Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate

Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate (HSH) is an artificial sugar alcohol (polyol) produced from starch. It is usually made from corn starch, but any type of starch including wheat, rice or potato starch can be used as raw material.

The starch is first hydrolyzed into mainly glucose, and then hydrogenation under pressure and temperature into sugar alcohol. The resultant sugar alcohol soup can vary but usually has a high proportion of sorbitol and maltitol.

The main advantage of Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate is its usefulness as an ingredient in manufactured foods. It provides bulk and texture, and can act as a humectant (it retains moisture). It has a lower glycemic index than sugar (About 36 - sugar is 65) and this makes it somewhat suitable as part of a diabetic diet.

Like all sugar alcohols it is not metabolized by bacteria in the mouth and so it does not contribute to tooth decay. It helps the appearance, shelf life and texture of food products in the absence of sugar.

It has a laxative effect. It is an artificial product and does not occur naturally in fruit or vegetables.

Starch is first hydrolyzed into short chain sugars, which are then hydrogenation under pressure and temperature into sugar alcohols.

Sold As:
Not usually sold on its own, but is added by manufacturers to various products.

Interesting facts:
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate is used in 'sugar free' candy, and low calorie foods. Although described as sugar free, HSH is in fact a carbohydrate and contains up to 3 calories per gram. Usually it is combined with other sweeteners, often artificial, as it has a lower sweetness than sugar.

it has been granted GRAS status in the USA and is approved for use in most countries.

Conclusions and Summary:
No saving over sugar in terms of calories. It is somewhat useful for diabetics, however it can have a higher glycemic index than other sugar alcohols. It is harmless to teeth. But it can cause discomfort for some people if taken in even moderate quantities. The customers of this product are the manufacturers of sweets and processed foods, not the consumers themselves.

Name Calories / Gram Sweetness Index Glycemic Index Calories / Spoon-Equiv
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate 3 0.4 36 30

Taste: -------- Good
Aftertaste: ---- No
Concerns: ----- Yes

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