Erythritol sweetener is a popular sugar substitute commonly used in low-carbohydrate and reduced-calorie diets. This sugar alcohol is derived from corn and occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. Offering about 70% of the sweetness of regular sugar, erythritol has little-to-no impact on blood sugar and insulin levels, making it an attractive option for individuals watching their sugar intake or managing diabetes.
A major advantage of erythritol is that it does not contribute to tooth decay. Furthermore, erythritol causes fewer digestive symptoms compared with other sugar alcohols, due to its unique absorption profile. This versatile substitute can be used in various recipes, including baked goods, beverages, and desserts, while enjoying its guilt-free sweetness.
When cooking with erythritol, it's important to remember that it is less sweet than regular sugar. This means that you may need to use more erythritol than the amount of sugar called for in a recipe. However, using excess amounts can lead to a cooling effect on the tongue. Some people prefer to combine erythritol with another sweetener to strike a balance of sweetness and avoid aftertastes. The conversion is often trial and error as sweetness is so individual. The drawback that is often faced while cooking with erythritol is that it doesn't dissolve or caramelizes as well as sugar. Heated erythritol can become grainy later and create a not-so-pleasant texture. Powdered erythritol is better suited for silky smooth textures, like icing, cheesecakes and mousse. Most importantly be cautious of how much you intake as while it is easier on the stomach than other sugar alcohols, if consumed in large amounts, it can cause stomach upset.
Can I replace sugar with erythritol in recipes?
Why does erythritol have a cooling effect?
Can I caramelize erythritol like I can with sugar?
Can erythritol cause digestive issues?
Is erythritol safe for diabetics?
How does erythritol affect baking?
Can I use erythritol in coffee or tea?
Why does erythritol feel crunchy or grainy?
Can I use erythritol on a keto diet?
Can I make powdered erythritol at home?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does erythritol sweetener expire?
Erythritol sweetener, when unopened, can last an impressive 5 years to indefinitely. This is lengthy compared to the printed date on the package, which is often up to two years from the production date. Once it has been opened, erythritol can easily last 1 to 2 years if properly stored. It's rare to freeze erythritol but it should maintain its quality indefinitely in the freezer.
How do you tell if erythritol sweetener is bad?
Erythritol sweetener, like sugar, doesn't spoil in a way that would make you ill. Signs of erythritol going bad are purely based on quality measures. If it has gone bad, it may become clumpy and caked, but this does not mean it cannot be used. It might also change in texture and color, which can suggest moisture contamination. Also, if you detect an off-smell, that could be a sign of contamination as well.
Tips for storing erythritol sweetener to extend shelf life
• Keep erythritol in a cool, dry place away from heat and light.
• Store it in an airtight container to keep moisture out, as erythritol can absorb moisture from the air.
• If the sweetener turns hard or clumpy, you can break it up with a fork or grind it in a food processor.
• Although not commonly done, erythritol can be frozen. Just make sure it is in a well-sealed container.