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Sweetener Review: Erythritol | Is it Really "Natural" and The Perfect Sweetener?


Sweeteners containing erythritol, pronounced Ah-REETH-ra-tall, in pure form or as the predominant ingredient are overwhelmingly available in the United States. 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. As opposed to other zero-calorie sweeteners, it provides the much-needed "bulk" to recipes. However, it's less sweet, much more expensive than table sugar, and creates a cooling sensation when dissolved in our mouths.


In my quest to discover all sweeteners containing erythritol, I found that most products combine it with high–intensity sweeteners to compensate for the reduced sweetness. Stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose are used in 150 sweeteners listed at the end of this post. To minimize the cooling effect, in some products, erythritol is blended with low-digestible sweeteners, such as polyols, rare sugars, and soluble fibers.


In this post, I answer the most frequently asked questions about erythritol in the following areas:


There is A LOT of information here. Scroll down to explore it all or, if you are short on time, refer to the pros & cons at the end of this post. Visit my Erythritol Page here.


Erythritol Sweetener Review


Is Erythritol a Chemical?


Yes. Chemically speaking, erythritol is a type of carbohydrate called polyol.




  • From our chemistry class, polyol means "containing many -OH groups" (hydroxyl or alcohol group). Polyols' names end in -ol such as in sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, mannitol, maltitol, and isomaltitol.

Erythritol Molecule

erythritol is very unique due to the small size of its molecule.








What is Erythritol Made From?

  • Erythritol is found in fruits, mushrooms, and fermented foods (wine, sake, soy sauce, miso paste) but only in minuscule amounts, so none of the natural sources are used to produce the store-bought erythritol. The erythritol content in one pound of melons, grapes, or pears is less than 0.02 grams. A quart of wine and sake has about 0.3 grams and 1.5 grams, respectively. As natural sources contain very small amounts of erythritol, production on a large scale from them is not cost-effective.


  • The store-bought erythritol is made from corn or, in one case, from apples and pears. Those sources are used because they produce erythritol more economically, with higher purity and more consistency. The production process starts by converting them into a sugar (glucose or fructose) and then to erythritol. The majority of erythritol I list at the end of this post is manufactured in China. China generally sources most of the corn from Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.


Is Erythritol Natural or Artificial?

Read more about it on two previous blog posts titled: Natural Sweetener: Not What You Might Think and 5 Misconceptions About Natural Sweeteners.




Is Erythritol Natural or Artificial?

  • Erythritol is widely promoted as a natural sweetener for being found in nature, but it is, in fact, a synthetic sweetener. A sweetener that does not occur in the plant from which it is manufactured is a synthetic sweetener. Note that synthetic is not the same as artificial, which means "not found in Nature" [Read about artificial sweeteners HERE]. Erythritol made from corn would not be considered artificial as it’s indistinguishable from the erythritol found in fruits, but it’s not natural either. It’s synthetic. Or, in the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) view, a natural sweetener "manufactured artificially".


  • Erythritol is not directly isolated or extracted from a plant. It is obtained through processes that chemically change or break down components of the starting material. A sugar (glucose or fructose) is converted into erythritol by fermentation or an electrochemical process.


  • To be produced on an industrial scale, all polyols are artificially made from natural sources (sugars), but only some of them can be labeled as "natural". Not all polyols are found in nature, but erythritol is found in nature AND is derived from a natural source. As a result, according to the FDA, it may be labeled as "natural." More on that in a previous post: What does a natural sweetener mean to the FDA?


  • Erythritol made by fermentation from corn: It starts with glucose obtained from starch. The steps can be seen here. Cornstarch is first converted to liquefied starch and then broken down into glucose through the use of enzymes. Glucose is fermented using microorganisms such as Aureobasidium or Moniliella sp. Genetically engineered yeasts may be used. A top erythritol producer in the U.S. claims to use a yeast found in nature.


  • Erythritol made by an electrochemical process from corn sugar: It involves passing sugar through an electrolytic cell. The process is claimed to cost less, be more efficient, faster, and powered with green, sustainable energy. Find the description of this process here. According to the producer, the fermentation method can take several days, but their method takes less than one hour and produces little to no waste.


  • Erythritol made by fermentation from pears: This is a newer method that uses fruits that have brown spots or off colors and can't be sold in stores. The process starts by extracting fructose from apples and pears, which is then fermented. Read more about it here.


  • All brands, except one, are made from corn: Hoosier Hill Farm is the only brand of erythritol made in the United States from corn grown here. Get Chia is made in France from pears. All remaining products are made in China from non-GMO corn. Please scroll down to the end of this post to check them out.


  • In all processes, the final crystalline product is an identical 99.5% pure erythritol. The chemical structure of the synthetic erythritol is exactly the same as its naturally occurring counterpart [erythritol that is intrinsic and intact in the plant]. It tastes and smells the same, and is digested and metabolized via the same pathway in the body. It is safe for us too.


  • Certified organic erythritol: Organic erythritol must be sourced from a plant grown according to USDA's organic standards (National Organic Program or NOP) and have no genetically modified organisms (GMO). Read more about it here.


What is the Difference Between Granulated and Powdered Erythritol?

All twenty products listed at the end of this post contain over 99.5 percent pure erythritol, no matter where they come from. The difference is their crystals might be coarse or fine.


  • Coarse crystal is labeled as granular, granulated, or crystalline erythritol. It looks a lot like table sugar. It is the most commonly used filler in sugar substitutes sold in stores.

  • Fine crystal is labeled as powdered or confectioners erythritol. As the name implies, it looks a lot like powdered sugar. Fine crystals dissolve more quickly than granulated erythritol.

  • The crystals are white, brilliant, odorless, and non-hygroscopic (don't readily absorb moisture from the air).

  • When erythritol crystals are dissolved in water, it results in a clear, low viscosity, and colorless solution.

  • Erythritol does not dissolve as quickly as table sugar. At room temperature, we can dissolve 37g in 100g of water or 61 percent w/w for a saturated solution. As opposed to table sugar, which has a solubility of 130g in 100g of water.

What does Erythritol Taste Like?


Sweetness

  • Erythritol has a pleasant sweetness profile similar to table sugar (sucrose) with slight acidity and bitterness but no detectable aftertaste. Each sweetener has a specific taste profile, which means the sweetness sensation begins, peaks, and lingers differently for each sweetener. The "sweetness intensity over time" is how quickly the sweet taste is perceived (registered with our brain) and how long the taste perception lasts in our mouth. When the sweet taste subsides, what is left is called the aftertaste.


  • Erythritol has a mild sweetness advertised as 60 to 70% as sweet as table sugar (sucrose). It means that to get the same sweetness level as table sugar, you will need to add more erythritol. Taste preference varies so start with 1 1/3 teaspoon to replace 1 teaspoon of sugar and add more until you reach your optimum sweetness level. See the conversion chart below.

How to measure erythritol?

  • Keep in mind that the perceived sweetness of erythritol varies depending on the temperature, pH level, interaction with other ingredients, and the amount of erythritol you add. If you eat erythritol simply dissolved in water (at room temperature), expect to add 30 to 40 percent more than sugar, but if you add it to your iced tea, hot coffee, lemonade, yogurt, cereal, or fruit, you will need some experimentation to find the right sweetness.


  • Erythritol is less sweet than sugar, so most products in stores blend it with other sweeteners. In almost 150 products, erythritol has been blended with high-intensity sweeteners, such as stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose. Some products are as sweet as sugar. Others are up to 10 times sweeter than sugar. In all of those products, you are essentially having erythritol with just a hint of high-intensity sweeteners (HIS). The weight ratio in some sweeteners is 200 to 2000 (erythritol) to about 1 (HIS), which means that although 99% of the weight comes from erythritol, 70 to 99% of the sweetness comes from the high-intensity sweetener. Explore all blends here.



Cooling Effect


  • Erythritol in powder form creates a cooling sensation when dissolved in the mouth (the technical term is "a high negative heat of solution").

  • The cooling effect (cold sensation) happens because erythritol absorbs energy from its surrounding (your mouth) as it dissolves, and you feel like sucking a mint.

  • To counter the strong cooling, erythritol is blended with high-intensity sweeteners (stevia, monk fruit) or low-digestible sweeteners (xylitol, inulin).

  • The cooling effect is observed with all polyols, but erythritol has the longest and highest of all. Read here some tips from a sweetener seller on how to minimize this cooling effect.



What are the Side Effects of Erythritol?

Despite what you heard, it does have side effects. The side effects of erythritol are a result of the way it is absorbed in our bodies.


  • Erythritol Goes Through a Fast & Partial Absorption in the Small Intestine: Unlike other commonly available polyols, erythritol is a very small molecule, which is quickly absorbed in the small intestine into the bloodstream. About 60 to 90 % of ingested erythritol is absorbed and is not metabolized. The kidneys remove erythritol from the bloodstream, and it is excreted unchanged [without any decomposition] in the urine. Consumption of erythritol with foods slows down absorption.


  • Bacteria Metabolize Erythritol in the Large Intestine: The erythritol that is not absorbed from the small intestine (10 to 40% of the amount we ingest) passes into the large intestine, where it may be fermented by microbes or excreted in feces. So, even though we cannot metabolize it, bacteria in the lower digestive tract can. The low caloric value attributed to erythritol is because microbes metabolize it, and we obtain their energy indirectly.


  • Gas Production and Flatulence from Erythritol: Studies concluded that the fermented erythritol results in the production of gases (such as methane and carbon dioxide), which are absorbed and contribute energy. Nevertheless, according to an industry-funded study, gas production from erythritol is negligible, and it is very unlikely that bacteria in humans' guts would ferment it.

  • Laxation from Erythritol: When erythritol enters the large intestine, which happens quickly after ingestion, it may act osmotically by drawing water from the body, causing loose stools or diarrhea, and nausea. However, erythritol is advertised as being the only polyol that does not cause laxation, bloating, cramps, or flatulence at normal consumption levels, because only small amounts reach the large intestine. Be aware that if we eat alone on an empty stomach or excessive amounts, erythritol may cause uncomfortable effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, intestinal rumbling and/or increased intestinal movements/cramps/spasms, flatulence, and thirst.


  • The Maximum Dose of Erythritol Depends on a Person's Sensitivity and Varies from Person to Person: Daily consumption of up to 1 gram per kg (0,45 g per lb) of body weight is considered well tolerated when incorporated into foods. It means that a 150-lb person eating up to 68 g or 5.5 tablespoons of erythritol (added to foods throughout the day) should not have gastric discomfort. However, the same and lower doses consumed by simply dissolving it in water or in dry form after fasting might result in laxation and other digestive issues.


  • Erythritol is Not Really Calorie-free: As said above, even though we cannot metabolize erythritol, bacteria in the large intestine can, and we obtain their energy indirectly. If your intake is less than 25g (about 6 teaspoons) per day, the caloric value for erythritol is 0.2 calories per g. If you are a regular well-adapted user, assume 0.4 cal/g (10% that of table sugar). It means 1.2 to 1.6 calories per teaspoon ( = 3g for powdered; 4g for granulated), 60 to 75 calories per cup (48 tsp; 144g to 192g). Since erythritol's caloric value per gram is very low, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for nutrition labels rounded it to zero cal/g. Erythritol is the polyol with the lowest caloric value. To compare with other polyols: Isomalt—2.0, xylitol—2.4, maltitol—2.1, sorbitol—2.6, mannitol—1.6.


  • Erythritol's "Net carbs" and Glycemic Index are Equal to Zero: Technically, erythritol is a carbohydrate and counts towards the "total carbohydrate" on the nutrition facts label, but it offers zero net carbs because it's not available for digestion. Net carbs are digestible carbs that break down into glucose and raise blood sugar levels. One serving of erythritol [which is 1 teaspoon and weighs 4g] contains 4g of non-digestible carbohydrates, which means it offers zero "net carbs" (see the image below on how to calculate it). Since it's not metabolized into glucose, it has a glycemic index of zero and does not impact insulin levels in the body.


How to calculate the net carbs of sweeteners


Difference between the glycemic index of sweeteners


Nutrition Facts of Health Garden Erythritol


What Type of Sweetener is Erythritol?

  • Erythritol is a synthetic sweetener based on the method by which it is produced [or, to use FDA's words, a natural sweetener manufactured artificially]. The erythritol we buy in stores is in fact a "natural sweetener-like" ingredient, i.e., a synthetic copy of the erythritol found in plants. To draw a comparison, the FDA says vitamin C or ascorbic acid may be derived from an orange or artificially produced in a laboratory via fermentation.


  • Erythritol is a natural sweetener in the FDA's view because erythritol is derived from a natural source AND is found in nature. As stated on the FDA's website, ingredients "found in nature can be manufactured artificially and produced more economically, with greater purity and more consistent quality, than their natural counterparts."

  • Erythritol is a GMO-free sweetener even though it might be made from GMO corn and yeast: Here's how a top erythritol producer explains this. Their process uses a yeast organism that is found in nature. "The yeast ferments or digests dextrose and other nutrients. In other words, dextrose is the food for the yeast – much like corn may be food for a cow that produces meat or milk. The dextrose used as the feedstock for the yeast is a simple sugar that is derived from the starch component of U.S.-grown corn. Although genetically enhanced corn and non-transgenic corn are grown in the U.S. today, erythritol is not derived from corn or dextrose feedstock (just as milk is not derived from cattle feed); it is derived from the yeast organism. Erythritol is not genetically modified, and does not contain any genetically modified proteins."


  • Erythritol is a bulk sweetener because it has the ability to add weight and volume (bulk) to foods, impacting mouthfeel and texture like table sugar. It will help thicken your foods and bind ingredients. Learn more here: Bulk-Free vs Bulk Sweeteners.


  • Erythritol is a zero-calorie sweetener because, by law, a sweetener may be labeled calorie-free, no-calorie, or zero-calorie if it provides less than 5 cal per serving. One serving of erythritol is one teaspoon (4 grams), which provides 1.6 calories and is rounded to zero. But, one cup (48 teaspoons) provides 95 calories. In my opinion, erythritol is a reduced-calorie sweetener based on the caloric value compared to table sugar. Even though erythritol provides a low amount of calories [and significantly fewer calories than table sugar], it is less sweet than table sugar. That means we have to add more of it to achieve the same sweetening effect.


  • Erythritol is approved as a nutritive sweetener. According to the FDA, a nutritive ingredient adds caloric value to the foods that contain it, providing more than 2% of the calories in an equivalent amount of table sugar.


​​

Is Erythritol Bad for your Teeth?

No.


  • Erythritol is non-cariogenic as it cannot be fermented by bacteria that cause cavities. Erythritol's label may carry health claims approved by the FDA, such as "does not promote," "may reduce the risk of," "useful in not promoting" dental caries. (Refer to the Federal Register here).

  • It appears that erythritol has some of the xylitol's anti-cavity effect, as it tends to starve harmful mouth bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) by inhibiting their growth and activity. It has been suggested that over time use decreases dental plaque and reduces the overall number of dental caries.

How to Use Erythritol?


  • When replacing table sugar with pure erythritol, remember it is 30 to 40% less sweet than table sugar. Therefore, it is recommended to use 1 1/2 or 1 1/3 cups of erythritol to replace one cup of sugar. Refer to the bright pink conversion chart above in this post.


  • Erythritol does not lose its sweetness in acidic conditions and even when heated above its melting point (250ºF). Table sugar, on the other hand, decomposes upon heating close to its melting point (320 - 367 ºF) and is inverted by acid. So erythritol can be used in a wide range of foods and recipes.


  • Erythritol does not undergo browning reactions during food preparation, and baking like table sugar components do (glucose & fructose). As a polyol, erythritol does not contain the C=O group, called carbonyl, necessary for browning.


  • How to use erythritol in baking?: Compared to baking with table sugar, erythritol has different melting behavior, giving in a more compact dough and less color formation. Unlike table sugar, polyols do not react with yeast and will not help with dough rise. Baked goods made with excessive amounts of erythritol, such as more than 20% of the recipe's contents, may be dry and hard.

  • Erythritol improves the taste of other sweeteners: Erythritol can enhance flavors when used in beverages and mask off-flavors (bitter, metallic, cooling, or licorice-like) of high-intensity sweeteners. Don't like the taste of pure stevia or monk fruit? Erythritol can make them taste more sugar-like.


Is Erythritol Keto? Diabetic Friendly? Vegan? Paleo? Bad for IBS? Bad for Dogs?


Erythritol is safe for diabetics as it has no effect on glycemic levels and insulin release.

Erythritol is paleo diet friendly.

Erythritol is low-carb and ketogenic diet friendly.

Erythritol is vegan and vegetarian friendly.

Erythritol is gluten-free.

Erythritol, unlike xylitol, is safe for dogs.

Erythritol is an antioxidant because it is a free radical scavenger. Read more here.


What is erythritol's health benefits?

X Erythritol and all other low-digestible sweeteners are FODMAP carbohydrates, an acronym for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. The term was coined to designate carbohydrates associated with negative gastrointestinal effects. Avoid FODMAPs if you have a sensitive digestive system or "irritable bowel syndrome" (IBS). 


How Much Does Erythritol Cost?

  • In the United States, at the time of publishing, a pound of granulated erythritol costs from 4 to 20 dollars. We pay a much higher price than table sugar, which has an average of 0.75 cents per pound and is 30-40 percent sweeter than erythritol. Scroll down to explore all 40+ brands of granulated erythritol​.


  • Certified organic erythritol varies from 4.5 to 12 dollars per pound. All of them are made in China from non-GMO corn. No other sweetener carries more certifications than Wholesome Organic Erythritol. It is Fair Trade Certified, Organic Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher Certified, and Keto Certified.


  • Save by buying large bags of erythritol, from 3 to 6 pounds, which cost around $4 a pound. Check out Microingredients and Whole Earth. Hoosier Hill Farm is the only erythritol made in the United States. Most 1-lb bags cost between $6 and $12.


  • Powdered erythritol dissolves faster than granulated because they have finer crystals. They tend to cost more and are especially useful in frosting, glazes, and for a smoother consistency in soft, spoonable desserts such as mousse, curds, and custards. Check out my Powdered Sugar Replacement Guide where I compare 10+ erythritol products.


Is Erythritol Safe?

Yes.


  • Since 2001, the FDA recognizes erythritol as safe. It means that when used under the intended conditions [moderate amounts that we can reasonably expect someone to consume] by most people [the general population], erythritol is safe. Erythritol is not a food additive. It has a Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) status. Erythritol is a relatively new sweetener that was first sold as a sweetener in Japan in the early 1990s. Today, it is approved in many countries.


  • The safety of erythritol was reviewed by scientific experts in the GRAS notices listed below. Manufacturers of erythritol submitted GRAS notices to the FDA and received "No Objection" letters. Erythritol is made by different microorganisms in each notice below and intended to be used as a nutritive sweetener and a flavor enhancer:

  1. GRAS Status in 2001, Cerestar, Belgium submitted GRAS notification 76 (GRN No. 76)

  2. GRAS Status in 2007, Mitsubishi Kagaku-Foods Corporation, Japan (GRN No. 208)

  3. GRAS Status in 2011, Baolingbao Biology, China (GRN No. 382)

  4. GRAS Status in 2012, O'Laughlin Biotechnology, China (GRN No. 401)

  5. GRAS Status in 2019, Cargill, New Mexico, USA (GRN No. 789)

​​

Safety Reviews


  • In 2000, a safety review of erythritol was issued by an international expert committee administered jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Joint is also referred to as JECFA or Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additive. See the full report here.



  • In 2010, the EU Food Safety Authority issued a Scientific Opinion evaluating the limits of erythritol use by children.


  • In 2015, the EU issued a Scientific Opinion on the safety of erythritol and extended its use in beverages containing up to 1.6 % erythritol.

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2023 Study: What are the long-term effects of erythritol?

I typically don’t comment on a specific article about sweeteners & health effects as I think studies need to be placed in the context of the broader literature. You can’t just look at a single study. Also, I'm a chemical engineer and not a physician. But because I can't keep up with emails from my readers worried about erythritol, I'll include an overview of the study and my thoughts here.


The study on erythritol and cardiovascular event risk was published on February 27, 2023, in the Nature Medicine Journal. The results show a correlation between the intake of erythritol and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), in people with a high risk for CVD.


You can read it HERE or HERE.


As mentioned earlier, erythritol has been recognized as safe by the FDA since 2001 and has been approved in more than fifty countries. It's one of America's most popular sugar alternatives.


THE ESSENTIAL DETAILS OF THE STUDY


  • The study only involved people with a higher risk for CVD (specifically heart attack and stroke), such as patients with metabolic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. So the results of the study only apply to these groups of people.

  • Researchers performed 4 different studies published in a reputable journal summarized below:

1) They first analyzed 1,157 blood samples collected between 2004 and 2011 and found erythritol might play a role in the risk for CVD.


2) Then, they tested another batch of blood samples from 2,149 people in the U.S.


3) An additional 833 samples, gathered by colleagues in Europe from 2016 to 2018, were tested.


4) Because researchers found that higher levels of erythritol in blood was associated with a greater risk of CVD within three years, they did a fourth study to find out more:


4.1 For the intervention study, eight healthy participants were given a single large dose of erythritol (30g). The dose is equivalent to having a beverage with about 8 teaspoons of erythritol at once or consuming a pint of keto ice creams in one sitting, such as this one. They chose 30g for two reasons. During erythritol’s approval process, the Food and Drug Administration estimated this to be the upper level of intake PER DAY. Also, this amount of daily intake for erythritol was reported in the 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.


4.2 For in vitro studies, blood from 55 healthy adults was tested.


4.3 For animal studies, mice were injected with erythritol.


  • The findings show an association between the intake of erythritol and an increased risk of CVD.


CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION


The study shows an association, not cause and effect. A link between intake of erythritol & cardiovascular disease does NOT mean that consuming erythritol will lead to more heart attacks and strokes.


Because the findings show a correlation, there’s a need for further safety studies examining the long-term effects of erythritol on the risk for heart attack and stroke, in patients at higher risk for CVD.


CONFOUNDING VARIABLES


The researchers state that there are variables that cannot be controlled and might have led to erroneous conclusions. For example, people that are obese or have type 2 diabetes tend to be more likely to have an unhealthy lifestyle & diet in the first place, which would have led to higher risk for CVD.


ERYTHRITOL REMAINS SAFE


Until further studies come out, erythritol remains safe in moderate intake by the general population, especially those not at increased risk for CVD.


Wondering what’s a moderate intake?


It’s an amount we can reasonably expect someone to consume. To have an idea, look at the serving size listed on the food nutrition label. For example, a serving of keto ice cream, such as this one, is ⅔ of a cup (⅓ of a pint) and contains 8 to 11g of erythritol.


CONCLUSION OF THE STUDY


The findings suggest that, until further studies, people at higher risk for CVD should limit erythritol intake. This was a well-done study, published in a reputable medical journal, and brings valuable information. All findings should be interpreted within the population studied and the limitations noted by the authors.


MY RECOMMENDATION

1) The key, regardless of the sweetener, is not to go overboard. Diversify the sweeteners you eat, as there’s no shortage of zero-calorie options. Here’s what you can try:

  • Bulk sweeteners


  • Bulk-free sweeteners


​Not sure if you need a bulk-free or bulk option? Go HERE.


2) If you want to learn about specific sweeteners, check out my SUGAR SWAP TOOL to get details about products being sold in stores.

3) Read labels if you want to monitor erythritol in your diet:


  • Start by checking the list of ingredients – If erythritol is present, check if it contains other sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, isomalt, or maltitol. Currently, erythritol is way more popular than all the other sugar alcohols, so a much more common ingredient.

  • Move on to the nutrition facts label – Under “Total Carbohydrates”, look for "Sugar Alcohols." If no other sugar alcohol is present, the amount listed is the total amount of erythritol PER SERVING. Note that by law, food manufacturers are not required to list the amount of sugar alcohols. However, they must include it if they make claims like sugar-free and no-added-sugar, which are common in zero-calorie, low-carb, and keto foods.

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Learn More About Erythritol

Which Brand of Erythritol is Best?



* PURE ERYTHRITOL *

(Without Any Other Sweeteners)

What is organic erythritol?






All products above contain 99.5% erythritol. Their chemical structure is exactly the same. It will taste the same, smell the same, and be metabolized via the same pathway in the body. So, there isn't really "the best" erythritol, but you can choose between:


  • Organic or non-organic

  • Country of origin (China, USA, France)

  • Source material (corn, pears & apples)

  • Crystal size (granulated, powdered)

  • Price (4 to 20 dollars per pound).


As a quick reference:


Visit my erythritol page HERE





* ERYTHRITOL BLENDS *

Erythritol is less sweet than table sugar; therefore, to compensate for that, it is usually combined with high-intensity sweeteners (HIS) such as stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose. Erythritol is the predominant ingredient in almost 150 sweeteners listed below.

In those products, note that we are consuming mostly erythritol with just a hint of stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose. The weight ratio between erythritol and HIS is, in some cases, 200 to 2000 (erythritol) to about 1 (HIS). It means that although 99% of the weight comes from erythritol, 70 to 99% of the sweetness comes from the HIS. Erythritol performs essential roles such as making the product spoonable or pourable. It also improves the taste of other sweeteners, by masking off-flavors (any non-sweet taste and aftertaste).

Erythritol is also blended with low-digestible carbohydrates, such as soluble fibers (inulin, fructooligosaccharides), rare sugars (xylose), and other polyols (xylitol, maltitol).


I also found erythritol combined with refined sugar. Those blends are not calorie-free. They maintain the texture, baking, and browning properties of table sugar with 50 to 75% fewer calories.


 


TAKEAWAY



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 (4 grams).



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 on 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 store 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.

 










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I recently discovered the Cleveland Clinic's study on Erythritol consumption, which suggests a higher risk of blood clots. This article was a lifesaver for me, as it helped unravel the mystery behind my sudden diagnosis. I'm a healthy and active 40-year-old woman who had been using Erythritol and Monk Fruit Sweetener for the past 5 months and was recently diagnosed with pulmonary embolism (blood clots). It's important to note that I am in good health, not taking any medications, and have no known risk factors for blood clot formation.

It's worth mentioning that a friend of mine, who also used Erythritol and Monk Fruit sweetener for dietary purposes, was also diagnosed with pulmonary embolism before we both stopped using this…

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I also very much appreciate the quantity and quality of research and information you have presented here. However, a new study by the Cleveland Clinic was just publicized within the last 24 hours with findings showing consumption of Erythritol is statistically significantly correlated to promoting higher rates of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. I'm sure you have probably seen this information by now but it really seems it's time to update this article to mention these new findings as well and I would love to also hear your own personal take on this new medical discovery.


Please see: https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2023/02/27/cleveland-clinic-study-finds-common-artificial-sweetener-linked-to-higher-rates-of-heart-attack-and-stroke/

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Replying to

Adriane,


Wow - I have so much respect for you as a scientist, a professional, and as a blogger! 🙂 That was so awesome of you to take the time to reply and to review the new study and provide such a clear and straightforward explanation of the study findings and how they do and do not impact the general public at large. I wish you were available to interpret every news media science article that is published by the mainstream media. You need to be a top consultant on television and in print! Thank you again very much!! :)

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Organic vs conventional, is organic better or does it not make a difference?

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Adriane
Adriane
Jan 08, 2023
Replying to

Hi Michelle, It depends. Are you asking if the organic version is better for your health? Your recipes? The environment? Organic erythritol is NOT nutritionally superior or healthier to its conventional (non-organic) counterpart. Their chemical structure is exactly the same. They will be metabolized via the same pathway in the body. Both offer the following health benefits:

* only 1.6 cal/teaspoon, 75 cal/ cup versus 16 and 770 for table sugar * 0 added sugar and 0 net carbs * no effect on blood sugar or insulin level, 0 glycemic index * diabetic-friendly, low-carb, keto, and paleo * gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and safe for dogs. Organic erythritol is NOT better for your recipes than its conventional non-organic counterpart. They will taste the same, smell the same, and…


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Thank you for your excellent work. I have a few questions. You say, “The cooling effect (cold sensation) happens because erythritol absorbs energy from its surrounding (your mouth) as it dissolves”. Q So it didnt already dissolve in the food or drink we put it in?

Q If it dissolves in our mouth, sucking energy, does it “suck energy” out of any other part of our system as it goes through? Q The kidney processes it (passes through unchanged), could it forestall the processing of possible toxins in the system if it’s busy processing this?

Q You say 10-40% is fermented in the large intestine by our bacteria. Is this feeding our healthy bacteria or our bad bacteria? Is …


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This truly is in-depth coverage and presented well. It answered many of my questions. I just wanted to let you know that 2 of your links for bulk purchasing from Amazon lead to unavailable products (not Whole Earth), which was ironically what brought me here in the first place; I bought a pound of Whole Earth’s product from Walmart and was in hopes of a generic bulk-sized package. This leads me to another thought thats I wanted to mention: the information on how this stacks up against sugar and its formulations with other alternative sweeteners is impressive, but I would have loved to see how erythritol stacks up against the other sweeteners- especially in regards to price. Taste is always…

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Adriane
Adriane
Feb 22, 2022
Replying to

Thank you for the nice words about this post!
 If you’d like to know how erythritol stacks up against the other sweeteners — price, sweetness, calories, net carbs, glycemic index, and ingredients — check out my Sweetener Comparer™. It’s part of my SUGAR SWAP TOOL™, and you can check it out here: https://sweetenercalculator.com/sugar-swap-tool/ Let me know your thoughts about this tool.

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