33 mins read

Erythritol– from seed to Eureba

Erythritol differs from other polyols. You can consume it without having to stress over either calories or blood sugar level. And you can endure erythritol in bigger amounts than other polyols prior to your stomach starts breaking down. In addition, it has 70 percent of the sweetness of sugar and is similar to sugar in texture. Not surprising that erythritol is an intriguing option to sugar in food, baking and beverages.

Found first in lichen

Stenhouse was interested in the medical and technological developments that were driven forward by new discoveries of chemical substances in the plant world. He produced several creative and useful creations in sugar making, coloring, impregnation and tanning. However, he is best understood for his air filters and charcoal breathing masks, which clean the air and eliminate odours.

In the mid-19th century, Stenhouse try out the lichen Roccella Montagnei from southern Africa. Through various chemical processes he prospered in getting clear crystals of the substance, which were ultimately named erythritol. Stenhouse describes that Pseudo-orcin, as he first called the compound, has a very sweet taste. When heated up on platinum foil it burns with a blue flame and smells a bit like caramel. The compound is soluble in both water and alcohol.

Found in fermented molasses

In 1950, one a century after Stenhouse’s discovery of erythritol, traces of the compound were discovered in blackstrap molasses which had actually been fermented by yeast. This led to the method used today to produce erythritol.

Unlike other polyols, which are produced from sugar types by adding hydrogen, erythritol is produced by fermenting glucose.

What is black molasses?

When you make sugar you get an acidic, bitter sweet and mineral rich product called molasses. The colour differs from light to dark brown. The brown colour is due to that sugar, throughout the duplicated heating procedure of the production process, degradates into fructose and glucose which is caramelised throughout continued heating.

If the molasses is allowed to boil further, thermal decay takes place and the result is a black, bitter and salted syrup called blackstrap molasses.

Preparation of erythritol

Manufacturing of erythritol starts with starch from, for example, wheat, maize or potatoes.

The starch is dissolved in water, which is then heated up together with acid or enzymes or both. The starch is then separated into ever-shorter chains of glucose molecules up until essentially only glucose remains.

Thus far, the process is the same as that for glucose syrup. Nevertheless, to produce erythritol, yeast is included which converts glucose to erythritol by fermentation.

Numerous yeasts can be utilized. A genetically modified variant of Yarrowia lipolytica is among the more effective ones. With this, more than 60% of glucose can be converted to erythritol. [2]

Nutrition Information

The following nutrition info is provided by the USDA for 1 teaspoon (4g) of pure erythritol crystals.

Erythritol Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g


Although erythritol contains absolutely no calories, it has 4 grams of carbs in a one-teaspoon serving of the sweetener. The carbohydrates come from sugar alcohol.

Whereas other sugar alcohols (like sorbitol) cause a rise in blood sugar and insulin reaction when taken in, erythritol has no impact on either blood sugar level or insulin levels.


There is no fat in erythritol.


Erythritol does not include any protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

There are no minerals and vitamins in erythritol. [3]

The essentials of erythritol

Erythritol (pronounced Ear-rith-ri-tall) is a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol, which are water-soluble compounds that happen naturally in numerous vegetables and fruits. It is likewise commercially produced by fermentation from a basic sugar stemmed from corn, called dextrose. It’s used as a zero-calorie sweetener to assist change calories from carbs and sugars in packaged foods and beverages. In addition to supplying sweet taste, erythritol likewise helps foods keep moisture.

Erythritol safety has been examined and confirmed by health authorities worldwide. Japan approved erythritol for usage in foods in 1990. The World Health Organization (WHO) validated its safety in 1999 and in 2001, the U.S. Fda (FDA) also acknowledged erythritol as safe.

While the security of erythritol and other sugar alcohols is well-documented, some sugar alcohols, when eaten in excessive quantities, can trigger intestinal pain, consisting of gas, bloating and diarrhea. As a result, foods which contain the sugar alcohols sorbitol or mannitol need to consist of a warning on their label about potential laxative impacts. Erythritol is better tolerated than sorbitol or mannitol, so foods which contain erythritol do not need to bring that cautioning label. [4]

Where Can You Discover Erythritol?

You can discover Erythritol in.

  • Drinks (as a sugar replacement)
  • Chewing gums
  • Chocolate candies
  • Tabletop sweetener
  • Strong and liquid solutions
  • Tablets
  • Lozenges
  • Granulated powders
  • Preferred pharmaceutical excipient
  • Syrups
  • Toothpastes

Isn’t this insane? I had no concept about just how much erythritol we’ve been taking in daily! [6]
Fruits like watermelon, pear and grapes naturally include minor quantities of erythritol, as do mushrooms and some fermented foods like cheese, white wine, beer and sake.

Erythritol is now typically added to numerous packaged foods, snacks and drink items. Some examples of where you’ll discover it consist of:.

  • zero-calorie and/or diet plan sodas and drinks
  • sports and energy beverages
  • sugar-free gums and mints and other sugary foods (such as difficult and soft sweets, flavored jam, and jelly spreads)
  • chocolate products
  • icings
  • dairy desserts (such as ice cream, other frozen desserts and puddings)
  • packaged grain-based desserts (such as cakes and cookies)
  • even some medications

Erythritol is frequently utilized in combination with sweetening agents to enhance the taste of items. If you’re a label reader (and I hope you are!), you might have discovered alternative sweeteners like sucralose and erythritol ending up being more prominent in component lists lately, especially in energy/sports beverages and chocolate bars.

In addition to supplying a sweet taste, sugar alcohols in food add bulk and texture, help keep moisture, and prevent browning.

Since erythritol is not hygroscopic (does not take in moisture from the air), it’s popular in specific baked products because it doesn’t dry them out.

How It’s Made/Types

As explained above, erythritol does happen naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. However, the issue is that the grand bulk of erythritol utilized in products today is manufactured by taking glucose (most frequently from GMO cornstarch) and fermenting it with a yeast called Moniliella pollinis.

The type that is contributed to food and beverages today is generally manufactured from GMO cornstarch, leading to an ultra-processed food– very far from a natural sweetening agent. It’s one of those “undetectable GMO ingredients.”.

Erythritol is readily available as a granulated or powdered, natural zero-calorie sweetener. Examples of such products consist of Zsweet and Swerve (which is non-GMO certified and sourced from France).

Powdered erythritol is frequently used like confectioner’s sugar and stated to have “‘ no bitter or chemical aftertaste.”.

When you purchase natural erythritol, this ensures the item can not be made from a GMO source, such as cornstarch.

Erythritol vs. Stevia

Are stevia and erythritol the exact same thing? Stevia is a various type of sugar sub.

It’s an organic plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. The stevia plant has actually been used for over 1,500 years by the Guaraní people of Brazil and Paraguay.

These two sweeteners are frequently combined in order to increase volume and reduce aftertaste.

Is erythritol healthier than stevia?

Some health professionals have specified that they personally prefer stevia leaf extract since it doesn’t spike blood glucose and is associated with some health benefits. According to research study studies, these may consist of enhancements in cholesterol, high blood pressure and even some types of cancer.

In general, stevia seems to be a health-promoting option when you buy a premium, pure stevia leaf extract product. Ensure to purchase stevia without additives.

Green stevia is said to be among the best options if you can find it.

Xylitol vs. Erythritol

Both of these products are sugar alcohols (likewise called reduced-calorie sweeteners). The primary distinction is that xylitol does consist of some calories (it’s not zero-calorie like erythritol) but less than sugar.

Xylitol likewise has a little impact on blood sugar levels while erythritol does not.

It is discovered naturally in some fruits and vegetables and has a comparable taste, texture and volume as sugar. One downside to utilizing xylitol is that it can cause diarrhea in some individuals, especially when used in large amounts.

This is one reason why some people choose erythritol. On the other hand, advantages related to xylitol consist of enhancements in blood sugar level management, oral health and even resistance against specific infections.

How to Purchase/Use

Where can you buy erythritol? Try to find it in natural food shops, major grocery stores or online.

If you purchase a product that has erythritol, how do you know if it’s a GMO-free? The product needs to have a USDA Organic or a Non-GMO Project-certified insignia on the product packaging.

Erythritol Substitutes/Alternatives:

Bear in mind that many erythritol alternatives are offered if you can’t discover any or if you prefer a different item because you’re experiencing erythritol negative effects. These include stevia, monk fruit, honey, molasses and maple syrup if you do not mind consuming actual sugar and calories.

Raw honey– This is a pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized sweetener made by bees from the nectar of flowers. Unlike processed honey, raw honey does not get robbed of its incredible dietary value and health powers. It has actually been scientifically proven to help with allergies, diabetes, sleep issues, coughs and wound healing. Try to find a local beekeeper to source your raw honey. This makes it a lot more most likely to help with seasonal allergies.

Monk fruit– This item is now advised for the same reasons as stevia. It’s a fruit-derived sweetener that has actually been used for centuries. Lots of discover that it has a pleasant taste without bitterness. Monk fruit consists of substances that, when drawn out, are natural sweeteners 300– 400 times sweeter than cane sugar– but with no calories and no effect on blood glucose. Just make certain that the monk fruit item you acquire does not consist of any GMO-derived erythritol or other unhealthy additives. [5]

What Are The Valuable Residences Of Erythritol?

Erythritol is commonly used as an artificial sweetener generally due to the fact that it is mildly sweet. It is as sweet as sucrose however with lower calories.

If you add one teaspoon of sugar to your tea, one spoon of erythritol must do (volume for volume).

But if you utilize sucralose, which is an artificial substitute that is much sweeter, you might have to include only one-fourth of a teaspoon.

You get the drift, right?

Apart from having sugar equivalence, erythritol provides the following benefits.

1. Anti-Diabetic Residences

Erythritol does not increase serum levels of glucose or insulin in your body, while the same dose of glucose raises insulin levels quickly within thirty minutes.

It also does not have any substantial impact on the serum levels of overall cholesterol, triacylglycerol, and totally free fatty acids.

Erythritol is safe to consume and is, in fact, a much better alternative for diabetic patients since more than 90% of ingested erythritol is readily taken in and excreted through urine without destruction.

2. Assists In Weight-loss And Management

Sucrose has an adverse result on your weight and adiposity accumulation. A lot of health lovers and people attempting to reduce weight stop the consumption of sugar and switch to artificial sweeteners if they can not go entirely sugarless.

Erythritol has an extremely low glycemic index (GI= 0). Including it to your beverages, muffins, or sweets will decrease the blood sugar accumulation that activates weight gain.

Although it triggered weight gain sometimes, erythritol plays a vital role in handling weight, particularly amongst obese individuals.

3. Prevents Dental Caries (Non-Cariogenic)

Erythritol suppresses the development of oral bacteria, such as Streptococcus, which form a biofilm on your teeth and cause tooth decay.

Inhibition of microbial development results in a reduction in the acid produced by your gut. In this manner, the teeth do not develop caries and plaques.

When compared to other natural and artificial sweeteners– like xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and sucralose– erythritol takes the longest to form plaque and is the mildest of all.

Owing to these properties, dental experts can use erythritol as a matrix in subgingival air polishing, replacing the standard root scaling in periodontal therapy.

4. Gut-Friendly And Non-Acidogenic

Given that erythritol is a small four-carbon particle, it gets easily digested in your gut. Also, due to the fact that it has a really low glycemic index, it gets absorbed slowly and nearly entirely.

Unlike sucralose, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol, whose remnants can be found in the large intestines, about 90% of erythritol gets soaked up.

This is why you have lesser acidity and flatulence when you take about 50 g/kg of erythritol, while other sweeteners trigger watery stools, queasiness, and diarrhea at 20-30 g/kg consumption.

5. Powerful Antioxidant Activity

Erythritol is an excellent scavenger of free radicals. The sugar alcohol types erythrose and erythrulose that are excreted through urine.

It scavenges hydroxyl totally free radicals particularly and can safeguard your body from cardiovascular damage, hyperglycemia-induced disorders, and lipid peroxidation.

Having erythritol instead of other sweeteners can decrease swelling in organs like the kidneys, liver, and intestines.

Erythritol can avoid the development of conditions like constipation, kidney failure, hypercholesterolemia, level of acidity, ulcers, and Crohn’s illness and safeguard the organ systems it can be found in contact with.

For a sugar substitute, erythritol has some pretty extraordinary properties. So, it’s clear why it’s ended up being so popular.

Dietary and metabolic elements

Nutritional labeling of erythritol in foodstuff varies from country to nation. Some nations, such as Japan and the European Union (EU), label it as zero-calorie.

Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements, it has a caloric value of 0.2 calories per gram (95% less than sugar and other carbohydrates). The FDA has actually not made its own decision concerning the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status of erythritol, however has actually accepted the conclusion that erythritol is GRAS as submitted to it by several food manufacturers.

Human food digestion

In the body, many erythritol is absorbed into the blood stream in the small intestine, and then for the most part excreted the same in the urine. About 10% gets in the colon.

In small dosages, erythritol does not usually cause laxative effects and gas or bloating, as are frequently experienced after consumption of other sugar alcohols (such as maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and lactitol). About 90% is taken in before it goes into the large intestine, and because erythritol is not digested by intestinal germs, the remaining 10% is excreted in the feces.

Large dosages can cause nausea, stomach rumbling and watery feces. In males, dosages greater than 0.66 g/kg body weight, and in women, dosages greater than 0.8 g/kg body weight, will cause laxation, and diarrhea in higher dosages (over 50 grams (1.8 oz)). Rarely, erythritol can trigger allergic hives (urticaria).

Blood glucose and insulin levels

Erythritol has no effect on blood glucose or blood insulin levels and for that reason may end up being a reliable replacement for sugar for diabetics.

Oral bacteria

Erythritol is tooth-friendly; it can not be metabolized by oral bacteria, so it does not contribute to dental caries. In addition, erythritol, likewise to xylitol, has antibacterial effects against streptococci germs, lowers dental plaque, and may be protective versus tooth decay. [7]

Should you utilize erythritol?

Erythritol is non-caloric, doesn’t spike blood sugar, and brings a cool, sweet aftertaste not dissimilar from sugar. It’s not a surprise that low-carbers have actually welcomed this low-calorie sweetener to the keto community.

Erythritol is taken in intact into the blood stream. You pee the majority of it out, therefore really little reaches the colon to develop GI signs. Several studies have validated erythritol is both safe and well-tolerated.

Separate from its sweetening power, eritritol likewise has antioxidant and antimicrobial results. These properties, it’s been shown, can be available in convenient for safeguarding blood vessels and maintaining oral health.

So yes, despite the fact that it’s a pain to pronounce, there’s a lot to like about erythritol. [8]

What Are The Negative Effects Of Erythritol?

Despite the fact that the body does not break down this artificial sweetener, it can still produce a variety of undesirable adverse effects. Erythritol side effects usually consist of digestive problems and diarrhea. It might also trigger bloating, cramps, and gas. In addition, erythritol and other sugar alcohols frequently lead to more water in the intestinal tracts, causing diarrhea. Nausea and headaches might occur too. The latter symptom is frequently a result of excessive diarrhea since the body is dehydrated.

The laxative impact the compound is understood for is true of all sugar alcohols. You need to consume a significant amount of erythritol to experience these results. One study found taking in about half a gram of the sweetener per pound of body weight is safe and will not lead to adverse effects issues. Typically, you have to consume more than 18 grams to experience issues. Nevertheless, no two bodies are alike, so while ingesting 18 grams or more of the compound might affect you, it may not impact your pal or next-door neighbor.

Yet another prospective problem this sweetener provides is eating way too much. Because it is not digested by the body, it may trick your brain into thinking you are still hungry. This is a rather ironic negative effects given the compound is commonly utilized in sugar-free and other “diet plan” foods.

What Are The Dangers Of Erythritol?

Considering that the negative effects of this compound depend on the dosage, the risks are relative to the quantity consumed. How delicate you are to the artificial sweetener and sugar alcohols, in general, might lead to anything from mild intestinal pain to severe queasiness and diarrhea. Consuming large quantities of erythritol may trigger severe diarrhea and nausea/vomiting if you have actually a heightened sensitivity, which can result in dehydration. It does not take wish for the body to become dehydrated if diarrhea is continuous, which is why some people with gastrointestinal disorder end up in the healthcare facility. They can not keep liquids down and need saline IVs to stay hydrated and out of dangerous threat.

Long-term intestinal issues from consistent intake might result in persistent heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and indigestion. These problems are not only unpleasant, they lead to severe tension. Research study indicates a powerful connection in between tension and stomach difficulty. The brain and the stomach are linked according to this research, with the stomach being “exceptionally sensitive to our state of minds.” Stress is an essential consider stomach trouble, so if you are experiencing persistent stress and anxiety and take in a diet plan high of this sweetening agent or other sugar alcohols, you are intensifying the issue. You will likely experience more stomach problems and more stress in what could become a very destructive cycle.

Erythritol has no known health advantages other than its work as a weight reduction assistant, however once again, this benefit is debatable. It is not an unsafe sweetening agent because it is ruled out deadly in big quantities. Nevertheless, consuming excessive over a lengthy amount of time can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues that might end up being chronic depending on your constitution and general lifestyle.

If you think you have eaten too much erythritol in your lifetime and are worried about its impact on your intestinal tract and stomach, make the switch to entire foods. Enjoying a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and short on sugar and processed foods is among the very best things you can do for your body and mind. Whole foods are recovery and cleaning, and do not feature the long list of active ingredients their processed counterparts do. Buy from regional farmers’ markets as much as possible, and ask the suppliers whether they utilize pesticides or not. Purchase entire foods from suppliers offering organic produce to delight in a healthier, better life.

Ought to you still be worried about your erythritol usage, get in the habit of reading food labels each time you go to the grocery store. The basic rule is if you can not pronounce or spell the majority of the ingredients on a food label, leave it on the shelf. This includes all mints and gum– search for natural versions in organic food stores and online to avoid consuming more sweetening agents than you recognize.

Inform yourself about the food and beverages you take in, and take pleasure in the results! [9]


Though erythritol is one of the more recent sugar alcohols on the market– xylitol and mannitol have actually been around longer– researchers have actually done a number of studies of it in animals and humans. The World Health Company (WHO) authorized erythritol in 1999, and the FDA did the exact same in 2001.

It’s likewise okay for people with diabetes. Erythritol has no impact on glucose or insulin levels. This makes it a safe sugar substitute if you have diabetes. Foods which contain erythritol might still consist of carbs, calories, and fat, so it is necessary to examine the label.

Taste. Erythritol tastes sweet. It resembles table sugar.

Appearance. It remains in the form of white crystal granules or powder.

Just how much can I consume? There aren’t official guidelines on using erythritol, but many people can handle 1 gram for every kg of body weight daily. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you can endure 68 grams of erythritol a day, or more than 13 teaspoons. [10]


Erythritol may function as a lower calorie choice for individuals who wish to take in less sugar with very little adverse health effects. [11]
Low calorie sugar-free sweetener: Beverages, hard candy, chocolate milk, frozen desserts, baked products, packaged sweeteners (in some cases combined with stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract, or other sweeteners).

This sugar alcohol, which was first utilized commercially in the United States in about 2001, is about 60 to 70 percent as sweet as sugar, but supplies at most only one-twentieth as many calories. Percentages happen naturally in such fruits as pears, melons, and grapes, but essentially all of the erythritol utilized as a food additive is produced by fermenting glucose with various yeasts. Many companies blend it with high-potency sweeteners, such as stevia leaf extract or monk fruit extract, to keep the calories down while masking those other sweeteners’ undesirable aftertastes. Companies also value erythritol due to the fact that it supplies the bulk that sugar has and which high-potency sweeteners do not have, plus it adds to the “mouthfeel” of low-sugar beverages. Because it is not absorbed by germs, it does not promote dental caries.

Besides periodic allergic reactions, the only security issue about erythritol is that consuming excessive of it might cause nausea. Private sensitivities vary considerably, however the majority of grownups can safely consume up to about 50 grams of erythritol each day. (For contrast, there are 12 grams in Blue Sky No Soda pop, 4 grams of erythritol in a 12-ounce can of Zevia soda. and 3 grams of erythritol in a packet of Truvia.) That’s safer than a lot of other sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and lactitol. Erythritol’s relative safety is due to its being mostly taken in into the bloodstream and excreted the same in urine. Other sugar alcohols stir up trouble in the colon where they attract water (resulting in laxation or diarrhea) or are absorbed by bacteria (causing gas). [12]


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