What is it?

Sorbitol and Sorbitol Syrup are plant-based ingredients used in food, obtained from cereals (maize and wheat) in the EU.

They belong to the Carbohydrates family. They are polyols also known as sugar alcohols.

Sorbitol is less sweet than sucrose (about 60% of the sweetness).Sorbitol 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, do not cause dental caries).

Sorbitol has been used in a wide range of foods for almost half a century. It has a smooth mouthfeel with a sweet, cool and pleasant taste and a sweet, caramel-like scent. Sorbitol occurs naturally in some fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches, and prunes.

Sorbitol is an approved food additive in the EU, carrying the identifying E-number E420.

Sorbitol and sorbitol syrup are obtained from dextrose and glucose syrups.

Where and Why is it used?

Sorbitol 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.

Scientific evidence has shown the benefits to human health of adding sorbitol to food to replace sugars. The consumption of foods containing sorbitol instead of sugar helps reduce tooth demineralisation. It may also induce a lower rise in blood glucose after consumption compared to the same food product containing sugars.

In addition to providing sweetness, it is also an excellent texturizing and anti-crystallization agent. Sorbitol brings a cooling effect and gives many food products a very smooth texture due to its high-water retention property.

It is for example used often in chewing gums, candies, frozen desserts, cookies, cakes, icings and fillings.

Sorbitol is used in oral care products, including toothpaste and mouthwash, as well as in cosmetics and personal care products, where it is used as flavouring agent, humectant and skin conditioning agent. It prevents toothpaste from drying out thanks to its humectant function and gives the required viscosity. In addition, sorbitol also has a highly pronounced cooling effect when placed in water or in the mouth. This makes it, along with its non-cariogenic properties, perfectly suitable for mouthwash recipes.

Whenever it is used in food, sorbitol should be labelled by name or E-number (E420) on the ingredients list.

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


Ingredient family


Energy value

2.4 kcal/g


Ingredients List: Sorbitol / E420

Nutritional Table: Carbohydrates

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.