Maltitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute. It has 75-90% of the sweetness of sucrose and nearly identical properties, except for browning. It is used to replace table sugar because it is half as caloric, does not promote tooth decay, and has a somewhat lesser effect on blood glucose.
Maltitol is manufactured by hydride reduction of double sugar alcohols in maltose. Industrial production process can be divided into two parts. First, is the hydrolysis of maltose syrup starch, followed by hydrogenation of the hydrolyzed maltose syrup. These 2 steps produce maltitol.
Maltitol's high sweetness allows it to be used without being mixed with other sweeteners and exhibits negligible cooling effect in comparison with other sugar alcohols. It also has very similar subtle cooling effect of sucrose. It is used especially in production of sweets and baked goods.
The pharmaceutical industry uses maltitol as an excipient, where it is used as a low-calorie sweetening agent. Its similarity to sucrose allows it to be used in syrups with the advantage that crystallization (which may cause bottle caps to stick) is less likely. Maltitol may also be used as a plasticizer in gelatin capsules, as an emollient and humectant.