The Facts About Erythritol

Learn the what and the why about one of our key ingredients.

What is Erythritol?

Erythritol (pronounced Ear-rith-ri-tall) is a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol, which occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It is also commercially produced through a fermentation process, like those used to make beer, bread and cheese. Erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar but has zero calories and is primarily used as a sweetener to help replace calories from carbohydrates and added sugars in packaged foods and beverages. In addition to providing sweetness, erythritol also provides taste and texture to many foods.

Why Erythritol?

Stevia leaf extract and monk fruit extract sweeteners are 200 times sweeter than sugar, so a little bit goes a long way in replacing the sweetness of sugar. However, in solid foods sugar provides many properties other than sweetness, such as bulk. Erythritol adds the bulk of sugar and helps balance out the sweetness of stevia, making it easier for you to add just the right amount to your favorite foods and beverages.

Erythritol and Health

When we consume erythritol, it passes through the body without being broken down or digested so it provides no calories. Since the sweetener does not provide carbohydrates, it doesn’t initiate the same insulin response as it would if someone had consumed regular sugar. Clinical studies have also shown that erythritol does not affect blood serum glucose or insulin levels. Moreover, the FDA has approved the use of a “does not promote tooth decay” health claim in labeling for sugar-free foods that contain erythritol.

Safety of Erythritol

A recent study suggested erythritol is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. A number of health professionals and scientists, including those at Calorie Control Council, have reviewed the study and noted that its findings do not establish erythritol as the cause of the cardiovascular events or reflect real-world erythritol consumption, nor can they be applied to the general public.

Decades of scientific research show that erythritol is safe. It is approved for use in more than 60 countries and in 1999, it was given the highest safety rating possible by the World Health Organization and Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives.