Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate Formulated with Maltitol Is Safe for Teeth
The Science Behind

Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate Formulated with Maltitol Is Safe for Teeth

Clinical evaluation of the safety for teeth of dark chocolate sweetened with maltitol.

Authors

Authors

Guerin-Deremaux L. - Roquette Frères, Lestrem, France

Imfeld T. - Dental Institute, University of Zürich, Switzerland

Lefranc-Millot C. - Roquette Frères, Lestrem, France

Macioce V. -  formerly with Roquette Frères, Lestrem, France

Thabuis C. - Roquette Frères, Lestrem, France

Wils D. - Roquette Frères, Lestrem, France

 

In the present study, the safety for teeth of dark chocolate sweetened using SweetPearl® maltitol was clinically demonstrated.

Introduction

What is maltitol?

Maltitol belongs to the polyols family. Polyols are hydrogenated carbohydrates (also called sugar alcohols) derived from cereals. They are sugars-free bulk sweeteners and can replace sugars in many food products. Unlike sugars, they are not fermented by the microorganisms present in the oral cavity and the dental plaque. Thus, they have all been tested and classified as hypo- or non-acidogenic. The present study aimed at evaluating its acidogenic potential in a chocolate matrix.

Evaluation of the cariogenic potential of food by intraoral pH telemetry?

The formation of organic acids in dental plaque after the exposure to fermentable dietary carbohydrates and the subsequent decrease in plaque-pH is generally accepted to be closely associated with the initiation of dental caries. Plaque acidogenicity of a food item is, therefore, a key factor in caries etiology.

Intraoral plaque-pH-telemetry is the only in vivo method to assess the pH under an undisturbed layer of plaque on the enamel surface of the teeth. This method was described in detail by Prof. Imfeld (1;2), and long-term retrospective studies have proved its excellent reproducibility (3;4;5).

Products labeled “safe for teeth” have proven under in vivo conditions in humans not to depress the pH of interdental plaque below 5.7 neither during consumption nor up to 30 minutes later. The use of the “happy tooth” logo (figure 1) on these products allows consumers to make informed food choices.

Materials and methods

Objectives

To evaluate the effect of a dark chocolate formulated with maltitol on plaque-pH, in order to determine if it is “safe for teeth”.

Study design

Setting: University of Zurich
Volunteers: 5 healthy volunteers
Control product: Dark chocolate with sucrose (Table 1)
Tested product: Dark chocolate with SweetPearl™-maltitol (Table 1)
Dosages: 5 or 10g of chocolate

Results

 
 
pH of interdental plaque after consumption of of 5g of chocolate with sucrose
pH of interdental plaque after consumption of of 5g of chocolate with maltitol

Discussion

  • Maltitol dark chocolate did not acidify dental plaque.
  • In addition to its low cariogenic potential, maltitol used in chewing gum has been demonstrated to induce beneficial changes in salivary and plaque biomarkers of dental caries (6;7)
  • The use of maltitol offers many other key advantages:

Organoleptic aspects: evaluation of maltitol-based chocolate bars have been found very close to the sucrose control in terms of sensory characteristics. Moreover, maltitol intensifies chocolate flavors.

o Nutritional aspects: it induces reduced glycaemic response and caloric value

o Technological aspects: it opens a wide range of possibilities in food formulation and can partially or fully substitute sugars in foods like chocolate, chewing gums, biscuits, ice creams.

o Moreover, maltitol is very well tolerated in the intestine (8).

Conclusion

The results demonstrated that dark chocolate formulated with maltitol fulfilled the requirements of the standard Operation Procedures of Toothfriendly International Association to be qualified as “safe for teeth”.

 

LIST OF REFERENCES(1). Imfeld, T.: Interdental Plaque-pH-Telemetry. In « Surface and Colloid Phenomena in the Oral Cavity: Methodological Aspects. » Proceedings of a workshop on saliva-dental plaque and enamel surface interactions, Eds. Frank and Leach, IRL PressLtd., London, pp. 143-156,
1982.

(2). Imfeld, T.: Identifi cation of low caries risk dietary components. Monographs in Oral Science, Vol. 11, S. Karger, Basel, 1983.

(3). Imfeld, T.: In vivo assessment of plaque acid production, a long-term retrospective study. In: « Health and Sugar Substitutes ». Proceedings ERGOB Conf., Geneva 1978, S. Karger, Basel, pp. 218-223, 1979.

(4). Firestone, A.R., Imfeld, T., Schiffer, S.: Reproductibility of in vivo interdental plaque-pH measurements in humans following a sucrose rinse. Caries Res 19, 189-190, 1985.

(5). Firestone, A.R., Imfeld, T., Schiffer, S., Lutz, F.: Measurement of interdental plaque pH in humans with an indwelling glass pH electrode following sucrose rinse: A long-term retrospective study. Caries Res 21, 555-558, 1987.

(6). Macioce V, Thabuis C, Zhong B, Wang X, Lefranc-Millot C, Berard M, Wils D, Guérin-Deremaux L. Effect of maltitol or xylitol sugar-free chewing-gums on salivary parameters related to dental caries development. 57th ORCA Congress 2010. Caries Res 44 (in press).

(7). Thabuis C, Macioce V, Zhong B, Wang X, Lefranc-Millot C, Berard M, Wils D, Guérin-Deremaux L. Effect of maltitol or xylitol sugar-free chewing-gums on plaque parameters related to dental caries development. 57th ORCA Congress 2010. Caries Res 44 (in press).

(8). Thabuis C, Cazaubiel M, Pichelin M, Wils D, Guérin-Deremaux L. Short-term digestive tolerance of chocolate formulated with maltitol in children. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2010 May 13. [Epub ahead of print]

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