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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. (Science: chemistry) a white crystalline substance of a sweet taste obtained from a so-called manna, the dried sap of the flowering ash (fraxinus ornus); called also mannitol, and hydroxy hexane. Cf. Dulcite. (MI11) HO.CH2.(CHOH)4.CH2.OH = D-mannitol; manna sugar; cordycepic acid; Diosmol; Mannicol; Mannidex; Osmiktrol; Osmosal. Used in pharmacy as excipient and diluent for solids and liquids. Used as a food additive for anti-caking properties, or as a sweetener. Also used to cut (dilute) illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin. (excipient use)

2. (Science: botany) a sweet white efflorescence from dried fronds of kelp, especially from those of the Laminaria saccharina, or devils apron.

Origin: cf. F. Mannite.