1. <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. <botany> A sweet white efflorescence from dried fronds of kelp, especially from those of the Laminaria saccharina, or devil's apron.

Origin: Cf. F. Mannite.

(01 Mar 1998)

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