University of Trieste Laboratory of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry, Dept. of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Macromolecular Chemistry Via Giorgeri 1 I-34127 Trieste Italy Via Giorgeri 1 I-34127 Trieste Italy
Isomalt, a commercial sugar alcohol widely used as a sweetener, is approximately a 1:1 mixture of two diastereomers, -D-glucopyranosyl-1-6-mannitol (GPM) and -D-glucopyranosyl-1-6-sorbitol (GPS). A calorimetric investigation has been carried out on mixtures of isomalt with GPS, in the (molar) composition range 0.45<xGPS<1, for both crystalline and amorphous states.The GPS-rich portion of the solid-liquid GPM/GPS phase diagram was established and discussed in light of the existing literature. New evidence was given for the non-ideality of GPM/GPS mixtures, by indicating excess interactions in the melt and/or in the solid state. The commonly accepted hypothesis of a simple GPM/GPS eutectic forming isomalt was refuted in favour of more complicated mixture behaviour with possible formation of a complex.Glass transition and physical ageing of isomalt and GPS were re-visited, with peculiar attention given to the measurement conditions. Standard thermal histories were adapted to each sample and the fictive temperature was used for the characterisation of the structural glass states. A linear increase of the fictive temperature was found upon passing from pure GPS to xGPS=0.45. GPS showed a slightly higher enthalpy relaxation rate than isomalt.