Xylitol is a natural sweetener that looks and tastes like sugar, but with fewer calories. In fact it has 40% less calories than sugar. It is found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables.
Xylitol is classified as a sugar alcohol, but don’t be concerned by the sugar alcohol part… this has absolutely nothing to do with the alcohol we consume.
Xylitol for use as a sweetener is commercially extracted from the cellulose of wood, mainly the maize (corn) cob, bark of the birch tree or from sugar cane pulp. Maize (corn) is a more eco-friendly source to use as the crops are replenished every year, whereas the birch tree takes about 15 years to grow before it is harvested for use. The process used to make Xylitol from the maize (corn) cob is also eco-friendly as all by-products are used and all waste products are recycled back to the soil.