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                                         Information @ a Glance
General
  • Sorbitol, also known as glucitol, is a sugar alcohol the body metabolises slowly.
  •  It is obtained by reduction of glucose changing the aldehyde group to an additional hydroxyl group hence the name sugar alcohol.
  • Sorbitol is identified as a potential key chemical intermediate  from biomass resources. Complete reduction of sorbitol opens the way to alkanes such as hexane which can be used as a biofuel.
  • Sorbitol itself provides much of the hydrogen required for the transformation.

Process

  • Sorbitol and mannitol are isomers, substances with the same chemical formula, but a different shape.Sorbitol can be described as a glucose molecule with two hydrogens added.
  • The two extra hydrogens are on either side of what used to be the double bond connecting the oxygen to the carbon, which is now a single bond. This changes the molecule just enough to make it harder for the body to absorb, while still tasting sweet on the tongue.
  • Hydrogenation of glucose to sorbitol is an industrially important chemical process because of wide applications of sorbitol in food, drug and cosmetics.

Application

  • Sorbitol is used in various cough syrups, and is usually listed under the inactive ingredients. Too much sorbitol (from 10 to 50g, or more for adults) can cause gastro-intestinal problems.
  • Sorbitol can be used as a non-stimulant [laxative] by either in oral suspension or suppository form. The drug works by drawing water into the large intestine, thereby stimulating bowel movements.
  • Sorbitol is used as a humectant in many types of products for protection against loss of moisture content. The moisture-stabilizing and textural properties of sorbitol are used in the production of confectionery, baked goods and chocolate where products tend to become dry or harden.

Market

  • Sorini started its commercial production in 1987 with the annual capacity of 5,000 tons of liquefied sorbitol.
  • At the same year, with spirits to develop and to be world’s known as a sorbitol producer, it launched its export sales using “INDOSORB” brand.
  • The brand has been registered since 1989. However, not only is the brand used for international market, but domestic trade as well. Certainly, Sorini believes the export market will become world without borders in trades.

Report

  • Sorbitol, also referred to as D-glucitol, is naturally found in many fruits (e.g., berries, cherries, and apples). The worldwide production of sorbitol is estimated to be higher than 500,000 tons/year, and the market is continuously increasing .
  • This polyol has a relative sweetness of around 60% compared to that of sucrose and displays a 20-fold higher solubility in water than mannitol .
  • Based on these properties, sorbitol is widely used in a range of food products such as confectionery, chewing gum, candy, desserts, ice cream, and diabetic foods.

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