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 occurs 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 virtually no 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 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.  Erythritol provides the crystalline appearance, bulk and texture that sugar typically provides and helps balance out the sweetness of stevia leaf extract or monk fruit extract, making it easier for you to add just the right amount to your favourite foods and beverages.

Erythritol and Health

When we consume erythritol, it passes through the body without being broken down or digested in the same way as other carbohydrate sources. Clinical studies have also shown that erythritol does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels, and hence may be safely used in foods formulated for people with diabetes.  Health Canada also acknowledges that sugar alcohols (including erythritol) are considered not to promote tooth decay.

Safety of Erythritol

A recent study suggested erythritol may be 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 has shown that erythritol is safe. It is approved for use in more than 60 countries globally, and in 1999, it was given the highest safety rating possible by the Joint Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).