- Application for the approval of isomaltulose Advisory Comittee on Novel Foods and Processes
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What is isomaltulose?
Isomaltulose, also called palatinose, is a simple carbohydrate, a disaccharide, which is, like sucrose, composed of glucose and fructose, but with a stronger alpha-1,6 glycosidic bond between them, which makes it slowly digestible .
Nutrition Facts for Isomaltulose
- Calories per gram = ~4 
- Glycemic index = 32-37 [7-p.9], which makes it a slow carb
- Net carbohydrates = 100%
- Sweetness, relative to sucrose = 42% 
Isomaltulose is a source of energy – it can provide 4 kilocalories per gram, which is about the same as sucrose [1,2].
Isomaltulose naturally occurs in small amounts in sugar cane syrup and honey .
As a sweetener, isomaltulose is produced from beet sugar (sucrose) by using the enzyme sucrose isomerase obtained from the non-pathogenic bacterium Protaminobacter rubrum [1,2].
Isomaltulose may be expected in the more expensive “healthy foods” category of beverages, dilutable soft drinks, sport drinks, “near water,” beers, dairy products, ready-to-eat cereals, cereal bars, energy tablets, baked goods, confectionery, candies, chocolate bars and vitamin/mineral supplements .
Isomaltulose is slowly but completely digested in the small intestine by the enzyme isomaltase; its digestive products glucose and fructose are absorbed in the small intestine [1,3,4].
Individuals with a rare genetic disorder sucrase-isomaltase deficiency who have a lack of the enzyme sucrase-isomaltase deficiency can experience abdominal bloating and diarrhea after ingesting a certain amount of isomaltulose.
Possible Isomaltulose Benefits
Isomaltulose does not promote tooth decay [5,6].
Isomaltulose has a low glycemic index (GI = 32-37) and low insulinemic response, so it might be more suitable for diabetics than sucrose [1,2,6,7-p.9]. In one 2012 study, replacement of sucrose with isomaltulose for 12 weeks in individuals with diabetes 2 resulted in lower blood triglyceride levels but not lower HbA1c levels .
Isomaltulose Safety: Toxicity, Side Effects
In the European Union (EU), isomaltulose is considered a novel food – a food that was not used in considerable amounts in the EU before the year 1997 [9,10].
Isomaltulose has got the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) . Isomaltulose ingested by healthy individuals in amounts up to 50 g per serving have not caused any side effects [2,6]. Isomaltulose has not been found toxic, carciogenic or mutagenic and allergic reactions to isomaltulose are not known .
Who should avoid isomaltulose?
Individuals with hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) and saccharase-isomaltase deficiency should completely avoid isomaltulose.
Isomaltulose and Cooking
- Isomaltulose is commercially available as a white, crystalline, odorless powder, 42% as sweet as sucrose .
- Isomaltulose is very stable and has low hygroscopicity – it does not readily attracts moisture .
- Solubility of anhydrous isomaltulose in water at 20° C is 41-49 g/100 mL [12, producers].
- Melting point of isomaltulose is 253-262 °F (123-128 °C) [1,13].
- Isomaltulose is a reducing sugar; the Maillard browning reaction with amino acids occurs at 284 °F (140 °C) .