Xylitol, or ‘birch sugar’, is used in food preparation as an ingredient with the E number E967. The manufacture of industrial quantities of xylitol was first introduced in Finland. It is uses as a sweetener in bubblegums, toothpaste, and some sweets, because it prevents cavities by reducing the growth of bacteria. Some studies have also found it to reduce the risk of ear infections in small children, if used regularly.
Xylose, the raw ingredient for xylitol, can be extracted from birch, maize, beech and also the outer shell of oats. Previously the industrial process of manufacturing xylitol used mainly birch.
Xylitol is poisonous for dogs.