Erythritol is a naturally-derived sugar substitute, produced by a fermentation process, that looks and tastes very much like sugar, yet has almost no calories.
Erythritol has been used in candies, chocolate, yoghurt, fillings, jellies, jams, beverages, and as a sugar substitute. It is classified as sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols, also called polyols, are sugar substitutes that are either extracted from plants or manufactured from starches. Sugar alcohols also occur naturally in plants.
Erythritol is found naturally in small amounts in grapes, melons, mushrooms, and fermented foods such as wine, beer, cheese, and soy sauce.
Why Do People Use Erythritol?
- Erythritol has a clean, sweet taste and is approximately 70% as sweet as sugar.
- Erythritol has almost no calories. It has only 0.2 calories per gram, which is 95% fewer calories than sugar.
- Erythritol has not been found to affect blood sugar or insulin levels and has a zero glycemic index.
- Erythritol isn’t metabolized by oral bacteria, which means that it doesn’t contribute to tooth decay.
What’s the difference between Stevia and Erythritol?
Stevia is a sweet leafed plant 200 sweeter than sugar. Erythritol is naturally occurring nectar found in fruits, like melons and grapes. It is used to evenly disperse the intense sweetness of stevia leaf extract and remove the aftertaste that sometimes high intense sweeteners can have.
Is Erythritol suitable for cooking/baking?
Absolutely. It is ideal for cooking delicious treats, including pastries, cakes, biscuits, muffins and pancakes or for flavouring desserts like ice-cream and custard. However, note that it does not caramelize as sugar does.
Can Erythritol replace sugar in the diet?
Absolutely. You can use Erythritol where you would use sugar. However, note that Erythritol is slightly less sweet than sugar, so the quantity will have to be adjusted to get the desired sweetness. Replacing sugar in your diet can help control diabetes and aid in weight loss when used as part of an overall healthy diet and a regular exercise plan.