Erythritol in the daily diet – what is it and how to use?
Erythritol – otherwise known as erythritol – is an increasingly popular healthy sweetener. Its glycemic index is zero. Thanks to this, it can be used without any problem by people with diabetes and insulin resistance. In addition, it reduces tooth decay and protects against free radicals. What other properties does erythritol have, and is its long-term use safe for health?
What is erythritol?
Erythritol is a sweetener from the group of polyhydroxy alcohols. It also includes such popular sweeteners as sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol. All these compounds have a low energy value. In addition, their consumption does not raise blood glucose levels. Therefore, they are considered healthy sugar substitutes. In appearance, erythritol is also very similar to its less safe counterpart. The most common form is acceptable and free-flowing crystals.
Where does erythritol come from?
Erythritol occurs in nature, primarily in pollen. However, it can also be found in fruits such as pears, melons and grapes. Other places where it is found are cap mushrooms, seafood, fermented beverages or lichens and marine algae. Despite its wide availability in nature, erythritol found commercially is waste glycerin synthesized by the yeast Yarrowia lipolytic Wratislavia. It is found in soil and some products (margarine, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, blue cheese). Glycerine for the production of erythritol is, in turn, one of the products of biofuel production. This sweetener was obtained from starch hydrolysates or glucose not so long ago. However, their high price has made these production methods no longer viable.