 1 as you would use sugar. You may wish to modify the amount to suit your personal taste.
Can I feed xylitol to my dog or pet?
Xylitol is recommended for human consumption only. It is not recommended for animals. It has been reported to be very toxic for some dogs, dropping them into glycaemic shock, resulting in possible liver failure. This can occur within 30 minutes of consumption. While there are animal products on the market which contain small amounts of xylitol that are deemed safe by veterinarians, until more is known about safety limits, we recommend that you keep all xylitol and foods containing xylitol safely out of reach of your pets.
What will xylitol not do?
It will not ferment yeast e.g. for bread-making, alcohol.
It will not caramelize at normal boiling temperatures, e.g. toffee, syrups.
Who has endorsed it?
Several dental associations worldwide, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland have endorsed the use of chewing gums and confectionery which have at least 50% of the sweetener as xylitol.
After a thorough evaluation, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a scientific body of the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, allocated an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of "not specified" (i.e. unlimited) for xylitol. This is the SAFEST category into which JEFCA is able to place a food additive.
Do ants like xylitol?
Ants do not seem to like xylitol, which is a great bonus, if spilt it will not bring the ants into the kitchen!
When was xylitol discovered?
Xylitol was first discovered in 1891 by the German chemist Emil Fischer.
It was then rediscovered in Finland during and after WWII, when there was an acute sugar shortage in Europe, which forced them to look for alternatives. It has been widely used as an alternative sweetener since the 1960's.
Where can I read more studies about xylitol?
There are lots of excellent resources on the internet. A good place to start is: www.xylitol.net.
What are other ways to use xylitol?
- Exchange sugar for xylitol in the sugar bowl.
- Sprinkle it on your cereal.
- Have it in your hot drinks.
- Grind it in the coffee grinder to make it like icing sugar.
- Put it in the food processor to make it like castor sugar.
- Bake with it.