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Foods containing sorbitol

Updated April 17, 2017

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in such foods as apples and prunes. Because it is lower in calories than sugar, sorbitol is often used in sugar-free products and products with no added sugar.

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Gum and Candy

Sugar-free hard candy and chewing gum often contain sorbitol, which adds sweetness but does not promote tooth decay.

Drugstore Items

Sorbitol is commonly found in certain brands of mouthwash, toothpaste, breath mints and cough drops or throat lozenges.

Desserts and Sweet Condiments

Many types of sugar-free desserts as well as sugar-free brownie, cookie and cake mixes are made with sorbitol. Sugar-free syrups and jams are often made with this sugar alcohol as well.

Fruits and Fruit Juices

Sorbitol occurs naturally in certain fruits and the juices made from them, including apple, peach, pear and prune juice.

Food Labeling

Food labels often list sorbitol alone but may use the term "sugar alcohols" if more than one such ingredient has been included in the product. Excess ingestion of sorbitol has sometimes been linked to gastrointestinal discomfort (such as diarrhoea), so consumers may want to be aware about how much sorbitol they or their children are consuming.

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About the Author

Elisabeth Dahl

Elisabeth Dahl is a freelance writer and copyeditor who has worked in publishing since 1991. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University, where she was a Writing Center Associate Fellow.

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