This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.
Our interest in educating our readers on Erythritol (pronounced "uh-RITH-ri-tol,") stems from the fact that as a Candyceutical company, we selected this natural plant sweetener to ‘sweeten’ our chocolate range of products, making them not only delicious but absolutely guilt-free! Erythritol is promoted as the perfect natural, zero-calorie sweetener, being tooth-friendly, well-tolerated in the digestive system (unlike other polyols), and offering no effect on blood sugar levels.
The name "erythritol" is derived from the Greek word "erythros," which means red. This is because erythritol was first isolated from red algae in the 19th century. Today, while most store-bought erythritol is synthetically made from chemical sources and sold at a more affordable price point, we source our erythritol from natural sources like sugar beets, grapes, melon, and other tropical fruit skins through a fermentation process.
Erythritol is an intriguing compound in the world of sweeteners. It offers the promise of satisfying the sweet cravings without the guilt associated with sugar consumption. To understand erythritol better, let's explore in more detail.
Erythritol - a truly natural Sweetener
As a sweetener, Erythritol is valued for its ability to provide a sugar-like sweetness without its caloric impact. It has a clean, sweet taste that doesn't have the bitter aftertaste associated with some of the other sugar substitutes like stevia or xylitol. Erythritol is versatile and is used in various food applications, from baking to beverages. But what sets erythritol apart from other sweeteners is its origin. Unlike artificial sweeteners, erythritol comes from natural sources. It occurs naturally in certain fruits like watermelon, grapes, and pears, as well as in some mushrooms and fermented foods. This natural origin has led many to consider erythritol as a truly natural sweetener.
How is Erythritol Made?
Erythritol is found in fruits, mushrooms, and fermented foods. It is obtained by extracting the fructose from the fruits, which is then fermented, creating carbohydrates called Polyols. Polyols are also known as sugar alcohols - but are neither sugars nor alcohols. They are carbohydrates that are partially or not digested at all. They are used as sugar substitutes because they provide sweetness without its calorie content or impact on blood sugar levels as traditional sugars.
Not all polyols are found in nature, but erythritol is AND is derived from a natural source. Unlike other commonly available polyols, erythritol is a very small molecule, which is quickly absorbed in the small intestine into the bloodstream. So the job of erythritol literally is to sweeten the palette and get out of the body undigested - That's it?
Benefits of Erythritol
Actually no, here are 5 amazing benefits of replacing your sweeteners with Erythritol - particularly plant-based Erythritol.
1. Blood Sugar Control: Erythritol does not increase serum levels of glucose or insulin in your body, while the same dose of glucose raises insulin levels rapidly within 30 minutes, thereby, promoting blood sugar control in the body.
2. Weight Management: Erythritol has a very low glycemic index (GI=0). Adding it to your beverages, muffins, or sweets will reduce the blood glucose build-up that triggers weight gain.
3. Dental Health: Erythritol suppresses the growth of oral bacteria, such as Streptococcus, which form a biofilm on your teeth and cause tooth decay. This way, the teeth don’t develop 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.
4. Improves Gut Health: Since erythritol is a small four-carbon molecule, it gets easily and almost completely digested in your gut. Unlike sucralose, xylitol, sorbitol, or mannitol, whose remnants can be found in the large intestines, about 90% of erythritol gets absorbed.
5. Antioxidant: Erythritol is an excellent scavenger of free radicals. The sugar alcohol forms erythrose and erythrulose that are excreted through urine.
But Is Erythritol Safe?
Numerous studies and regulatory agencies have evaluated the safety of erythritol. It has been deemed safe for consumption by several organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It has a high safety profile and is generally well-tolerated by most individuals. Erythritol's safety is attributed to its lack of side effects commonly associated with other sugar substitutes such as digestive discomfort, headaches, bloating, and nausea. Unlike xylitol or maltitol, which can cause gastrointestinal distress in high quantities, erythritol is less likely to lead to these issues.
Erythritol Nutritional Value Erythritol is unique among sugar alcohols because it provides minimal calories. In fact, it contains only about 0.2 calories per gram, which is approximately 6% of the calories in an equivalent amount of sugar. Additionally, erythritol doesn't significantly affect blood sugar levels, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake, such as individuals with diabetes.
The low-calorie nature of erythritol has made it a favorite among those looking to reduce their overall calorie intake. It can be part of a balanced diet and is often incorporated into low-calorie and sugar-free products.
In summary, erythritol is a natural sweetener that harmonises with your desire for a healthier sugar alternative. It is safe, versatile, and provides the sweetness you crave without the guilt.
Erythritol, derived from natural sources, is indeed a truly natural sweetener. Its safety, resemblance to sugar, and minimal caloric impact make it an appealing choice for those seeking a healthier way to satisfy their sweet tooth. Whether you opt for powdered erythritol in your recipes or incorporate it into your daily routine, you can enjoy the delightful taste of sweetness without compromising on your quest for natural, wholesome flavors. Make erythritol a part of your culinary journey as we have with our range of candyceuticals to help give you a healthier and sweeter life.
Is stevia better than erythritol?
Stevia is a plant-based sugar substitute while erythritol is commercially produced from yeast and starch. Erythritol has more applications as it is heat-stable while stevia might break down into undesirable products. Stevia can cause allergic reactions because it has a plant origin. So, pick erythritol over stevia if you have an option.
What is the calorie content of erythritol compared to other sweeteners?
Erythritol contains only 0.2 calories per gram. This is significantly less than table sugar, which contains 16 calories per teaspoon .
Can erythritol be used in baking and cooking?
Yes, you can use erythritol in baking and cooking as it is heat-stable. However, avoid using too much of it to prevent dryness and crystallization.
Is erythritol more or less expensive compared to other sweeteners?
Erythritol is more expensive compared to table sugar and other sugar alcohols. It is comparatively new and occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables in small amounts. This makes it difficult to cultivate it on a large scale.