Erythritol and its Role in Our Stevia Blends
Hello, constant reader, and welcome back to our blog! In most of our blogs we tend to focus on stevia and stevia extracts, however, in today’s blog we thought we would do something a little different. Some of our stevia blends contain another sugar alternative known as erythritol. While we are, by this point, that the majority of our customers know all about stevia, we realised that erythritol may be a substance that they are less familiar with. To fix this issue, today’s blog will focus almost exclusively on what erythritol is and why we chose it as an ingredient in our stevia-erythritol blends.
Erythritol is Much More Common Than People Realize
If you take a look at the labels of a wide range of products, especially energy and sports drinks, you will quickly notice that erythritol is a much more common ingredient than you would first expect. Erythritol is a naturally occurring sweetener in some varieties of fruits and fermented foods, however, most erythritol used in food products is man made. While some erythritol is made from highly-processed GMO cornstarch, the erythritol used in our SoPure Stevia blends is non-GMO to ensure the highest level of purity. At its most basic, erythritol is a sugar alcohol that contains between 60 to 80 percent the sweetening power of typical table sugar. It should be noted that while erythritol is a sugar alcohol, it does not produce any of the same effects associated with the more typically known alcohol in cocktails and wine.
Discovered in 1848 by John Stenhouse, a Scottish chemist, erythritol was quickly noted for its sweetening properties. Erythritol has been highly successful in Japan and since the early 90s has been used in chocolate, yogurt, jellies, jams, candies, and beverages an alternative sweetener to sugar. While erythritol hasn’t been nearly as popular in the United States as it has been overseas, it has, since 1997, been recognized by the FDA as a generally safe food additive. Erythritol is non caloric and does not raise blood sugars in individuals who consume it, making it the perfect companion to our stevia extracts.
So Why Not Just Sell Erythritol By Itself?
At this point, you may be wondering why we don’t sell erythritol as a standalone product. If it sweetens like sugar, is non caloric, and does not affect insulin levels, why not just feature it the same way we do stevia? The answer is actually pretty simple. While our non-GMO erythritol is highly potent with a clean taste, it still only has about 80 percent of the sweetening power of normal sugar. This means, that you would actually have to use more erythritol to sweeten something than you would sugar. To remedy this, we have mixed the erythritol with our Reb-A 98 percent stevia extract to provide the missing sweetening power.
At this point, you are probably now wondering why we don’t just leave the erythritol out altogether. Why blend the stevia extract with anything if it is already providing the desired amount of sweetening power? The simple answer is that by mixing our stevia extracts with erythritol, we are able to provide a substance that is very similar in taste and texture to actual table sugar. This makes our soPure Stevia + Non-GMO Erythritol blends the perfect solution to baking with stevia extracts. Many people don’t realize that not only does sugar sweeten baked good, it also adds density and mass to whatever is being baked. If you take away this added mass and density from the recipe, you will be left with a baked good that is not as big or “full” as it should be. In summation, our stevia extracts that are blended with erythritol allow you to make delicious brownies that are not only sugar free, but that also look, feel, and taste like the sugar laden brownies we have all experienced.
We hope that this blog has helped to give a general overview of what exactly erythritol is and why we have used it as a blending agent with some of our stevia extracts. If you would like to learn more about our SoPure Stevia Reb-A 98 percent + Erythritol blends or request a free sample, please visit our website today.