(redirected from Birch sugar)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to Birch sugar: xylitol


(organic chemistry)
CH2OH(CHOH)3CH2OH Pentahydric alcohols derived from xylose. Also known as xylite.



CH2OH(CHOH)3CH2OH a polyhydric alcohol (pentitol), an optically inactive isomer; colorless hygroscopic crystals with a sweet taste. Xylitol is soluble in water, alcohol, glycols, acetic acid, and pyridine. It has the same calorific value as sugar (4 kcal/g) but is twice as sweet; however, it has no biological value. It has no adverse effect on organisms and is therefore used in the food industry, for example, as a sugar substitute in the manufacture of sweet edibles for individuals suffering from diabetes and obesity.

Xylitol exhibits a cholagogic and aperient effect; the prescribed daily dosage should not exceed 50 g. It can also be used in the preparation of esters, surface-active agents, and synthetic resins. In industry xylitol is prepared by the reduction of xylose; vegetable byproducts such as corn cobs and cotton husks serve as raw material for this process.

References in periodicals archive ?
Crab Apple Red Oak White Oak Catalpa Weeping Willow Hawthorn Stag Horn Sumac Red Horse Chestnut Green Ash Black Cherry Ginkgo Paper Birch Redbud Dogwood Sweet Gum Grey Birch Sugar Maple
A natural sweetener called birch sugar helps to prevent some ear infections when given to young children, Finnish researchers report in the October Pediatrics.
Also good for baking is xylitol, which sounds like an artificial chemical but is actually birch sugar.