Xylitol has approximately the same sweetness as sugar. Xylitol provides the greatest cooling effect of any of the sugar alcohols. Xylitol has a pronounced mint flavor. These characteristics make xylitol the polyol of choice for sugar-free chewing gums, candies and chewable vitamins.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of xylitol in foods for special dietary purposes. The main application is foods formulated to meet the dietary needs of diabetics.

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