Erythritol: Powdered vs Granulated

Updated: Jun 7


Erythritol (Ah-REETH-ra-tall) is currently one of the most popular sweeteners. It is promoted as natural, zero calories, tooth-friendly, well-tolerated in the digestive system, and zero effect on blood sugar levels. On the other hand, it is less sweet than table sugar and creates a cooling sensation when dissolved in the mouth—which feels like we are sucking a mint (without the mint flavor).


On my quest to discover all sweeteners containing erythritol across the country, I found over a hundred products. Most are blends with another sweetener.


Sweetener manufacturers combine ingredients to make their products look and taste like table sugar. Blends of erythritol with high–intensity sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose can fix the reduced sweetness of erythritol. Some products have a mix of erythritol with low-digestible sweeteners, such as xylitol and inulin, which minimizes the cooling effect caused by pure erythritol.


In this blog post, we explore forty pure erythritol products sold in two forms: granulated and powdered. Please refer to my previous blog post 60 Facts About Erythritol to learn its source, production methods, appearance, taste, degree of sweetness, digestion & metabolism, culinary roles, and safety.



Crystals Size


All forty products listed in this post contain 99.5 percent pure erythritol. Their crystals might be coarse or fine.

  • Coarse crystal is labeled with terms such as granular, granulated, or crystalline erythritol. It looks like regular table sugar.

  • Fine crystal is labeled as powdered or confectioners erythritol. As the name implies, it looks a lot like powdered sugar. Because it has smaller crystals, it dissolves more easily than granulated erythritol. We can use it as a powdered sugar replacement in frosting and for a smoother consistency in soft, spoonable desserts such as mousse.

Since granulated erythritol tends to be less expensive and is widely available, you might want to make your own powdered erythritol by pulsing the granulated in a food processor or coffee grinder.


Sweetness


When replacing table sugar by pure erythritol, keep in mind that it is 30 to 40 percent less sweet than table sugar.

  • Measuring cups? Use 1 1/3 cups of erythritol to replace one cup of sugar. Since taste is subjective, some might have to add a little more, such as 1 1/2 cups instead.

  • Measuring teaspoons (tsp)? 1 1/3 tsp of erythritol = 1 tsp of table sugar. Start with that proportion, but if that's not enough to you, try 1 1/2 teaspoons instead.




Origin


Except for two brands, all erythritol products sold in stores are made in China from non-genetically modified (non-GMO) corn.


Pros of Erythritol


A zero calorie sweetener because most of the amount we ingest is not metabolized.

A natural sweetener because it is "derived from a natural source" and "is found in nature".

Looks and tastes a lot like table sugar.

Non-hygroscopic (does not absorb moisture) so you can store on the table in a sugar bowl.

Stable at high temperatures and a wide pH range, so use anywhere table sugar is used.

Makes the taste of other sweeteners more "sugar-like," as it is a flavor enhancer.

Tooth-friendly as it does not cause tooth decay.

Acts as an antioxidant, protecting us against diseases, since it is a free radical scavenger.

The polyol with the least negative digestive effects, such as laxation and bloating.

Zero glycemic index as it is not metabolized into glucose; no impact on blood sugar levels.

Zero "net carbs" as it offers 4 grams of non-digestible carbohydrates per serving.



Cons of Erythritol


X Not a 1:1 sugar replacement: It is almost 30 percent less sweet than table sugar, so expect to add 1.3 times more than table sugar to get the same sweetness.


X Digestive issues: Be prepared for possible digestive discomfort if you over-consume, ingest quickly in concentrated form, or eat by itself in an empty stomach.


X Cooling sensation: The cooling effect erythritol causes when dissolved in the mouth is an undesirable distraction, but it may be a positive effect if we have it with mint flavor or beverages. This effect is an issue if we eat it by itself or sprinkle it over our foods.

X No browning: Erythritol does not undergo browning during baking and cooking. We can bake with erythritol as we would with sugar—mix it with dry ingredients or cream. It won't brown, but it will result in soft and crispy baked goods.


X Cost: Expect to pay 8 to 40 times more than table sugar—we have to consider that table sugar is sweeter so, not only is it much cheaper, we need to use less than erythritol to get the same sweetness level. To draw a comparison: the cost of erythritol varies from 4 to 20 dollars per pound, and table sugar is an average of 75 cents per pound. Powdered erythritol tends to be more expensive—quickly make your own powdered version by simply grinding granulated erythritol.


X Mixing in water: Erythritol's crystals do not dissolve quite as well as table sugar. Powdered erythritol dissolves more easily than granulated erythritol.


X Recrystallization in cold temperatures: Foods and beverages sweetened with erythritol may form crunchy crystals when refrigerated or frozen. To minimize recrystallization, use powdered erythritol instead of granulated in your recipe or just skip storage by eating it right away.


X Storage: Erythritol tends to form lumps even when we think we properly stored it in an airtight container or resealable bag. That does not mean it is unsuitable for eating. By storing erythritol in your freezer or refrigerator, you avoid clumping.




Price


At the time of publishing, the cost of a pound of pure granulated erythritol varies from 4 to 20 dollars in stores across the United States. Please scroll down to see them all.


  • Large bags of erythritol, from 2.5 to 6 pounds, cost an average of 5 dollars a pound. Check out Micro Ingredients, or Whole Earth, or Health Garden. Most 1-pound bags cost 8 to 12 dollars. For big amounts, such as twenty to forty pounds, check here, here, or here.

  • Certified organic erythritol varies from about 6 to 12 dollars per pound. Organic ZeroSugar from Wholesome is Fair Trade Certified, Organic Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher Certified, and Keto Certified.

  • Powdered erythritol dissolves faster than granulated and tends to cost more. From all the products listed below, only Now Real Food is certified organic. So Nourished powdered erythritol does not clump as it contains an anti-caking agent.



What is Out is Stores in 2020?


I invite you to browse my erythritol page to keep up to date with the latest products and brands to hit stores. Any brand of pure erythritol we find in stores across the country is:

  • Zero cal/serving

  • 0.4 cal/gram

  • 1.2 to 1.6 cal/tsp

  • 3.6 to 4.8 cal/Tbsp

  • 58 to 77 cal/cup

  • 40 cal/100g

  • Zero glycemic impact

  • Zero net carbs

  • Zero sugar

  • Tooth friendly

  • Vegetarian and vegan

  • Ketogenic or keto diet friendly

  • Low carb diet friendly

  • Paleo diet friendly

  • Gluten–free

  • Made from corn, except this

  • Made in China, except this & this

  • 30–40% less sweet than sugar




1) Granulated



Organic erythritol is produced from organically grown plants. It also must be processed, handled, and packaged according to the National Organic Program or NOP. Learn more about organic sweeteners here.


– Microingredients | 6-lb bag

– Now Real Food | Non-GMO Project Verified | 1-lb bag

– Wholesome ZeroSugar | Fair Trade Certified | Non-GMO Project Verified | Kosher Certified | Keto Certified | 12-oz bag

– Anthony's | 2.5-lb bag

– Healthworks | 2-lb bag

– Pyure | 2.5-lb bag

– Naturevibe | 1-lb bag

– Namanna | 1-lb bag



– Anthony's | 2.5-lb and 5-lb bag

Aspen | 1-lb Bag

– Besti Wholesome Yum | 1-lb Bag

– Namanna | 1-lb and 5-lb bag

Health Garden | Bags of 1-lb, 3-lb, and 5-lb | Box of 1000 pkts

Truly Zero | 1-lb Bag

Sukrin | 1.1-lb bag

Focus Nutrition | 1-lb and 3-lb bag

HaleFresh | 3-lb bag

Kate Naturals | 12-oz and 5-lb bag

Whole Earth | 1-lb and 4-lb Bag

Erysweet | 1-lb and 5-lb bag, and 44-lb box

Prescribed For Life| 12-oz bag

Bulksupplements.com | Dietary Supplement | 3.5-oz, 8.8-oz, 1.1-lb, 2.2-lb, 55-lb

Get Chia | 1-lb, 3-lb, 6-lb, and 12-lb bag

Now Real Food​ | Kosher | 1-lb and 2.5-lb bag

So Nourished | 1-lb , 2.5-lb , 5-lb bag

LC Low Carb | 1-lb bag

Smart138 | 8-oz and 2.5-lb bag

It's Just | 8-oz bag

Hoosier Hill Farm | 2.5-lb canister, 5-lb bag and 25-lb box

2) Powdered



Now Real Food | Organic | Non-GMO Project Verified | 1-lb bag

So Nourished | Ingredients: erythritol, silicon dioxide | 1-lb and 2.5-lb bag

LC Low Carb | 1-lb Bag

Hoosier Hill Farm | Made in USA| 1-lb and 3-lb

Besti | 1-lb Bag

Anthony's | 2-lb Bag

Smart138 | 8-oz and 1.5-lb Bag

It's Just | 8-oz Bag

Zsweet | 9.5-oz Bag

– Sensato | 1-lb Bag


Tell it Like it Is


Erythritol is promoted as natural, zero-calories, tooth friendly, zero effect on blood sugar levels, well tolerated by our gut, plus it looks and tastes like table sugar. Here are some facts to consider:

  • Not really "calorie-free": Erythritol does offer significantly less calories than table sugar, but it is not zero calories—one cup provides about 75 calories. By law, a sweetener may be labeled calorie-free, no-calorie, or zero-calorie if it provides less than 5 calories per serving. One serving of erythritol is one teaspoon (3 grams for powdered form, 4 grams for granulated form), which provides 1.2 to 1.6 calories.

  • Not really a "natural" sweetener: Erythritol is found naturally in some foods (fruits, mushrooms, fermented foods). However, because those sources have minuscule amounts, the store-bought erythritol is a synthetic sweetener. As I discussed in a previous post titled 5 Misconceptions about Natural Sweeteners, the Food and Drug Administration does not define or regulate the use of the term "natural" on labels. Erythritol may be promoted as "natural" but it is highly processed, refined, and a synthetic copy of a sweet component of plants. Learn more about synthetic sweeteners promoted as natural here: Natural Sweetener: Not What You Might Think.

  • Not really the "perfect sweetener": In choosing sweeteners, there's no such thing as the perfect sweetener, because there's always tradeoffs associated with them. Common complaints about erythritol include "it does not dissolve well", "it does not brown baking goods", and "there is something about the taste of erythritol". If the cooling effect of pure erythritol bothers you, try one of the erythritol blends (see links below).

For all erythritol blends in stores, go here

For blends with stevia, go here


For blends with monk fruit, go here

For blends with sugars, go here


For 1:1 Sugar Replacement with erythritol, go here



Disclosure

WhatSugar Blog is reader-supported. When you buy through Amazon links on this website, this blog may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you—A one-woman business relying on Amazon affiliate commission to avoid ads.



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Everywhere in the USA | Based in Richmond,VA | Email me at info@whatsugar.com

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