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Origin of Xylitol in Chewing Gum: A Compound-Specific Isotope Technique for the Differentiation of Corn- and Wood-Based Xylitol by LC-IRMS

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-02-08, 00:00 authored by Daniel Köster, Jens-Benjamin Wolbert, Marcel S. Schulte, Maik A. Jochmann, Torsten C. Schmidt
The sugar replacement compound xylitol has gained increasing attention because of its use in many commercial food products, dental-hygiene articles, and pharmaceuticals. It can be classified by the origin of the raw material used for its production. The traditional “birch xylitol” is considered a premium product, in contrast to xylitol produced from agriculture byproducts such as corn husks or sugar-cane straw. Bulk stable-isotope analysis (BSIA) and compound-specific stable-isotope analysis (CSIA) by liquid-chromatography isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (LC-IRMS) of chewing-gum extracts were used to determine the δ13C isotope signatures for xylitol. These were applied to elucidate the original plant type the xylitol was produced from on the basis of differences in isotope-fractionation processes of photosynthetic CO2 fixation. For the LC-IRMS analysis, an organic-solvent-free extraction protocol and HPLC method for the separation of xylitol from different artificial sweeteners and sugar-replacement compounds was successfully developed and applied to the analysis of 21 samples of chewing gum, from which 18 could be clearly related to the raw-material plant class.