What actually is erythritol? – The daily bite of knowledge

Written by Marina Lommel
3 minutes reading time
17. July 2023 zuletzt aktualisiert am 1. August 2023 von

Besides xylitol, erythritol is another sugar substitute that is often used in low carb recipes. We discussed xylitol in the last Happen Wissen.

Erythritol, like xylitol, is a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohol is the name for the type of chemical compound. It does not mean that erythritol is an alcohol in the classic spirit sense, nor that erythritol is the same as sugar. Erythritol is chemically a carbohydrate, but it is not metabolized that way.

0 calories

Because erythritol is metabolized differently than classic sugar and also differently than xylitol, it has zero calories. Most erythritol is absorbed in the small intestine, but then excreted in the urine. So it has 0 kcal, a glycemic index of 0 and 0 carbohydrates. So it has zero effect on insulin levels and zero effect on blood sugar levels.

Sugar alcohols such as erythritol and xylitol always have a slight laxative effect. This is because the part of the sugar substitute that is not absorbed enters the large intestine, where it attracts water. This effect is stronger with xylitol than with erythritol. This is because most erythritol is already absorbed in the small intestine and cannot enter the large intestine, where it can draw water.

Erythritol is also safe for dogs, unlike xylitol. That’s why many spontaneously reach for erythritol.

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Erythritol weaknesses

However, erythritol also tastes slightly cool, which some find unpleasant. One perceives a stronger inherent taste than with xylitol. Erythritol has only 70% of the sweetening power of sugar, so you either have to use more of it or have a less sweet result. In addition, erythritol dissolves quite poorly and crystallizes again in fine creams, which can be felt on the tongue.

My personal favorite is and therefore remains xylitol. It has a more pleasant taste, is easier to work with, and unlike erythritol, has dental and bone health benefits, as you’ve already read in our knowledge nugget about xylitol.

Recipes with erythritol

In our Foodpunk recipes, xylitol is usually the sweetener of choice. Nevertheless, you can easily use erythritol for this. You can increase the amount of erythritol in the recipes a little bit or you don’t need it so sweet anyway and the sweetening power of 70% is perfectly sufficient for you.

Buy erythritol

Erythritol is also known under the brand name Xucker light.

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The daily bite of knowledge

This new section is intended to provide a brief look at topics in nutrition science. If there are any topics you are particularly interested in, please leave us a comment.

This week’s Daily Bites of Knowledge is all about the sugar alcohols xylitol and erythritol. Among other things, a detailed comparison of erythritol, xylitol and sugar is planned.

This article was written by

Marina Lommel

Marina gründete Foodpunk nach ihrem Abschluss in Ernährungswissenschaften und ist aktuell CEO des Unternehmens. Während ihres Studiums arbeitete sie in verschiedenen Bereichen, darunter in der Wissenschaftsredaktion beim Radio, Redaktion beim TV und Uni-Wissensmagazin sowie im Labor am DZNE in der Parkinsonforschung. Marina ist außerdem Autorin von 5 ernährungswissenschaftlichen Sachbüchern.

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