What are the side effects of mannitol in food?

2024-05-28

What are the side effects of mannitol in food

What are the side effects of mannitol in food?

The side effects of mannitol include diarrhea and stomach discomfort. This is because mannitol is a chemical substance that is absorbed by the body at a slower rate. When consumed in large amounts, it will remain in the digestive system, causing water attraction and leading to diarrhea. During the metabolism of mannitol into energy in the body, hydrogen gas is produced, which may cause abdominal bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort. Other rare side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, and facial flushing. Long term or excessive intake of mannitol may lead to weight gain, elevated blood sugar levels, and metabolic disorders. Compared to other artificial sweeteners, mannitol has relatively fewer side effects because it is considered a safe food additive and has been approved by the World Health Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration for use as a food sweetener. For people with special illnesses or allergies to mannitol, it is recommended to use it with caution or avoid consuming mannitol.


What is mannitol used for in food?

Over the years, many studies have been conducted on the medical effects of mannitol. However, due to the scarcity of mannitol sources and the high volatility of market supply, there has been relatively little research on its application in food. Research has shown that about 50% of mannitol consumed is ultimately utilized by the human body, with an energy of only 8.36kJ/g. Moreover, after entering the human body, it does not need to be metabolized through insulin.

As a functional food ingredient, mannitol has broad application prospects in the food industry. With the development of synthetic mannitol production technology, the production scale of mannitol is rapidly expanding, and the production cost and price are also stabilizing. Therefore, it is imperative to explore the application of mannitol in the food industry.

1. Develop food for diabetics. The primary metabolic pathway of mannitol in the human body has nothing to do with insulin. After ingestion, it will not cause significant fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels, and can be eaten by diabetics.

2. Used for anti caries sweets. Mannitol is not utilized by oral microorganisms and can also inhibit the growth and reproduction of Streptococcus mutans, making it suitable for the production of anti caries sweet foods. The US Food and Drug Administration has agreed to promote the use of polyols such as mannitol on sugar free foods that do not form cavities.

3. Develop mannitol chewing gum. Mannitol has a cool and sweet taste, with a sweetness equivalent to 0.6 of sucrose. Its dissolution heat absorption is -29Cal/g, equivalent to 76% of xylitol (-38Cal/g). Taking advantage of this feature, mannitol can be used as a sweetener and corrector in the production of chewing gum.

4. Used as a moisture barrier. Unlike sorbitol, xylitol, etc., mannitol is not easily hygroscopic. At 20 ℃, its solubility is only 18 g/100 g, much lower than sorbitol, xylitol, and maltitol. Therefore, it can be used as a moisture barrier when used in foods such as chewing gum and gummies, to prevent adhesion during processing and use.

In addition, mannitol does not participate in the Meyerla reaction, and when used in food processing, the material is not easily charred, which is beneficial for maintaining the good color of the product. It can be used for baking food, etc.

However, polyols have a common characteristic when taken, which is that exceeding a certain amount can cause gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea, as seen in mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol, etc. So the US government stipulates that if a single dose of mannitol may exceed 20 grams, it must be stated on the food label.

Mannitol is widely used in the food industry. It can be used as a sweetener with low calorific value and low sugar, can be used to make food for diabetics and obese patients, and is also suitable for dieters; Mannitol has been widely used as a sweetener or anti stick agent in sugar free chewing gum in food; Mannitol is also used to make flavored icing for ice cream and candy chocolate, also known as the outer layer of crispy chocolate.

Mannitol can also mask the unpleasant taste of other food additives, such as the rust taste of saccharin and the bitterness of other substances. Therefore, it can be mixed with high sweeteners for use in beverages, syrups, and other foods, such as producing candies, jams, jellies, etc. In addition, mannitol can also be used as a filler, quality improver, anti caking agent, and can be added to various foods to extend their shelf life.

Internationally recognized, the use of mannitol in the food industry is safe. With the expansion of mannitol production and the improvement of people's health awareness, mannitol has begun to enter the field of functional and health foods on a large scale.

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