Although most polyols are present in nature, e.g., in fruits and vegetables, their extraction is not a viable production method.
- Polyols (or polyhydric alcohols) are obtained by the hydrogenation of sugars, derived from corn or wheat starch (maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol) or cane or beet (isomalt).
- Erythritol is the first polyol to be industrially manufactured by a fermentation process.
- Typically, the starch is isolated from the cereal followed by enzymatic conversion to the proper saccharides which are hydrogenated in the presence of catalysts to convert the aldehyde and ketone groups into alcohol functions.
- As a consequence, the chemical structure is made linear, the chemical stability is improved and the tendency to undergo Maillard reactions (browning) is substantially reduced. It also modifies several physicochemical properties such as solubility, viscosity, hygroscopicity and boiling temperature which all contribute to behavioral differences in polyols.
- Polyols can be available in powder form (via crystallization), and some are also available in liquid (isomalt, maltitol, sorbitol) form.
Some Cargill products are only approved for use in certain geographies, end uses, and/or at certain usage levels. It is the customer's responsibility to determine, for a particular geography, that (i) the Cargill product, its use and usage levels, (ii) the customer's product and its use, and (iii) any claims made about the customer's product, all comply with applicable laws and regulations.