Is erythritol safe to consume

Erythritol: advantages and disadvantages of the sugar substitute

Von, nutritionist

Erythritol is a sugar substitute that tastes and looks like sugar, but contains hardly any calories. That makes it interesting for everyone who wants to pay attention to their slim lines. Is erythritol a safe sugar substitute? Can side effects occur and if so - which ones? You can find the answers here.

What is erythritol?

Erythritol (also erythritol) is a sugar alcohol that is used as an alternative sweetener. The raw material for making erythritol is starch. Enzymes first break them down in a biochemical-enzymatic process. This is followed by fermentation using yeasts or mushrooms, from whose end product the sugar substitute is finally obtained.

Features of erythritol:

  • Sugar-like appearance
  • almost calorie-free
  • weaker sweetening power than sugar

Erythritol: calories

Sugar substitutes have similar properties to sugar, but have a lower energy content. Erythritol is the only sugar alcohol among sweeteners that is practically calorie-free. Sugar contains around 400 kilocalories (kcal) per 100 g, while erythritol contains 20 kcal. The food industry therefore likes to use this sweetener as a sugar substitute under the name E 968. However, since its sweetening power only corresponds to 60 percent of that of glucose, you need a little more of the sugar substitute erythritol.

Where does erythritol occur?

In terms of food law, erythritol is an additive that has a cooling effect. The food industry therefore likes to use it for sugar-free chewing gum and candy. The sweetener can also be found in hot drinks, chocolates or desserts.

In addition, the substance occurs naturally in many foods, such as fruit, vegetables or fermented foods. Significant amounts can be found, for example, in

  • Wine
  • Miso bean paste
  • soy sauce
  • Grapes
  • Melons
  • Pears

Is Erythritol Healthy?

Many studies show the harmlessness of the sweetener erythritol. Side effects that affect the metabolism did not occur even with excessive consumption. The sugar substitute is quickly absorbed in the small intestine and over 90 percent of it is excreted unchanged in the urine. This greatly reduces the side effects that occur with other sugar substitutes, such as flatulence. Because these are mainly caused by the bacterial fermentation of the sweeteners in the large intestine. In addition, like other sweeteners, erythritol is insulin-independent.

Erythritol: criticism

Erythritol is better tolerated than other sugar substitutes. Nonetheless, excessive consumption can lead to diarrhea. Appropriate notices must be given on processed foods with a Erythritol-Content over 10 percent should be appropriate.

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