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White, odorless, sweet tasting crystals. Sorbitol is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in fruits (berries, cherries, plums, pears, apples), seaweed, and algae. It is used as a humectant on printing rolls and in leather, writing inks, animal glues, textiles, papers, and cosmetics. Sorbitol is used as an emulsifier and sequestrant in foods, wines, and vinyl resins. It is also used as a sugar substitute for diabetics.

Synonyms and Related Terms

d-glucitol; d-sorbitol; sorbit; d-sorbite; L-gulitol; hexahydric alcohol; clucitol

Chemical structure


Other Properties

Soluble in water, alcohols, phenol, acetone, acetic acid, pyridine, acetamide. Insoluble in other organic solvents.

CAS 50-70-4
Melting Point 110-112
Density 1.47
Molecular Weight mol. wt.=182.17
Refractive Index 1.45831

Hazards and Safety

Mallinckrodt Baker: MSDS

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 795
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 8873
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998