Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits and berries but can also be manufactured commercially from glucose. It is commonly used as a sweetener in foods and beverages, as well as in personal care products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. Sorbitol is also used as a humectant, which means it helps to retain moisture, making it a common ingredient in cosmetic and skincare products.
Sorbitol is a common plasticizer that is often used to modify the properties of thermoplastics, including starch-based thermoplastics. It is a polyhydric alcohol that can be added to thermoplastics to increase their flexibility, improve their processability, and enhance their mechanical properties. Sorbitol is particularly useful as a plasticizer for starch-based thermoplastics because it can interact with the starch molecules to reduce the intermolecular forces that make the material rigid and brittle.