NEOH Ingredients / NEOHPEDIA: Erythritol


NEOH should taste sweet, but have as few calories as possible. For this reason, sugar is not an option for us. Not only because of the high density of calories, but also because of other properties that make sugar unattractive for a healthy lifestyle. After lengthy research and many experiments, we came across erythritol and were enthusiastic about the properties of this material. Not only the glycemic index of 0 convinced us, but also the fact that at 0 calories the taste is almost identical to that of sugar. In addition, other positive properties such as tooth-friendliness, the antioxidant effect and the fact that erythritol does not affect digestion also speak for the sugar substitute.   

An ADI has not been assigned, which means that the substance is considered to be completely safe for human health. This fact is underlined by the FDA, which also classified erythritol as harmless. Erythritol is also considered absolutely harmless for people with diabetes. 

Erythritol is a sugar substitute which has 70% of the sweetening power of conventional industrial sugar with a calorie count of 0. The substance produced by a fermentation process is 10 times more expensive than sugar due to the complicated method of extraction. With a glycemic index of 0, erythritol is also the optimal solution for people suffering from diabetes.  

The sugar alcohol erythritol (also called sucolin, xucker, erylite) is a so-called sugar substitute and has the chemical name E 968. erythritol (meso-1,2,3,4-butantetrol) is 70% as sweet as sugar and has 0 kcal. In small quantities, erythritol occurs naturally in grapes and cheese.  Erythritol can hardly be metabolized by the body. For this reason, it does not interfere with the blood sugar level and can be safely consumed by people suffering from diabetes.

The glycemic index is 0, and almost all (90%) of the unmetabolized carbohydrates are released from the small intestine into the blood and excreted in the urine. A small part is also excreted through the colon. There is no conversion into energy, and therefore erythritol has 0 calories. 

The sugar substitute is mainly used in the food industry to drastically reduce the number of calories while maintaining the sweetness of the food. In terms of taste, erythritol behaves almost exactly like sugar, with the exception that erythritol has a slight fruity note which is reminiscent of dextrose.

Erythritol is obtained by a fermentation process and it is the first polyol to be produced on a large scale by fermentation. The starting material is a sugar-rich substrate, which is fermented by a yeast-like fungus. The filtered and concentrated fermentation concentrate is then crystallized to 99.5% and the product obtained is erythritol. Due to the complicated and time-consuming production, erythritol is 10 times more expensive than sugar.

• Zero calories 
• Tastes like sugar 
• Feels like sugar in the mouth 
• Has the ability to cover up an unwanted taste 
• Cooling effect 
• Does not increase blood sugar or insulin levels in the body 
• Tooth-friendly (erythritol is even said to have a nurturing effect on caries, as it contributes positively to the preservation of tooth mineralization) 
• Antioxidative effect 
•Suitable for a low-carb diet 
• No digestive difficulties 
• Suitable for fructose intolerance 

Online Sources


CARL L. YAWS: Thermophysical Properties of Chemicals and Hydrocarbons. William Andrew, 2008

BASNER J., MARTIN H.-H. Neuer Biomarker für Adipositas? UGBforum (2017). Vol. 6: 303.

HOOTMAN K.C., TREZZI J.-P., KRAEMERB L., BURWELLA L.S., DONGB X., GUERTINA K.A., JAEGERB C., STOVERA P.J., HILLERB K., CASSANO P.A. Erythritol is a pentose-phosphate pathway metabolite and associated with adiposity gain in young adults. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2017). Vol. 114(21): E4233–E4240

POSCHWATTA-RUPP S. Von Abführstoff bis Zauberkraut: Aktuelle Übersicht der Süßungsmittel. VFEDaktuell (2013). Vol. 134: 8-15

REGNAT K., MACH R.K., MACH-AIGNER A.R. Erythritol as sweetener—wherefrom and whereto? Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (2018). Vol. 102: 587–595

SAVERGAVE L.S. Microbioal Production of Erythritol and Mannitol: Strain improvement and process optimization. University of Pune (2011). S1-261.

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