Erythritol is a type low-calorie sweetener and sugar substitute. It is a white, crystalline powder that tastes sweet and is found naturally in certain fruits, such as grapes, melons, and pears. Erythritol is also commercially produced by fermenting glucose with yeast or certain bacteria.
One of the main reasons erythritol is popular as a sugar substitute is its low-calorie content. It provides sweetness without the significant caloric impact of regular sugar. Erythritol contains about 0.2 calories per gram, which is approximately 5% of the calories found in an equal amount of sugar.
Here are some key features and properties of erythritol:
Erythritol is about 60-80% as sweet as regular sugar (sucrose). This means you may need to use a slightly larger amount of erythritol to achieve the same level of sweetness as sugar.
Erythritol is not fully metabolized by the body. Most of it passes through the digestive system unchanged, so it provides minimal calories and has a negligible impact on blood sugar levels. This makes it suitable for people following low-calorie diets, including individuals with diabetes who need to manage their blood sugar levels.
When consumed in large quantities, erythritol can create a cooling sensation in the mouth, similar to menthol. This sensation can be noticeable when consuming products with a high concentration of erythritol.
Erythritol does not promote tooth decay like regular sugar. It is not fermented by oral bacteria, reducing the risk of cavities.
Compared to some other sugars, erythritol is generally well tolerated by most individuals. It is less likely to cause digestive issues like bloating, gas, or diarrhea when consumed in moderate amounts.
Erythritol is commonly used in various food and beverage products, including sugar-free gum, candies, baked goods, beverages, and as a tabletop sweetener.
It is important to note that erythritol is generally recognized as Halal and approved for consumption in Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia. This approval ensures that individuals adhering to Islamic dietary guidelines can safely consume products containing erythritol.