E966 is a food additive approved by the EU (European Union). It is used as a synthetic sweetener in food and drink products.
The common name for E966 is lactitol.
E966 is a carbohydrate alcohol derived from lactose in whey (from milk). Most ingested E966 is absorbed and metabolised as glucose in the body, while the remainder undergoes fermentation in the large intestine.
E966 may have up to 40% of the sweetness of sugar and it’s stability in acidic conditions and at high temperatures enables it to be used in cooked foods, such as bakery products.
E966 does not promote tooth decay and has less effect on blood glucose levels in the body, making it more suitable for diabetics. It is generally recognised as a safe additive, but may cause flatulence (due to gases released during fermentation), and have a laxative effect in individuals intolerant to the compounds.
Examples of food and drink products that sometimes include E966:
- bakery products
- sugar-free and low calorie foods