What Is It?

Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that is used primarily as a dietary sweetener and also has cosmetic applications. Maltitol Laurate is the ester of Maltitol and lauric acid. Maltitol contains no alcohol; the term “sugar alcohol” is used to describe sugars with an alcohol side chain to prevent their digestion, rendering them noncaloric.

Why Is It Used?

Maltitol functions as a flavoring agent, humectant or a skin-conditioning agent. Maltitol Laurate functions as an emulsion stabilizer or a skin-conditioning agent – miscellaneous.

Scientific Facts

Maltitol is made by hydrogenation of maltose obtained from starch. It has 75-90% of the sweetness of table sugar.

Safety Information

When used in foods, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits a claim that compared to food containing sugar, foods containing Maltitol may reduce the risk of cavities in the teeth. Short and long-term safety studies of Maltitol and Maltitol Laurate have been reviewed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. In their review, the CIR Expert Panel identified no issues of concern for either ingredient.

CIR Safety Review:

Maltitol is highly water soluble so the CIR Expert Panel expects dermal penetration to be very low. Maltitol was not an eye or skin irritant. Sugar alcohols, including Maltitol, at oral doses much larger than those associated with cosmetics, cause diarrhea. Oral doses of Maltitol were not carcinogenic, and did not cause reproductive or developmental toxicity. Maltitol did not cause mutagenic effects in in vitro assays. The CIR Expert Panel has also reviewed the safety of Lauric Acid and found it safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products. Please search this site for Lauric Acid for more information about the safety of this ingredient. Based on the safety information on Maltitol and the safety of Lauric Acid, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Maltitol and Maltitol Laurate are safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products.


Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Maltitol:…

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has reviewed the safety data on Maltitol and concluded that Maltitol is safe for use in food. JECFA has not placed a limit on the use of Maltitol in food, which is the safest category in which JECFA can place a food additive.

Link to the summary of the JECFA evaluation of Maltitol:

Maltitol and Maltitol Laurate may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:

More Scientific Information

Malitol is in a class of chemicals called polyols. Polyols contain three or more hydroxyl (-OH) groups per molecule. Other examples of polyols include fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, mannitol, sorbitol, sucrose (table sugar) and xylitol.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging:

Food Contact Substances:

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS):

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory