What is Erythritol?




Erythritol is a naturally-derived sugar substitute that looks and tastes very much like sugar, yet has almost no calories. It is available in granulated and powdered forms. This is classified as a sugar alcohol (or polyol) that was approved for as a food additive in the USA. Sugar alcohol occurs naturally in plants and extracted from the plants or manufactured from starches. The more common sugar alcohols are sorbitol and xylitol.

How Sweet is Erythritol?
It is about 70 percent as sweet as table sugar (sucrose) but some manufacturers claim that their erythritol products are as sweet as sugar. This will also depend on your taste buds so try with a small amount and then increase to fulfill your flavor profile.

How Is It Made?
Erythritol is usually made from plant sugars or manufactured from starches. The sugar is mixed with water and then fermented with a natural culture into erythritol. Then it is filtered, crystallize, and then dried. The finished product is white granules or powder that resembles sugar.

Why Do People Use Erythritol?
1. It almost has no calories. In the USA, it is labeled as having 0.2 calories per gram, which is 95% fewer calories than sugar.
2. Erythritol has not been found to affect blood sugar or insulin levels.
3. It has a zero glycemic index.
4. It has a sweet taste, but everyone is different. Some people say that it is sweeter than Stevia.
5. When consumed in small amounts, it is not supposed to cause digestive upset and diarrhea such as other sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol. It is a smaller molecule and 90% of it is absorbed in the small intestine and excreted, for the most part, unchanged in urine. This quality makes it unique among the sugar alcohols.
6. Erythritol isn’t metabolized by oral bacteria, which means that it doesn’t contribute to tooth decay.

Caveats
1. Excessive consumption of erythritol (over 80 grams per day) may result in digestive upset, diarrhea, and bloating. But this might also have the same effect in some people who consume less.
2. Erythritol has a cooling effect on the mouth, unlike sugar.
3. This is approximately 70% as sweeter than sugar. But that depends on people's taste buds.
4. This doesn’t dissolve as easily as sugar.

Sources
Wikipedia "Erythritol" 1 September 2015 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythritol
Wong, Cathy. "Erythritol" 2014. Wong. 19 December 2014 - http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/erythritol.htm
Cargill. "Erythritol." 2006. Cargill. 12 July 2007 - http://www.cargillsweetness.com/index.php?id=858

DISCLAIMER
The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using an alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.



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