Sorbitol Sorbitol is a type of sugar alcohol that is also found naturally in fruits. It is a white crystalline powder that is typically used as an artificial sweetener like in sugar-free chewing gum. It is considered a nutritive sweetner because it has 4 calories/gram like table sugar. Sorbitol is also used in toothpaste, tobacco, toiletries, and cosmetics. It is a stable substance and can withstand high temperatures so baked goods do not burn easily. In addition, sorbitol has many other functions such as a dispensing substances in textiles, whitening teeth, prevent staleness in candy, or maintain adhesiveness of a product. Diabetics can ingest sorbitol because of its slow digestion time. Many complaints have surrounded sorbitol because of excess consumption. Too much sorbitol (as little as 10 grams per day) can lead to irritable bowel syndrome with symptoms including flatulence and bloating. Sorbitol is a natural laxative since consumption of excess fruits leads to the general effects. It is not well absorbed, so excess water enters the gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea or flatulence. Sorbitol is safe to consume but the amounts consumed should be wary.