Xylitol is a healthier version of sugar found in the fibres of many fruits and vegetables. The main source of xylitol for commercial use is corn cobs and once extracted and processed, a white, crystalline powder that looks like sugar is left behind. It has the same sweetness as sugar and has become a popular sweetener in food and health products. It has a delicious sweet taste, with no unpleasant aftertaste. Xylitol has a low GI value of 7, meaning it has little effect on blood sugar levels and insulin. It is therefore seen as a useful alternative for diabetics. It contains one third fewer calories than sugar and is slowly absorbed. Xylitol is said to help reduce the development of tooth decay and reduce plaque formation.