Erythritol – What is it?

If you’re reading this then you might be wondering what is erythritol and why do I keep hearing about it? Fortunately we here at The Sweetener House have the answers.

Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol. It is naturally occurring in fruits and fermented foods such as wine, beer, mushrooms, pears, grapes, and soy sauce – to name a few.  It also exists in small quantities in the human body as a natural byproduct of the fermentation of bacteria in our digestive system.

How is Erythritol made?

It is produced from glucose or sugar. The first step is mixing glucose or sugar with yeast. This yeast ferments glucose to form erythritol. The fermented mixture is then heated and then dried by boiling off water. The crystals are then formed. These crystals are washed and purified to remove impurities, to make it safe for human consumption. 

What is it used for?

Erythritol is primarily used as a natural sugar replacement. Since it is a sugar alcohol, it has very similar physical properties to that of sugar. This makes it a good candidate to replace the sugar in your food and beverage formulas, as it can replace the bulk provided by sugar. It has a sugar equivalency level of 60 – 70%. This means that to get the same sweetness level that you would from a cup of sugar, you would have to use 1 1/3 cups of erythritol.

Erythritol can be used as a table top sweetener for at home use. It is great in coffee, tea, cooking, baking, cereals, sauces and much more. Simply swap sugar for SugarLike to enjoy the sweet taste! Check out our SugarLike Erythritol sweetener to get yours today!

Another big use of erythritol is as a sweetening agent to replace sugar in food and beverage applications. Erythritol is what’s called a low potency carrier and is often used in conjunction with high potency sweetener extracts like monk fruit or stevia extract. On their own, high potency sweeteners can be upwards of 300 times sweeter than sugar. Meaning that to reach the same sweetness level of sucrose, you have to use a very small quantity. Using a small quantity of a high potency sweetener will cut out a lot of the bulk properties provided by sucrose in formulas. To counteract this, food and beverage formulators commonly mix the usage of the high potency sweeteners with a low potency carrier.

Common industrial uses of erythritol include carbonated beverages, dairy products, confections like chocolate and gummies, and frozen dessert. Erythritol can provide a cooling effect which is why it’s not as popular for usage in baked goods. If you would like to explore some erythritol products from The Sweetener House for your food and beverage formula, visit our product page and submit a request for a quote today!

An image of erythritol crystals

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