Erythritol, C4H10O4, is a novel bulk sweetener with a caloric value close to zero. Chemically, it is a four-carbon sugar alcohol (polyol). Erythritol, a white crystalline powder, and is made through fermentation.
Since this ingredient belongs to a class of compounds called sugar alcohols, these molecules are like hybrids of a carbohydrate and an alcohol. There are many different sugar alcohols, they can be found in natural foods like fruits, but they are also added to “sugar free” products.The structure of the molecules is what gives them the ability to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on our tongues.
Based on this production process and its raw materials (carbohydrate substrates) erythritol is the first and only polyol that can claim to be natural. It occurs naturally in a wide variety of foods, including many fruits and mushrooms, as well as in fermented foods such as cheese, wine, beer, and soy sauce.
Erythritol’s flavor profile is very similar to sugar, with approximately 70% of the sweetening power of sugar. It is non-cariogenic and has the highest digestive tolerance of the polyols. Since it is natural, it doesn’t cause any side effects and tastes almost exactly like sugar without the calories.