Organoleptic properties of polyols


Sweetness is subjective and depends on the individuals who are doing the tasting and their physical condition. A number of other variables such as concentration, temperature, pH and the presence of other sweeteners and food ingredients can influence apparent sweetness significantly. Xylitol is the sweetest polyol as it is equivalent to sucrose. Pure crystalline maltitol has about 90% of the sweetness of sucrose. The sweetness of maltitol syrups depends on their maltitol content.

Cooling effect

A characteristic property of all polyols is their negative heat of solution which gives a cooling sensation in the mouth. This cooling effect depends upon:

  • the heat of solution
  • the solubility of the polyol at mouth temperature (37°C)
  • the particle size (the finer the product, the more quickly it dissolves and the cooler and sweeter it seems).

Sorbitol and xylitol provide the greatest cooling effect in the mouth. Mannitol, although it has a higher heat of solution than sorbitol, does not have a very strong cooling effect owing to its low solubility.

Heat of solution (cal/g)-34.8-30.0-28.0-16.3-4.3
Solubility at 37°C (g/100 ml water)25632334201229
Table. The heat of solution and solubility of polyols

Other taste characteristics and mouth sensations

All the polyols have a pleasant, clean and neutral taste in the solution. Their body, mouthfeel and taste profiles can be compared with those of sucrose.

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