Mannitol 

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Information @ a Glance

 General
  • Mannitol or hexan-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexol (C6H8(OH)6) is an osmotic diuretic agent and a weak renal vasodilator. It is a sorbitol isomer.
  • It was originally isolated from manna, and may also be referred to as Mannite and Manna Sugar.
  • Chemically, mannitol is a sugar alcohol, or a polyol; it is similar to xylitol or sorbitol. However, mannitol has a tendency to lose a hydrogen ion in aqueous solutions, which causes the solution to become acidic. For this, it is not uncommon to add a substance to adjust its pH, such as sodium bicarbonate.
  • Mannitol can also be used to open the blood-brain barrier by temporarily shrinking the tightly coupled endothelial cells that make up the barrier. This makes mannitol indispensable for delivering various drugs directly to the brain (e.g. in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease).
  • Mannitol is also used as a sweetener for people with diabetes. Since mannitol has a negative heat of solution, it is used as a sweetener in "breath-freshening" candies, the cooling effect adding to the fresh feel. In doses larger than 20g, mannitol acts as a laxative, and is sometimes sold as a laxative for children.

Production

  • Mannitol is assumed to have several health-promoting properties;thus the enrichment of foods with mannitol by production during fermentation could be a positive, clean strategy to obtain healthier fermented food products. In the human gut, mannitol can be converted to short-chain fatty acids (such as butyrate), which have been claimed to confer protection against the development of colon cancer.

  • Moreover, mannitol is a scavenger of hydroxyl radicals and a low-calorie sweetener that is partially and slowly absorbed in the small intestine.

Application

  • The control of blood glucose, lipids and body weight are three major goals in diabetes management. Mannitol is slowly absorbed from the intestinal tract. Therefore, when mannitol is used, the rise in blood glucose and demand for insulin is much less than would be experienced after sucrose ingestion.

  • The proposed role of mannito1 in the NADPH production made it interesting to study the mannitol metabolism in relation to lipid synthesis .

Technology

  • D-Mannitol (here: mannitol) is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol with six carbon atoms. It is only half as sweet as sucrose. However, mannitol and other sugar alcohols exhibit reduced caloric values compared to the respective value of most sugars, which make them applicable as sweeteners in so-called “light” foods. Moreover, sugar alcohols are metabolized independently of insulin and are thus also applicable in diabetic food products.

  • Four soybean  cultivars were contrasted in relation to germination and vigour of seedlings, when seeds were submitted to water stress induced by mannitol or sodium chloride. Water stress affected seed germination and seedling development, however, seedling development was affect in higher osmotic potential  than the necessary to affect germination when induced by mannitol or when induced by sodium chloride. ‘Pioneira’ and ‘Xingu’ cultivars had high development in low water availability and/or salinity conditions.

Market

  • Certain sectors of the additives market are seeing growth in natural products at the expense of synthetics, there is rising demand for fat replacers and sweeteners in the weight control market, functional food ingredients are booming, and, in other areas, tailored solutions aimed at specific applications are appearing to make product formulation more straightforward for the processors.

  • Market sizes and trends, and the leading companies in the industry, the report also looks at finished food trends impacting on the additives sectors and assesses future prospects for the market.

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