This Ingredient Spotlight is a regular feature from Be Food Smart. Check back regularly to see new ingredients.



via Flickr: jkivinenUses:

Sweetener, Humectant


A naturally occurring sweetener found in fruit such as berries and corn husks. Can be extracted from corn fibers, but typically made from birch wood or waste products from the pulp industry.

Additional Information:

Commonly used in food products that stay in mouth for an extended period such as mints and gum. It does not ferment in the mouth and has been reported to reduce tooth decay. May also be effective in preventing ear infections. Toxic in small amounts to dogs.

Found In:

chewing gum, mints, candy, cough drops, jams, jellies, low-calorie food, food specifically marketed towards diabetics

Possible Health Effects:

In high amounts can cause diarrhea, …read more on Xylitol

Related Ingredients: Gum Arabic, Guaiac Gum

Copyright August 8, 2010 Be Food Smart


Be Food Smart was created to educate and inform the public about what’s really in the foods we eat every day. The site has a huge database of food additives, chemicals, food colorings, sweeteners, and preservatives and allows one to search for over 400 ingredient names. Our unique ingredient reports contain simple and easy to understand descriptions, alternate names, possible health effects, and allergy information. The site is completely free and is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, health care professionals, dietitians, and concerned consumers.

Image: jkivinen