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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;68(5):575-80. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.30. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Digestive tolerance and postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses after consumption of dairy desserts containing maltitol and fructo-oligosaccharides in adults.

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Innovation Department, Tereos Syral, Marckolsheim, France.
Biofortis SAS, Saint-Herblain, France.



To evaluate the short-term digestive tolerance and glycaemic response of several associations of maltitol and short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS) used to replace sugars (for example, dextrose) in foods.


Thirty-six healthy subjects aged 18-60 years were recruited for the study and 32 completed it. The subjects consumed six different mixtures of dextrose, maltitol and scFOS added in a chocolate dairy dessert at a dosage of 35 g. The test days were separated by 2-week washout periods. The subjects reported the intensity of four individual gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, number of bowel movements and stool frequency for the 48 h following consumption of the dessert. A subgroup of 18 subjects also provided blood samples 2 h after intake to evaluate the postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses.


The composite score calculated from the intensity of flatulence, borborygmi, bloating and discomfort was significantly higher (P<0.0001) for all the desserts containing maltitol and/or scFOS than for the control dessert containing dextrose, but remains at the level of mild effects. The number of bowel movements was also slightly increased (P=0.0006) and the stools were softer (P=0.0045) for the first 24 h but not after (P=0.1373 and 0.5420, respectively). Blood glycaemic and insulinaemic responses were lower for all the sugar-free recipes containing maltitol and scFOS in comparison to the control one (P<0.0001).


This study has shown that maltitol and scFOS can be used jointly when formulating sugar-free foods with the benefit to lower postprandial glycaemic response with only a small and transient increase in non-serious GI symptoms.

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