A polyhydric alcohol with about half the sweetness of sucrose. Sorbitol occurs naturally and is also produced synthetically from glucose. It was formerly used as a diuretic and may still be used as a laxative and in irrigating solutions for some surgical procedures. It is also used in many manufacturing processes, as a pharmaceutical aid, and in several research applications. Occurs widely in plants ranging from algae to the higher orders. Fruits of the plant family Rosaceae, which include apples, pears, cherries, apricots, contain appreciable amounts. Rich sources are the fruits of the Sorbus and Crataegus spp. Sweetening agent and humectant and many other food uses

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