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Xylitol Gum - Candy

The Xylitol Story

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A Brief History of Xylitol

Around 1890

The 5-carbon sugar xylitol was discovered by Fisher and Stahe in Germany and by Betrand in France.


Naturally occuring xylitol was found for the first time in nature (in some plants).


A biochemical pathway involving xylitol was discovered in mammalian tissue that xylitol is a natural physiological carbohydrate.


Xylitol was introduced in parenteral nutrition (infusion therapy). This demonstrated that large quantities of xylitol can be given to seriously ill patients (i.e. the human metabolic capacity for xylitol is high).


The United States Food and Drug Administration approved of the use of xylitol for special dietary purposes. This endorsement is important as most nations have followed or observed this practice.


The odontological importance of xylitol was discovered in Turku, Finland. In 1970 the first study on the effects of xylitol on dental plaque was started.


The Turku Sugar Studies were started.


The clinical conclusions of the Turku studies were published.

The first commercial xylitol chewing gums (XyliFresh) were launched almost simultaneously in Finland and in the United States.


A patent for production of xylitol was approved in the United States.


The Ylivieska studies were carried out.


JECFA (a joint expert committee of WHO and FAO) announced xylitol a safe sweetener for foods.


The Finnish Dental Association gave the first xylitol endorsement in the world.


The leading chewing gum brand (Xylitol-Jenkki) became the most sold candy in Finland.

The Swedish Dental Association (Sveriges Tandläkarförbund) gave its endorsement of the use of xylitol.


The first xylitol lozenge in the world, Xylitol Plus, was launched on the Finnish market.

The Norwegian Dental Association (Den Norske Tannlegeforening) gave its endorsement of the use of xylitol.


The British Dental Health Foundation gave its endorsement of the use of xylitol.


The results of the extensive, long term clinical trial in Belize were published. The large-scale field study went on for more than three years. The study provided new information on the effects of xylitol chewing gum and various other chewing gums in caries prevention.

Irish Dental Association gave its endorsement of the use of xylitol.


Products containing xylitol were excluded from confectionary taxation in Finland as a result of a three-year campaign by school children in Vatiala, Finland.

Leaf's 100 % xylitol sweetened chewing gum (XyliFresh) was the first product to receive a product recommendation by the Finnish Dental Society.

XyliFresh was launched on the Swedish market.


The first xylitol chewing gum in the world, Xylitol Jenkki, celebrated its 20th anniversary. At the same time, 20 years had passed since the publication of the results of the first xylitol studies, known as the Turku Sugar Studies.

Leaf and the top-ranking Finnish NHL ice-hockey player Saku Koivu made a cooperation agreement. Saku Koivu was the figurehead for xylitol chewing gum in Finland.

Estonian dentists (Eesti stomatoloogide selts soovitab) gave their endorsement of the use of xylitol.


Saku Koivu's xylitol school started in Finland. The school was aimed at forth-graders but can also be applied to daycare centers. It was a huge success right from the beginning.

The first Xylitol Plus lozenges containing vitamin C were launched on the Finnish market.

The Dutch dentists gave their endorsement of the use of xylitol.

The use of xylitol has also become popular in many Finnish daycare centers, with gum pellets chewed after each meal.


The results of the study on ear infections in Oulu, Finland, were published in the British Medical Journal. According to the results of the study, the 100 % xylitol sweetened chewing gum XyliFresh significantly prevents children's ear infection.

Professor Kauko K. Mäkinen received the Finnish Dental Society's Apollonia Prize. The prize, which was awarded for the first time, is awarded as an acknowledgement for distinguished odontological research. One of cited grounds for the was Professor Mäkinen's distinguished contribution to xylitol research.


The interim results of the three-year lozenge study in Estonia were published.

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