A question that we get almost every day at Amber Lyn is, “what is maltitol?”

If you've ever wondered what we use in our chocolate to make it taste sweet and more health conscious, look no further. We use maltitol. There has been a lot of hype all about maltitol. Whether you’re a fan or foe, today I’m going to help you better understand this alternative sweetener.

We use a plant-based sweetener from the carbohydrate family, called the polyols, also known as sugar alcohols. Polyols are prebiotics that are naturally found in berries, fruits, vegetables and grains. We don't know a lot about prebiotics, but scientists believe that these prebiotics are beneficial in maintaining intestinal health.

Although maltitol doesn't have any alcohol in it, it does share some molecular resemblance. Maltitol is about 90% as sweet as sugar and has a glycemic index of 32-36, about half of sugar. It contains 2.1 calories per gram while sugar contains four calories per gram. Sugar alcohols are useful for diabetics; you don't have to stress about having a spike in blood pressure. The body takes longer to absorb it, sometimes it doesn't get absorbed at all. Sugar alcohols are great for those that are dieting too.

In the book, The Belly Fat Cure, Jorge Cruise recommends using products containing maltitol along with other low carb substitute sweeteners. Another huge benefit you can get from maltitol: you aren’t going to get cavities. JECFA (Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization) gave maltitol their highest safety rating. That’s a huge accomplishment!

You may think this information isn't important but what it really means is that maltitol is safe, effective and even beneficial. When eaten in excess it can cause bloating, and in some cases, has a laxative effect. A small percentage of people do have a digestive sensitivity to maltitol, xylitol, manitol, sorbitol and other polyols.

Only 5% of our customers have reported these effects. One thing to keep in mind is portion control. All fruits will have a laxative effect if eaten in excess, it’s natural. Maybe you have had an experience with your favorite fruit.

We use a maltitol derived from wheat, rather than corn, like some maltitol. This means it will have a much more mild effect on your digestive system. Although maltitol is derived from wheat, the gluten is extracted. I repeat, it IS gluten free! Mind blowing right?!

Bottom line: maltitol makes our chocolate virtually the exact same to chocolate sweetened with sugar. Maltitol tastes great, it's low in carbs and is safe for diabetics. If you are not one of the people who fall in that 5%, you can will still enjoy our chocolate!

Make sure to visit our store for your next sugar free chocolate purchase.