Isomaltulose is kind to teeth

Isomaltulose is no substrate for use by oral plaque bacteria. Hence, it does not promote demineralization and subsequent tooth decay, it has been established as “kind to teeth” or “toothfriendly”. This is rather unique for a sugar-like carbohydrate, since usually toothfriendly carbohydrates are not fully digestible carbohydrates (e.g. polyols), and do not provide the full carbohydrate energy in human nutrition.

The dental properties of isomaltulose have been well established in plaque pH telemetry studies. This is an in vivo method developed at the University of Zuerich in Switzerland that allows to follow plaque pH changes on the tooth surface during and after the consumption of a carbohydrate-based food or drink, and that has been established as a standard method for dental claims worldwide. The corresponding pH telemetry curve of isomaltulose confirms that the consumption of isomaltulose is not associated with a decrease in plaque pH below the critical value of 5.7 where demineralization occurs, whereas the plaque pH falls well below this value with sucrose (Figure 2).

The dental properties of isomaltulose have been acknowledged by relevant authorities and established in corresponding claims regulations: In the US, isomaltulose is included in the list of non-cariogenic carbohydrate sweeteners for which dental health claims have been approved by the US FDA as laid down in the Code of Federal Regulations (US FDA 2008). In the EU, a dental claim has been approved for isomaltulose and laid down in the Annex of Regulation (EU) 432/2012, following a positive opinion from the in the EU European Food Safety Authority (EFSA 2011). Hence isomaltulose can be consumed as toothfriendly alternative to common sugars and food carbohydrates.

Figure 2: Plaque pH telemetry curve of isomaltulose.



Department of Health and Human Services – Food and Drug Administration (2007) 21 CFR Part 101 [Docket No 2006P-0487] Food labeling, health claims, dietary non-cariogenic carbohydrate sweeteners and dental caries. Federal Register Vol 72 No 179, September 17:p. 52783.

EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (2011) Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to the sugar replacers xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, lactitol, isomalt, erythritol, D-tagatose, isomaltulose, sucralose and polydextrose and maintenance of tooth mineralization by decreasing tooth demineralization (…), and reduction of post-prandial glycemic responses (…) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal 9(4):2076.

World Health Organization (2018) Oral health Fact Sheet of 28TH September 2018. Link: