Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is it?
Polydextrose is a polymer of D-glucose, sorbitol, and citric acid. Polydextrose is a fiber and sugar/carbohydrate replacement product used in the food and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Polydextrose is lower in calories than regular sugar, and has 1 kcal/gram compared to 4 kcal/gram in normally digested carbohydrates. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used to impart low calorie flavor and fiber to marketed products, many of them over-the-counter.
Because polydextrose is water soluble but indigestable, it has also been used as a fiber-bulking agent in the food industry for products that are typically low in fiber. In this way, manufacturers can claim on their food labels that the products have dietary fiber value.