Xylitol (/ˈzaɪlɪtɒl/; Greek: ξύλον, xyl[on], "wood" + suffix -itol, used to denote sugar alcohols). Xylitol could function as a diabetic sweetener which is roughly as sweet as sucrose with 33% fewer calories. Unlike other natural or synthetic sweeteners, xylitol is actively beneficial for dental health by reducing caries to a third in regular use and tooth remineralization, and also has been shown to reduce the incidence of acute middle ear infection.
Xylitol is naturally found in low concentrations in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, and can be extracted from various berries, oats, and mushrooms, as well as fibrous material such as corn husks and sugar cane bagasse, and birch. However, industrial production starts from xylan (a hemicellulose) extracted from hardwoods or corncobs, which is hydrolyzed into xylose and catalytically hydrogenated into xylitol.
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