What is erythritol?
Found naturally in foods including mushrooms and grapes, erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol commonly used to replace sugar in packaged foods.
Sugar alcohols are compounds that stimulate the sweet taste receptors within the taste buds on your tongue in the same way as sugar. However, they are not metabolized the same way as sugar so they don’t contain the same number of calories or have the same impact on blood sugar levels.
The term ‘sugar alcohol’ can be confusing, but sugar alcohols do not contain ethanol, the alcohol in wine, beer, and spirits. This means that they are safe to consume for people with liver issues or a history of alcoholism.
For these reasons, erythritol is used in many keto, low-carb, low-calorie, sugar-free, and diabetes-friendly foods including baked goods, light ice cream, candies, chocolates, and gum.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved erythritol Trusted Source for use as a food additive in the U.S. in 2001.
It’s about 60-80% as sweet as table sugar and contains zero calories per gram. In comparison, sugar has four calories per gram, which is why many manufacturers are using erythritol to reduce calories in sweet products.
The erythritol in many low-calorie ice creams, drinks and protein bars is a man-made additive. It’s created from the fermentation of wheat or cornstarch, which creates a crystalline product similar to sugar.
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 teaspoon (4g) of pure erythritol crystals.
Although erythritol contains zero calories, it has 4 grams of carbohydrates in a one-teaspoon serving of the sweetener. The carbohydrates come from sugar alcohol.
Whereas other sugar alcohols (like sorbitol) cause a rise in blood sugar and insulin response when consumed, erythritol has no effect on either blood sugar or insulin levels.
There is no fat in erythritol.
Erythritol does not contain any protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
There are no vitamins and minerals in erythritol.