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What is isomalt and is it healthy? The facts at a glance!

Isomalt is one of the ingredients of our well-known Zùsto Sugar substitute. But what exactly is isomalt, why do we choose to use this ingredient, and is it healthy at all? In this article, we list everything you want to know about isomalt! 

What is isomalt?

Isomalt, better known by the number E953, is a sugar substitute derived from sucrose, the ordinary table sugar we all know. With only half the sweetness of sugar, it offers a more subtle sweetness, without all the calories. Isomalt is very versatile, making it perfect for use in both home cooking and professional food production.

In simple terms, isomalt belongs to the family of sugar alcohols — but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean it contains alcohol like a glass of wine. It is actually a combination of natural ingredients that work together to give a sweet taste without affecting sugar levels too much. Isomalt comes from combining two types of naturally occurring sugars, making it a smart choice for those looking for a sugar alternative.

Fun fact: Isomalt was discovered back in the 1960s and has been available in Europe since the 1980s. Today, isomalt is used in the preparation of many food products in more than 70 countries worldwide, including Belgium and the United States. 

What are the benefits of Isomalt?

  • Low in calories: With only 2 kcal per gram, isomalt is a better choice if you want to lose pounds or maintain your weight, versus regular sugar that contains 4 kcal per gram. 
  • Good for your blood sugar: Isomalt has a low glycemic index, which means it is less likely to raise blood sugar levels. Because of this low impact on blood sugar, isomalt is an excellent alternative for diabetics. 
  • Tooth-friendly: It is not cariogenic, meaning it does not cause tooth decay.
  • Stable at high temperatures: Isomalt is resistant to high temperatures and crystallization. Therefore, it is ideal for use in all kinds of baked goods and pastries. 
  • Gives a beautiful shine to your products: Isomalt provides a beautiful shine, making it perfect to use when making beautiful decorations for all your pies, cookies, cakes and so on. 
  • Contains about 50% of the sweetness of traditional sugar: Isomalt contains about half the sweetness of traditional sugar. Combined with sucralose (another main ingredient of the Zùsto Sugar Substitute), it mimics the taste of traditional sugar so closely that there is actually no noticeable taste difference. Want to know more about sucralose? Click here

Is isomalt healthy?

Isomalt has received a big thumbs-up from the nutrition experts at the World Health Organization (WHO). They found it so safe that they did not feel it necessary to set a maximum daily allowance. That means isomalt is among the top when it comes to reliable food ingredients. Curious about the official report? Take a look on page 34 at this link.

Isomalt is tooth-friendly, has a low glycemic index, and provides only half the calories of regular sugar. This makes it a perfect choice for anyone looking to reduce their sugar intake or stabilize their blood sugar, such as people with diabetes.

While isomalt offers many benefits, as with any food product, it is important to use it in moderation. Overuse can lead to digestive problems such as bloating or diarrhea. 

Isomalt in Zùsto

As mentioned above, isomalt can cause digestive problems if you eat too much of it. Fortunately, we have formulated Zùsto in a way that you don’t have to worry about that, thanks to two important factors:

1. Zùsto contains only a limited amount of isomalt: The amount of isomalt in Zùsto is carefully measured. This means that it is well below levels that could potentially cause digestive discomfort, allowing you to enjoy the sweetness without worry.

2. Zùsto is high in fibers: The fibers in Zùsto acts as your best friend. They balance out the effects of isomalt by supporting the digestive system, which is especially helpful when processing sweeteners. This means that not only are you less likely to experience digestive discomfort, but your body also gets an extra serving of good fibers.

Cooking gear with pasteis de nata and zusto

In fact, if you were to replace all the “free” sugars you consume daily (an average of 100 g) with Zùsto, you would end up with 100 g of Zùsto — which is still well below the limit of the level at which no effects on digestion are observed.

Zùsto may contain isomalt, but it is much more than that. It is a professionally formulated blend, specially developed by our experts to outperform ordinary sugar and typical sugar substitutes, in both taste and function, without the drawbacks sometimes associated with traditional sugar alcohols in products, such as in candy and cookies.


Isomalt is an effective sugar alternative that, when used responsibly, offers many benefits for health and well-being. 

It is important to remember that a balanced diet is the key to a healthy life. At Zùsto, we want to be the ideal partner for you in your quest for that balanced diet, without any inconveniences. Therefore, we have ensured that our Zùsto sugar substitute contains only a limited amount of isomalt and is a great source of fiber. So you can use Zùsto to your heart’s content in all your baked goods, without fear of a tummy ache. 

So not only is Zùsto an ideal way to enjoy something sweet, it is, thanks to the amount of healthy fiber, a smart choice for your overall well-being. With our Zùsto Sugar Substitute and our other products, we strive to let you enjoy without guilt.

Want to know more about the Zùsto Sugar Substitute or want to get started yourself? Take a look at our webshop!

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