Record Information
Creation date2015-10-09 22:32:14 UTC
Update date2017-01-19 02:36:34 UTC
FoodComEx IDPC000724
FoodDB RecordFDB001134
Chemical Information
DescriptionXylitol belongs to the class of organic compounds known as sugar alcohols. These are hydrogenated forms of sugars in which the carbonyl group (aldehyde or ketone of the reducing sugar) has been reduced to a primary or secondary hydroxyl group. Xylitol is an extremely weak basic (essentially neutral) compound (based on its pKa). It is a colorless or white crystalline solid that is soluble in water. Xylitol is used as a diabetic sweetener which is roughly as sweet as sucrose with 33% fewer calories. Xylitol is naturally found in many fruits (strawberries, plums, raspberries) and vegetables (e.g. cauliflower). Because of fruit and vegetable consumption the human body naturally processes 15 grams of xylitol per day. Xylitol is not endogenously produced by humans. Xylitol can be produced industrially starting from plant materials rich in xylan which is hydrolyzed to obtain xylose. It is extracted from hemicelluloses present in corn, almond hulls or tree bark (or the by-products of wood: shavings hard, paper pulp). Of all polyols, xylitol is the one that has the sweetest flavor (it borders that of saccharose). It gives a strong refreshing impression, making xylitol an ingredient of choice for the sugarless chewing gum industry. In addition to its widespread use in confectionery, xylitol is also used in the pharmaceutical industry for certain mouthwashes and toothpastes and in cosmetics (creams, soaps, etc.). Xylitol is produced starting from xylose, the isomaltose, by enzymatic transposition of the saccharose (sugar). Xylitol is not metabolized by cariogenic (cavity-causing) bacteria and gum chewing stimulates the flow of saliva; as a result, chewing xylitol gum may prevent dental caries. Chewing xylitol gum for 4 to 14 days reduces the amount of dental plaque. The reduction in the amount of plaque following xylitol gum chewing within 2 weeks may be a transient phenomenon. Chewing xylitol gum for 6 months reduced Mutans streptococci levels in saliva and plaque in adults (PMID: 17426399, 15964535). Studies have also shown xylitol chewing gum can help prevent acute otitis media (earaches and infections) as the act of chewing and swallowing assists with the disposal of earwax and clearing the middle ear, while the presence of xylitol prevents the growth of bacteria in the eustachian tubes. Xylitol is well established as a life-threatening toxin to dogs. The number of reported cases of xylitol toxicosis in dogs has significantly increased since the first reports in 2002. Dogs that have ingested foods containing xylitol (greater than 100 milligrams of xylitol consumed per kilogram of bodyweight) have presented with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can be life-threatening. Altered levels of xylitol have been found to be associated with ribose-5-phosphate isomerase deficiency, which is an inborn error of metabolism.
CAS Number87-99-0
Trident gumbiospider
Wood sugar alcoholbiospider
Xylisorb 300biospider
Xylisorb 700biospider
Xylitab 100biospider
Xylitab 300biospider
Xylitab DCbiospider
Xylite (sugar)HMDB
Xylitol CHMDB
Chemical FormulaC5H12O5
IUPAC name(2R,3r,4S)-pentane-1,2,3,4,5-pentol
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C5H12O5/c6-1-3(8)5(10)4(9)2-7/h3-10H,1-2H2/t3-,4+,5+
Isomeric SMILESOC[C@H](O)[C@@H](O)[C@H](O)CO
Average Molecular Weight152.1458
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight152.068473494
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as sugar alcohols. These are hydrogenated forms of carbohydrate in which the carbonyl group (aldehyde or ketone, reducing sugar) has been reduced to a primary or secondary hydroxyl group.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic oxygen compounds
ClassOrganooxygen compounds
Sub ClassCarbohydrates and carbohydrate conjugates
Direct ParentSugar alcohols
Alternative Parents
  • Sugar alcohol
  • Monosaccharide
  • Secondary alcohol
  • Polyol
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Primary alcohol
  • Alcohol
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physico-Chemical Properties - Experimental
Experimental logPNot Available
Experimental Water Solubility642 mg/mLMERCK INDEX (1996)
Melting PointMp 93-94.5° (stable)DFC
Foods of Origin
FoodContent Range AverageReference
Production Data
Production Methodcommercial
Production Method ReferenceNot Available
Production Method Reference FileNot Available
Quantity AvailableProduction upon request, up to 300 mg
Delivery TimeNot Available
Storage Formsolid
Storage Conditions-80°C
StabilityNot Available
PurityNot Available
Spectral Data Upon RequestNot Available
Provider Information
Contact NameContact InstitutionContact Email
Rosa Vazquez
Commercial Vendors
AKSci K573
Glentham GC3694
MetaSci HMDB0002917
Sigma-Aldrich HMDB0002917
Toronto Research Chemicals X748050