Xylitol occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Discovered in 1981 by German chemist Emil Fischer, it’s been used as a sweetening agent in food since the 1960’s.
Commercially, xylitol is extracted from birch trees and other hardwoods, then sold in powdered form as an alternative sweetener.
It has a fresh sweet taste that’s similar to other non-sugar sweeteners, and it has none of the chemical aftertaste that some non-sugar sweeteners have. Xylitol contains 1/3 of the calories of regular sugar. It’s currently used in mints, toothpastes, mouthwashes, cough syrups and throat lozenges. And it can benefit diabetics! Xylitol is absorbed slowly, so the rise in blood glucose – and the resultant insulin response – is greatly reduced.
The ONLY downside problem with Xylitol noted so far?
It shouldn’t be eaten by PETS!
Some dogs have had toxic reactions to the sugar substitute.