DuPont: xylitol reduces cavities

20 Sep 2016

Scientific research at DuPont Nutrition & Health is said to have found that the oral bacteria behind dental cavities are significantly reduced in the presence of xylitol.

DuPont: xylitol reduces cavities

Scientific research at DuPont Nutrition & Health is said to have found that the oral bacteria behind dental cavities are significantly reduced in the presence of xylitol. Conducted using the DuPont dental caries simulator, the study gives an improved understanding of results from previous clinical studies.

Xylitol, says DuPont, is a naturally occurring sweetener with the taste and sweetness of sugar but half the calories. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)has recognised the claim that xylitol chewing gum reduces the risk of caries in children.

Recently published in Archives of Oral Biology journal, the DuPont study evaluated the effect of sucrose and xylitol on Streptococcus mutans – one of the main species of bacteria responsible for dental caries.

Xylitol was shown to have a significant impact on the bacteria, also when tested in combination with sucrose. The xylitol used for the study was XIVIA Xylitol from the DuPont Danisco range.

“This in vitro study was the first to test the effect of xylitol on S. mutans using our in-house dental simulator,” said Krista Salli, scientist, DuPont Nutrition & Health in Kantvik, Finland. “It is encouraging to see that the results closely reflect clinical findings. This is evidence that the oral environment created by our simulator is realistic and suitable for estimating the cariogenicity of food ingredients. This will help us understand the mechanism by which xylitol exerts in benefits.”

Previous studies, says DuPont, have shown that xylitol reduces acidity in the mouth by raising the pH level; slows the ability of cariogenic bacteria to stick to teeth; and inhibits bacterial growth. EFSA has approved the following claim related to xylitol use: ‘100% xylitol chewing gum reduces the risk of plaque in children and plaque is a biomarker for dental caries’.