Artificial sweeteners Erythritol have been around for decades, helping people cut back on added sugars and reduce calorie intake.
One of the newer additions to the market is erythritol, a sugar alcohol that is quickly gaining popularity as a natural alternative to sugar and chemical sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. In this article, we’ll explain what erythritol is, how it’s made, what benefits it offers, and whether it’s safe to consume.
What is Erythritol?
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. It is also made through a fermentation process that uses glucose derived from corn-starch.
Artificial Sweeteners Erythritol is a white, crystalline powder that is 70% as sweet as table sugar but has only 0.2 calories per gram and a glycemic index of zero. It’s often used as a sweetener in low calorie, low carb, and low-sugar foods and drinks.
Erythritol has a similar molecular structure to other sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol. However, it has some unique properties that set it apart from other sweeteners.
For one, it’s absorbed by the body very quickly and doesn’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar like regular sugar does. It also doesn’t contribute to tooth decay like sugar does, as it doesn’t feed the bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities.
Unlike other sugar alcohols, erythritol doesn’t cause digestive issues in most people. It’s absorbed into the bloodstream before it reaches the large intestine, so it doesn’t ferment and cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea like other sugar alcohols can.
How is Erythritol Made?
Erythritol can be found naturally in some fruits, such as grapes, melons and pears, and in fermented foods like soy sauce, cheese and wine. However, most erythritol is produced through a process of microbial fermentation.
While there are different strains of microbes that can be used, the most commonly used is yeast, which is added to a mixture of glucose and water in a bioreactor.
During fermentation, the yeast consumes the glucose and produces erythritol as a byproduct. Once the erythritol is purified and crystallized , it’s ready to be used in food products.
What are the Benefits of Artificial Sweeteners Erythritol?
Erythritol is increasingly popular as a sweetener because of its many benefits:
1. Low Calorie Count: Erythritol has only 0.2 calories per gram, which is 95% less than the sugar. It can help people to reduce their calorie intake.
2. Low Glycemic Index: Erythritol doesn’t raise blood sugar levels and doesn’t cause insulin spikes, making it suitable for people with diabetes or prediabetes.
3. Safe for Teeth: Erythritol doesn’t feed the bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and tooth decay. It is often added to dental products to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
4. Digestive-Friendly: Erythritol is easily absorbed and metabolized by the body, so it doesn’t cause digestive problems like other sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol.
5. Suitable for Most Diets: Erythritol is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, making it suitable for most dietary lifestyles.
Is Artificial Sweeteners Erythritol Safe to Consume?
Erythritol is approved for use by numerous agencies including the US FDA and the European Union. Studies have shown that erythritol is well-tolerated by most people, even at high doses of up to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight.
However, consuming excessive amounts of erythritol may cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea. Therefore, it’s important to use erythritol in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
One important fact to note is that while erythritol is generally safe, consuming it in combination with other sweeteners such as aspartame or high amounts of sugar may be harmful.
When erythritol is mixed with other sweeteners, its glycemic index may increase, and it may cause spikes in insulin levels.
Erythritol is one of the newest additions to the artificial sweetener family and it’s quickly gaining in popularity. Made from glucose using a fermentation process, it’s sweet yet low in calories, safe for teeth, easy to digest, and suitable for most dietary restrictions.
If consumed in moderation, erythritol can be an excellent sugar substitute for those looking to reduce their calorie intake and improve their overall health.
However, as with any food or supplement, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional before adding it to your diet, especially if you have preexisting health conditions or are taking medications.