What is it?

Mannitol is a plant-based ingredient used in food, obtained from cereals (maize and wheat) in the EU.

It belongs to the Carbohydrates family. Mannitol is a polyol, also known as sugar alcohols.

Mannitol is less sweet than sucrose (about 60% of the sweetness).Mannitol is less caloric than sugar (2.4kcal/g instead of 4 kcal/g), can help control blood glucose response and is tooth-friendly (non-cariogenic – does not cause dental caries).

Mannitol occurs naturally in some fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches, and prunes.

Mannitol is an approved food additive in the EU, carrying the identifying E-number E421.

Mannitol is obtained from dextrose and glucose syrups.

Where and Why is it Used?

Mannitol is used for its sweetening power in a wide variety of food products. It is a preferred ingredient in sugar-free confectionery and energy-reduced products, both for its tooth-friendliness (non-cariogenic), and low caloric value.

Mannitol’s comparatively low solubility reduces the cooling effect usually found in mint candies and gums. However, when mannitol is completely dissolved in a product, it induces a strong cooling effect.

It is used often in chewing gums, candies, frozen desserts, cookies, cakes, icings and fillings. Mannitol does not pick up water from the air until the humidity level is 98%. This makes mannitol very useful as a coating for hard candies, dried fruits, and chewing gums, and it is often included as an ingredient in candies and chewing gum. The pleasant taste and mouthfeel of mannitol also makes it a popular ingredient for chewable tablets.

Whenever it is used in food, mannitol should be labelled by name or E-number (E421) on the ingredients list.

For more information, please visit the European Association of Polyol Producers (EPA)

Ingredient family


Energy value

2,4 kcal/g


Ingredients List: Mannitol / E421

Nutritional Table: Carbohydrates

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