Erythritol sweetener

Benefits, harms and uses
I have probably tried 90% of all existing white sugar substitutes.
After a while, guided by my feelings and common sense, I even wrote an article on popular myths about sugar substitutes, "How I Became an Ambassador for Refined Sugar".

Sweeteners really are many, and so are jobs for marketers. Each substitute has its pros and cons, but advertising usually talks exclusively about the benefits, excluding some of the science-based facts.

What is erythritol?

Erythritol refers to a class of sugar alcohols.
In nature, erythritol is present in algae and lichens, in fermented foods (wine, miso, aged cheeses), in some ripe fruits (melon, pears and grapes), berries (strawberries, watermelon), nuts (pistachios), and also in small amounts in mushrooms.

On an industrial scale this sweetener has been produced since 1990 by fermenting the carbohydrates in wheat or corn flour.
After fermentation, the raw material is purified and crystallized, then dried and given a typical appearance resembling regular table sugar.

As a food additive, erythritol was registered in the European Union in 2008 under the code E968.

Benefits of erythritol

- The taste of erythritol is maximally neutral and similar to sugar

- The glycemic and insulin indices are close to zero
Erythritol does not cause glucose emissions into the blood because it is not digested and cannot affect the pancreas producing insulin. The inertness of erythritol opens up a wide range of possibilities for its use in diabetic and dietary nutrition.

- Very low calorie
Erythritol is low in calories, has no fat and provides almost no energy: only 20 kcal per 100 grams, twenty times less than sucrose.

- Does not cause digestive problems.
Sweets with sorbitol, maltitol, isomalt and some other sugar substitutes are better not to be consumed in increased amounts, because they are very easy and quickly cause bloating, diarrhea and other digestive problems.
This does not happen with erythritol. 90% of this sweetener comes from the small intestine and is excreted by the kidneys. As a result, side effects such as diarrhea and gas can only occur if you eat too much. You can't eat that much.

- Erythritol does not feed pathogenic flora and pathogenic bacteria, helps fight free radicals, protects teeth from cavities, and has no carcinogenic properties.

How to use erythritol correctly?

Erythritol gives about 80% of the sweetness of sugar.
This is worth keeping in mind when you are cooking and recalculating recipes.

100 grams of sugar in a recipe will equal about 125 grams of erythritol.

Another plus of erythritol: it whips up great in a mass, just like sugar whips up. This means that you can use erythritol to make biscuits, marshmallows, meringues, and so on.

What's important to know when cooking with erythritol:
This sweetener doesn't dissolve well. It takes much longer to dissolve completely in liquid, so more time and effort should be spent to dissolve erythritol.

If you are making something like a biscuit or meringue, and the substitute does not have the ability to dissolve in water for a long time - you should first grind the erythritol into powder. Otherwise, after baking the dish, the erythritol will still crunch on your teeth.
If you dissolve the erythritol poorly, you will feel a little bitter and a chilling chill when you bite into the pellet.

If you want to get not only maximum benefits, but also maximum enjoyment from using a substitute, always grind the sweetener into powder with a mortar or coffee grinder, and only then proceed with the preparation.

Erythritol does not attract or retain moisture in baked goods the way sugar does, so biscuits with erythritol may become drier the next day. Biscuits with erythritol are best eaten the day they are made.
It is important to have enough fatty ingredients in the recipe. This will help to better dissolve the erythritol and avoid the "cold" effect, as well as prevent it from crystallizing in the finished dessert.

For 1 part erythritol, there should be at least 2 parts of the fatty ingredient.
Disadvantages, cautions and contraindications
The first obvious disadvantage is cost. Compared to other substitutes and sweeteners, erythritol has a rather high price.

Also, if you consume more than 35 grams of the product at a time, erythritol may have a mild laxative effect. In cases of overeating (more than 6 teaspoons at a time), bloating, rumbling, and abdominal cramps may occur.
For normal functioning of the body, the daily dose of sweetener is 0.67 g per 1 kg of body weight for men and 0.88 g for women.

All in all, these are all the remarks that can be made to erythritol.
And despite the fact that the sweetener does not increase sugar and is not caloric, it is worth watching the amount of food you consume (for example, you should not eat three pieces of cake instead of one). This is a purely psychological point, which is worth monitoring for its own sake.