Any of a class of sweet-tasting polyols, used widely in the food industry as sweeteners and thickeners.
Biochemically, sugar alcohols are neither sugars nor alcohols although they are commercially produced from sugars. The more common sugar alcohols include erythritol, isomalt, maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol.
While sugar alcohols may still affect blood sugar levels, they have a lower caloric energy than sugars and do not contribute to tooth decay. They may cause bloating and diarrhoea when consumed in excessive amounts and some studies suggest that they may impact intestinal microbiota and/or gut health.