Both natural sweeteners found in fruits and plants which are used as a lower calorie, natural sugar alternative, and are often used by those trying to maintain their blood sugar levels. They are sugar alcohols. To get technical: “alcohol” is simply referring to a chemical structure. Sugar alcohols are modified forms of sugar and not technically an actual sugar, which is why foods containing erythritol and xylitol can be labeled “sugar-free.”
Unlike sugar, honey, and maple syrup, they not trigger a spike in the blood glucose as well as a response in insulin, which can cause diabetes and weight gain.
It has been researched that Erythritol is better in terms of:
- Better aftertaste,
- preferred sugar substitute for people with diabetes,
- promotes oral health and doesn’t lead to tooth decay, and xylitol also aids in the prevention of cavities and reduces plaque formation.
- Causes less digestive distress. (unlike Xylitol has gastrointestinal side effects from xylitol, such as gas, bloating and diarrhea, and digestive stress)
- Erythritol has a Lower GI than Xylitol
- Xylitol contains 2.4 calories per gram while Erythritol contains 0.2 calories per gram.
- Xylitol is 100% as sweet as sugar. Erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar
Although they are both naturally found in fruits and plants, they go through different processes when they’re commercially produced for use as sweeteners. Erythritol is usually produced by fermenting another natural sugar, glucose, while xylitol is extracted from corncobs or trees
Are you a sugar-free baker?
Xylitol adds moisture to baked goods and gives a sheen to frostings. Erythritol creates the same shiny effect in low-calorie chocolate, adds bulk to dairy products and improves shelf life in baked goods
1 Cup Sugar = 1 + ⅓ Cup Erythritol
1 Cup Sugar = 1 Cup Xylitol
*Note: Xylitol is toxic to dogs/animals. Ensure that your animals do not get hold of it, and do not make any treats for your pets using Xylitol.
How it’s made?
For those who want to know a little more about these sweeteners, here you go:
Xylitol is extracted from corncobs or hardwood trees. It ranks seven on the glycemic scale. Our, YouFirst Xylitol, is made from corncobs. Corncobs are a preferred source for xylitol, it is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly. In China, most corn is harvested by hand and so at the harvest there are big piles of corn cobs that need to be disposed of. To get rid of this they build xylitol production facilities.
Erythritol, is a sugar alcohol made from sugar with a fermenting agent added. It is naturally found in fruits such as cantaloupe as well as in grapes. It is also a natural byproduct of the fermentation of bacteria in our digestive system. It is normally made from glucose that is created from corn or wheat starch. @Livestrong explains the process to us in a bit more details: “the starch is first treated with enzymes (special proteins) that break the starch down into glucose. This glucose is then mixed with yeast, such as Moniliella pollinis or Trichosporonoides megachliensis, and the yeast ferments the glucose to form erythritol. The fermented mixture is then heated (in order to kill off the yeast) an dried (by boiling off all the water) so that erythritol crystals are formed. These crystals are then washed (to remove impurities), redissolved, purified again (using a special kind of chemical filter) and finally are isolated in solid form, at which point the erythritol is safe for human consumption.”