Erythritol (Ah-REETH-ra-tall) is currently one of the most popular sweeteners, being 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 you are sucking a mint (without the mint flavor).
On my quest to discover all sweeteners containing erythritol across the country, I found almost 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 are able to fix the reduced sweetness of erythritol. By mixing erythritol with low-digestible sweeteners such as xylitol and inulin, it minimizes the so-called cooling effect caused by pure erythritol.
In this blog post we explore about thirty 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.
Coarse vs Fine Crystals
The products below contain 99.5% erythritol. Their crystals may be coarse or fine. Coarse crystals look like regular table sugar and are labeled with terms such as granular, granulated, or crystalline.
Powdered or confectioners erythritol, as the name implies, replaces and looks a lot like powdered sugar. Because it has finer crystals, it dissolves more easily than granulated. Use it as a powdered sugar replacement such as in frosting, glaze and sprinkling.
Since granulated erythritol tends to be less expensive and is widely available, you can choose to make your own powdered erythritol by pulsing the granulated in a food processor or coffee grinder.
When replacing table sugar by pure erythritol, remember it is 30 to 40% less sweet than table sugar. It is recommended to use 1 1/2 or 1 1/3 cups of erythritol to replace one cup of sugar. If measuring teaspoons, 1 1/2 to 1 1/3 tsp of erythritol = 1 tsp of table sugar.
Pros of Erythritol
It really 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
Tooth-friendly as it does not cause tooth decay
Stable at high temperatures and at a wide pH range, so use anywhere table sugar is used
Used as a flavor enhancer, it can make the taste of other sweeteners be more sugar-like
Cons of Erythritol
Almost 30 percent less sweet than table sugar, so you should expect to add 1.3 times more than table sugar to get the same sweetness
Possible digestive discomfort if you over-consume, ingest quickly in concentrated form, or eat by itself in an empty stomach
The cooling effect it causes when dissolved in the mouth is an undesirable distraction, but it may be a positive effect (i.e, with mint flavor or beverages)
Does not undergo browning during baking and cooking; bake with erythritol like you would with sugar (mix it with dry ingredients or cream with it), resulting in soft and crispy baked goods but not brown
Expect to pay 8 to 40x more than table sugar (average 75 ¢/lb); cost varies from $4 to $20/lb; save by buying large bags; powdered erythritol tends to be more expensive
It does not dissolve quite as well as table sugar; powdered erythritol dissolves more easily than the granulated; make your own powdered version by grinding granulated erythritol
Foods or beverages sweetened with erythritol may form crunchy crystals when refrigerated or frozen. Powdered erythritol tends to result in less crystallization.
In the United States, at the time of publishing, the cost of a pound of pure granulated erythritol varies from $4 to $20, a much higher price than refined sugar (< $1 per pound and 30-40% sweeter than eryhtritol). Scroll down to explore them all.
Large bags of erythritol, 3- to 6-lb, cost an average of $5 a pound. Check out Micro Ingredients, Whole Earth or the only erythritol made in the United States - Hoosier Hill Farm. Most 1-lb bags cost $8 to $12. For huge amounts, check here, here or here.
Organic eryhtritol available in stores are made in China from non-GMO corn, just like the conventional ones. Their price vary from about $6 to $12 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. Only 8 products are available in powdered form: Now Real Food (Organic), Zsweet , Hoosier Hill Farm, So Nourished, Anthony's, LC Low Carb, Smart138, and It's Just. The So Nourished powdered erythritol contains an anti-caking agent.
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. I will tell you like it is:
Erythritol does offer significantly less calories than table sugar, but it is not really zero calories. One cup of erythritol provides about 75 calories.
If you have just started using erythritol or you are having it on an empty stomach or in large amounts, be prepared as you might feel uncomfortable digestive effects.
A pound of erythritol costs $4 to $28, a high price to pay for a sweetener that is about 30% less sweet than table sugar. To compare, one pound of table sugar is about 80 cents.
Erythritol is found naturally in some foods (fruits, mushrooms, fermented foods). However, due to being available in minuscule amounts, the store-bought erythritol is a synthetic sweetener.
And then there is something about the taste, as you might consider erythritol’s cooling effect a distraction. If that bothers you, try one of the erythritol blends.
Visit my erythritol page here
(Without Any Other Sweeteners)
Zero cal/serving (70 cal/cup)
Zero glycemic impact
Zero net carbs
Vegetarian and vegan friendly
Ketogenic or keto diet friendly
Low carb diet friendly
Paleo diet friendly
Manufactured from corn
All made in China (from non-GMO corn), except one (from USA)
60 to 75% of the sweetness of table sugar. Use about 1 1/2 or 1 1/3 cup of erythritol to replace 1 cup of table sugar
Granulated erythritol resembles table sugar. All brands, except Hoosier Hill Farm, are made from non-GMO corn in China.
Microingredients | Organic | 6-lb bag
Now Real Food | Organic | 1-lb bag | Non-GMO Project Verified | Certified Organic
Anthony's | Organic | 2.5-lb bag
Wholesome ZeroSugar | Organic | 12-oz bag | Fair Trade Certified | Organic Certified | Non-GMO Project Verified | Kosher Certified | Keto Certified
Truly Zero | 1-lb Bag
Sukrin | 1.1-lb bag
HaleFresh | 3-lb bag
Prescribed For Life| 12-oz bag
LC Low Carb | 1-lb bag
It's Just | 8-oz bag
All brands are manufactured in China from non-GMO corn, except Hoosier Hill Farm.
Now Real Food | Organic | 1-lb bag | Non-GMO Project Verified | Certified Organic
LC Low Carb | 1-lb Bag
Anthony's | 2-lb Bag
It's Just | 8-oz Bag
Zsweet | 9.5-oz Bag
* ERYTHRITOL BLENDS *
Erythritol is used as the predominant ingredient in 70 sweeteners I found in stores across the U.S. You should note that those products contain mainly erythritol with just a hint of high intensity sweeteners (HIS) such as stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose. Erythritol is also blended with low-digestible carbohydrates such as soluble fibers (inulin, fructoligosacchrarides aka FOS), rare sugars (xylose), and other polyols (xylitol, maltitol). Baking blends (aka Sugar Blends) are available by combining erythritol with refined sugar, resulting in sweeteners that are not calorie free. The advantage of these baking blends is they provide 25 to 75% fewer calories and maintain the texture, baking, and browning properties of pure refined sugar. Explore erythritol blends on previous posts:
For all erythritol blends, go here
For stevia sweeteners, go here
For monk fruit sweeteners, go here
For baking blends, go here
For 1:1 Sugar Replacement, go here
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