Xylitol is a low kilojoule sugar substitute with 40% less kilojoules than sugar, negligible carbohydrate content and a low GI of 7.
It is a good option for those with diabetes, as xylitol is metabolised slowly by the body and doesn't cause the 'sugar spike' that may be experienced with other sugar products, leading to a subsequent drop in blood sugar and a craving for more sweetness.
This Xylitol is produced from hardwood sources, predominantly Birch (Betula L. Pendula) and Beech (Fagus sylvatica). These tree species are very rich in hemicellulose, predominantly xylan, a natural polymer of xylose (wood sugar).
During production the chipped wood is subject to hydrolysis which breaks down the xylan into xylose. The xylose is then reduced and crystallised before being dissolved in water and purified. Finally it is crystallised to produce high purity Xylitol.