It is present in foods such as fruits, mushrooms and fermented foods (beer, cheese, soy sauce, wine.) Through food sources such as these, you already consume somewhere between 30 and 100mg a day.
Commercially, it is extracted from glucose. A yeast (“Moniliella pollinis”) is added to glucose and allowed to ferment, which breaks the glucose down into compounds which include Erythritol. Then it is purified to be 99.5% pure.
It is sold as white crystals with no smell, that won’t clump.
It is used commercially in calorie-reduced foods.
In baked goods, you can swap in Erythritol for up to 10% of the regular sugar. The resultant crumb will be somewhat denser and softer, and crusts will brown less.
Erythritol has 5% of the calories in sucrose — .2 calories per gram (in Japan, they are allowed to say 0 calories per gram.)
For diabetics, it has a glycemic ranking of 0.
90% of it passes right through you without being metabolized, but doesn’t cause any diarrhea problems – it comes out in urine.
It does not promote tooth decay.
Erythritol was accepted as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 15 January 1997.
It has been accepted in Japan since 1990.
The FDA allows the claim “does not promote tooth decay.”