One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A colourless sweet-tasting crystalline alcohol which is found in many plants and is used in various foods and medical products.
Chemical formula: CH₂OH(CHOH)₄CH₂OH
- ‘The most common sugar alcohols are sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol and xylitol.’
- ‘Many diabetic patients replace sugary foods with dietetic foods that contain sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol.’
- ‘In addition, some sugar-free, low-calorie candies may contain sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol or mannitol.’
- ‘Even if you haven't heard of mannitol, chances are you've eaten this minty-tasting sugar alcohol as a powdery coating on chewing gum, candies, or pills.’
- ‘Sugar alcohols, including xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, lactitol and maltitol, do not promote tooth decay or sudden spikes in blood sugar.’
Late 19th century: from mannite (from manna + -ite), in the same sense, + -ol.
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