33 mins read

Erythritol– from seed to Eureba

Erythritol differs from other polyols. You can consume it without needing to worry about either calories or blood sugar level. And you can tolerate erythritol in larger amounts than other polyols prior to your stomach begins breaking down. In addition, it has 70 percent of the sweetness of sugar and is similar to sugar in texture. No surprise erythritol is a fascinating alternative to sugar in food, baking and drinks.

Found first in lichen

Stenhouse had an interest in the medical and technological developments that were driven forward by new discoveries of chemical substances in the plant world. He produced a number of smart and helpful developments in sugar making, coloring, impregnation and tanning. Nevertheless, 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 numerous chemical processes he succeeded in getting clear crystals of the substance, which were eventually called erythritol. Stenhouse explains that Pseudo-orcin, as he initially called the compound, has a really sweet taste. When heated on platinum foil it burns with a blue flame and smells a bit like caramel. The substance 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 found in blackstrap molasses which had actually been fermented by yeast. This resulted in the technique 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 item called molasses. The colour varies from light to dark brown. The brown colour is due to that sugar, throughout the duplicated heating process of the production procedure, degradates into fructose and glucose which is caramelised during continued heating.

If the molasses is enabled to boil even more, thermal decomposition occurs and the outcome is a black, bitter and salty syrup called blackstrap molasses.

Preparation of erythritol

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

The starch is dissolved in water, which is then warmed together with acid or enzymes or both. The starch is then broken up into ever-shorter chains of glucose molecules until essentially just glucose stays.

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 used. A genetically customized version of Yarrowia lipolytica is one of the more efficient ones. With this, more than 60% of glucose can be converted to erythritol. [2]

Nutrition Information

The following nutrition details 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 consists of zero calories, it has 4 grams of carbs in a one-teaspoon serving of the sweetener. The carbs originate from sugar alcohol.

Whereas other sugar alcohols (like sorbitol) cause a rise in blood sugar and insulin reaction when consumed, 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 vitamins and minerals in erythritol. [3]

The essentials of erythritol

Erythritol (noticable Ear-rith-ri-tall) is a kind of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol, which are water-soluble compounds that happen naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It is likewise commercially produced by fermentation from a basic sugar originated from corn, called dextrose. It’s utilized as a zero-calorie sweetener to help change calories from carbs and sugars in packaged foods and drinks. In addition to providing sweet taste, erythritol likewise assists foods keep wetness.

Erythritol safety has actually been evaluated and confirmed by health authorities all over the world. Japan approved erythritol for use in foods in 1990. The World Health Organization (WHO) validated its safety in 1999 and in 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) likewise recognized erythritol as safe.

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

Where Can You Discover Erythritol?

You can find Erythritol in.

  • Beverages (as a sugar alternative)
  • Chewing gums
  • Chocolate sweets
  • Tabletop sweetener
  • Solid and liquid formulas
  • Tablets
  • Lozenges
  • Granulated powders
  • Preferred pharmaceutical excipient
  • Syrups
  • Toothpastes

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

Erythritol is now frequently contributed to lots of packaged foods, treats and drink products. Some examples of where you’ll find it include:.

  • zero-calorie and/or diet plan sodas and beverages
  • sports and energy drinks
  • sugar-free gums and mints and other sweets (such as difficult and soft candies, flavored jam, and jelly spreads)
  • chocolate items
  • 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 commonly used in combination with artificial sweeteners to enhance the taste of items. If you’re a label reader (and I hope you are!), you may have noticed alternative sweeteners like sucralose and erythritol becoming more popular in active ingredient lists recently, especially in energy/sports beverages and chocolate bars.

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

Due to the fact that erythritol is not hygroscopic (does not absorb moisture from the air), it’s popular in specific baked products due to the fact that it doesn’t dry them out.

How It’s Made/Types

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

The type that is contributed to food and beverages today is usually man-made from GMO cornstarch, leading to an ultra-processed food– really far from a natural sweetening agent. It is among those “invisible GMO components.”.

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

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

When you purchase organic 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 different kind of sugar sub.

It’s a herbal plant that belongs to the Asteraceae household. The stevia plant has actually been utilized for over 1,500 years by the GuaranĂ­ people of Brazil and Paraguay.

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

Is erythritol healthier than stevia?

Some health professionals have mentioned that they personally prefer stevia leaf extract due to the fact that it does not spike blood sugar and is connected with some health advantages. According to research study studies, these might consist of enhancements in cholesterol, high blood pressure and even some kinds of cancer.

In general, stevia seems to be a health-promoting choice when you purchase a premium, pure stevia leaf extract product. Make certain to purchase stevia without additives.

Green stevia is said to be one of the best choices if you can discover it.

Xylitol vs. Erythritol

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

Xylitol likewise has a small effect on blood sugar levels while erythritol does not.

It is found naturally in some fruits and vegetables and has a similar taste, texture and volume as sugar. One drawback to utilizing xylitol is that it can cause diarrhea in some individuals, particularly when used in large amounts.

This is one reason why some people choose erythritol. On the other hand, advantages related to xylitol include enhancements in blood sugar management, dental health and even immunity versus particular infections.

How to Purchase/Use

Where can you buy erythritol? Look for it in health food shops, significant supermarket or online.

If you acquire 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:

Keep in mind that lots of erythritol alternatives are available if you can’t discover any or if you choose a various item due to the fact that you’re experiencing erythritol negative effects. These include stevia, monk fruit, honey, molasses and maple syrup if you do not mind consuming real 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 nutritional value and health powers. It has been scientifically proven to aid with allergic reactions, diabetes, sleep problems, coughs and injury recovery. Try to find a local beekeeper to source your raw honey. This makes it a lot more most likely to aid with seasonal allergies.

Monk fruit– This product is now recommended for the same factors as stevia. It’s a fruit-derived sweetener that has actually been used for centuries. Numerous discover that it has an enjoyable taste without bitterness. Monk fruit contains substances that, when drawn out, are natural sweeteners 300– 400 times sweeter than cane sugar– but without any calories and no effect on blood sugar level. Just ensure that the monk fruit item you buy doesn’t contain any GMO-derived erythritol or other unhealthy additives. [5]

What Are The Valuable Residences Of Erythritol?

Erythritol is commonly used as a sweetening agent generally because it is mildly sweet. It is as sweet as sucrose but with lesser calories.

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

However if you use sucralose, which is a synthetic replacement that is much sweeter, you may need to add just one-fourth of a teaspoon.

You get the drift, right?

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

1. Anti-Diabetic Characteristics

Erythritol does not increase serum levels of glucose or insulin in your body, while the same dose of glucose raises insulin levels quickly within 30 minutes.

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

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

2. Helps In Weight Loss And Management

Sucrose has an unfavorable impact on your weight and adiposity accumulation. Most health lovers and individuals trying to reduce weight stop the consumption of sugar and switch to artificial sweeteners if they can not go completely sugarless.

Erythritol has an extremely low glycemic index (GI= 0). Including it to your drinks, muffins, or sweets will lower the blood glucose build-up that triggers weight gain.

Although it caused weight gain in many cases, erythritol plays an essential role in managing weight, specifically amongst overweight people.

3. Avoids Tooth Decay (Non-Cariogenic)

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

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

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

Owing to these homes, dental experts can utilize erythritol as a matrix in subgingival air polishing, replacing the traditional root scaling in periodontal therapy.

4. Gut-Friendly And Non-Acidogenic

Because erythritol is a small four-carbon particle, it gets quickly digested in your gut. Also, due to the fact that it has a really low glycemic index, it gets digested gradually and almost entirely.

Unlike sucralose, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol, whose remnants can be discovered in the big intestinal tracts, about 90% of erythritol gets absorbed.

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

5. Powerful Antioxidant Activity

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

It scavenges hydroxyl free radicals specifically and can secure your body from cardiovascular damage, hyperglycemia-induced conditions, and lipid peroxidation.

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

Erythritol can avoid the development of conditions like constipation, renal failure, hypercholesterolemia, acidity, ulcers, and Crohn’s illness and safeguard the organ systems it is available in contact with.

For a sugar alternative, erythritol has some pretty incredible properties. So, it’s clear why it’s become so popular.

Dietary and metabolic aspects

Nutritional labeling of erythritol in foodstuff differs from nation to country. Some countries, 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 not made its own determination relating to the typically acknowledged as safe (GRAS) status of erythritol, but has accepted the conclusion that erythritol is GRAS as submitted to it by numerous food makers.

Human digestion

In the body, a lot of erythritol is absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine, and then for the most part excreted unchanged in the urine. About 10% gets in the colon.

In little dosages, erythritol does not typically cause laxative results and gas or bloating, as are frequently experienced after intake of other sugar alcohols (such as maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and lactitol). About 90% is taken in before it enters the big intestinal tract, and since erythritol is not digested by intestinal bacteria, the remaining 10% is excreted in the feces.

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

Blood sugar level and insulin levels

Erythritol has no result on blood glucose or blood insulin levels and for that reason may end up being an effective replacement for sugar for diabetics.

Oral germs

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

Should you utilize erythritol?

Erythritol is non-caloric, doesn’t spike blood sugar, and brings a cool, sweet aftertaste not different from sugar. It’s no surprise that low-carbers have actually invited this low-calorie sweetener to the keto community.

Erythritol is soaked up intact into the bloodstream. You pee most of it out, therefore really little reaches the colon to create GI signs. Numerous studies have confirmed erythritol is both safe and well-tolerated.

Separate from its sweetening power, eritritol likewise has antioxidant and antimicrobial impacts. These homes, it’s been revealed, can come in useful for safeguarding blood vessels and preserving 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 sweetening agent, it can still produce a variety of unpleasant adverse effects. Erythritol side effects typically include digestive issues and diarrhea. It might likewise cause bloating, cramps, and gas. In addition, erythritol and other sugar alcohols often result in more water in the intestines, triggering diarrhea. Nausea and headaches might take place also. The latter sign is frequently a result of excessive diarrhea since the body is dehydrated.

The laxative impact the compound is known for is true of all sugar alcohols. You must take in a significant amount of erythritol to experience these impacts. One research study found taking in about half a gram of the sweetener per pound of body weight is safe and will not lead to side effect problems. Usually, you need to take in more than 18 grams to experience issues. However, no two bodies are alike, so while ingesting 18 grams or more of the substance may affect you, it might not affect your pal or next-door neighbor.

Yet another potential problem this sweetener provides is eating way too much. Since it is not absorbed by the body, it might fool your brain into thinking you are still starving. This is a somewhat ironic side effect given the compound is frequently used in sugar-free and other “diet plan” foods.

What Are The Dangers Of Erythritol?

Because the adverse effects of this compound depend on the dose, the dangers are relative to the quantity consumed. How delicate you are to the sweetening agent and sugar alcohols, in general, may lead to anything from moderate gastrointestinal discomfort to serious nausea and diarrhea. Consuming large amounts of erythritol might trigger serious diarrhea and nausea/vomiting if you have actually an increased sensitivity, which can result in dehydration. It does not take wish for the body to end up being dehydrated if diarrhea is constant, which is why some individuals with food poisoning wind up in the hospital. They can not keep liquids down and need saline IVs to remain hydrated and out of life-threatening risk.

Long-lasting gastrointestinal issues from continual consumption might lead to persistent heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and indigestion. These issues are not only uncomfortable, they lead to extreme stress. Research study shows a powerful connection in between stress and stomach difficulty. The brain and the stomach are connected according to this research study, with the stomach being “extremely sensitive to our state of minds.” Stress is an essential factor in stomach problem, so if you are experiencing persistent anxiety and take in a diet high of this artificial sweetener or other sugar alcohols, you are worsening the problem. You will likely experience more stomach issues and more tension in what might end up being an extremely detrimental cycle.

Erythritol has no known health benefits other than its work as a weight loss assistant, however again, this benefit is arguable. It is not an unsafe sweetening agent in that it is ruled out fatal in large quantities. Nevertheless, ingesting excessive over a lengthy amount of time can lead to serious gastrointestinal issues that may end up being chronic depending upon your constitution and general lifestyle.

If you think you have actually eaten excessive erythritol in your lifetime and are worried about its effect on your intestinal tract and stomach, make the switch to whole foods. Enjoying a diet plan high in fruits, veggies, and entire grains and short on sugar and processed foods is among the very best things you can do for your mind and body. Whole foods are recovery and cleansing, and do not feature the long list of active ingredients their processed counterparts do. Buy from local farmers’ markets as much as possible, and ask the vendors whether they use pesticides or not. Purchase entire foods from vendors selling natural produce to enjoy a much healthier, happier life.

Should you still be concerned about your erythritol intake, get in the routine of reading food labels whenever you go to the grocery store. The basic rule is if you can not pronounce or spell the majority of the components on a food label, leave it on the shelf. This consists of all mints and gum– search for natural variations in organic food shops and online to avoid ingesting more sweetening agents than you understand.

Educate yourself about the food and beverages you take in, and enjoy the outcomes! [9]


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

It’s also OK for people with diabetes. Erythritol has no effect 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 essential to inspect the label.

Taste. Erythritol tastes sweet. It’s similar to table sugar.

Look. It’s in the type of white crystal granules or powder.

Just how much can I eat? There aren’t main guidelines on utilizing erythritol, but many people can deal with 1 gram for every single 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 might serve as a lower calorie choice for people who want to consume less sugar with very little negative health effects. [11]
Low calorie sugar-free sweetener: Drinks, hard candy, chocolate milk, frozen desserts, baked goods, packaged sweeteners (often blended with stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract, or other sweeteners).

This sugar alcohol, which was first used commercially in the United States in about 2001, is about 60 to 70 percent as sweet as sugar, but provides at most only one-twentieth as many calories. Small amounts take place naturally in such fruits as pears, melons, and grapes, however essentially all of the erythritol used as a food additive is produced by fermenting glucose with different yeasts. Numerous companies mix it with high-potency sweeteners, such as stevia leaf extract or monk fruit extract, to keep the calories down while masking those other sweeteners’ unpleasant aftertastes. Business likewise value erythritol due to the fact that it supplies the bulk that sugar has and which high-potency sweeteners do not have, plus it contributes to the “mouthfeel” of low-sugar drinks. Since it is not digested by bacteria, it does not promote dental caries.

Besides periodic allergic reactions, the only safety concern about erythritol is that eating excessive of it could trigger queasiness. Individual level of sensitivities vary considerably, however many adults can securely consume as much as about 50 grams of erythritol each day. (For comparison, there are 12 grams in Blue Sky Zero Cola, 4 grams of erythritol in a 12-ounce can of Zevia soda. and 3 grams of erythritol in a packet of Truvia.) That’s more secure than the majority of other sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and lactitol. Erythritol’s relative safety is because of its being mainly soaked up into the bloodstream and excreted the same in urine. Other sugar alcohols stir up trouble in the colon where they draw in water (leading to laxation or diarrhea) or are digested by bacteria (triggering gas). [12]


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