Maltitol is a sugar alcohol (polyol) like sorbitol and mannitol. Chemically, maltitol is also known as
4-O-α-Glucopyranosyl-D-sorbitol. Maltitol is produced by hydrogenation of maltose.
Maltitol does not have the same cooling affect as other sugar alcohols and it is often used as a sugar substitute. It has 90% the sweetness of sugar and nearly identical properties, except for browning. It easily easily replaces sugar and has less food-energy.
Maltitol, like other sugar alcohols, does not brown or caramelize. It is not metabolized by oral bacteria, so it does not promote tooth decay and caries. Unfortunately, maltitol is well known to cause gastric distress, particularly if consumed in great quantities, and still has a considerable impact on blood sugar.
Maltitol is used especially in production of "sugarless" sweets, cookies, and ice crem.