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Yogita Lugani, Simmi Oberoi and *Balwinder Singh Sooch


India figures conspicuously around the world for rapid growing of diabetes at a high rate and every fifth diabetic in the world is found to be Indian. India is also termed as â€Å¾Diabetic capital of world‟ with high prevalence of disease among South Indian population. Obesity, food insecurity, illiteracy, poor sanitation, poor glycemic control and dominance of communicable diseases are the main factors responsible for developing this disease at a fast rate among Indian people. The treatment approaches currently used against diabetes are use of oral drugs, amylin agonists, glucagon antagonists, protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors, salicylate derivatives and G protein coupled receptors. The currently used therapeutic approaches against diabetes are costly and resulting in various side effects like allergic reactions, swollen ankles, weight gain, abdominal pain and digestive disturbances. The use of natural alcoholic sugars like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol, maltitol and lactitol is another alternative treatment against diabetes for controlling sugar levels. Among various alcoholic sugars, xylitol is found to be most effective due to its unique properties, resulting in its wide use in many industrial applications. In addition, GRAS status has been given to xylitol by FDA, USA in 1986 and is approved to be safe for human consumption. Currently, most of the xylitol demand has been met by its chemical synthesis, which is costly and resulting in low product yield. The alternative approach for synthesis of xylitol is biotechnological methods using whole cells and enzymatic methods by utilizing various low cost agricultural wastes as raw materials to decrease its production cost and increasing product yield. The Government of India should also need to focus on planning some projects on utilization of these agricultural wastes, which are produced in huge amounts annually in India, for xylitol production to fulfill the need of xylitol for Indian market.

Keywords: Xylitol, Xylose, Diabetes, Xylitol, Agricultural waste, Sweetener, Alcoholic sugar.

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