Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-08-04 Origin: Site
Are erythritol and stevia the same？
‘Erythritol’; might sound a bit science-y, but it’s actually as natural as they come. It’s a type of sweetener known as a ‘sugar alcohol’ – and unlike stevia, erythritol is a relatively new kid on the block.
Scottish chemist John Stenhouse was the first to discover erythritol in 1848. Then, over 100 years later, scientists found it in yeast-fermented blackstrap molasses. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that Japanese food techies began to sell it as a sugar alcohol in Japan.
After that, it took off around the world – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Erythritol is made by fermenting the sweet, natural starches in fruits and vegetables. ‘Fermenting’ means that good bacteria eat the starch and turn it into erythritol, removing all the sugar.
Again, this sounds a bit complex, but really, it’s just like the fermentation process for everyday favourites like yoghurt, wine and beer. It’s all #science!
Stevia sweetener is made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant: a South American member of the sunflower family. Indigenous people from Paraguay and Brazil have known about stevia for a while now and have been and using its leaves to sweeten their medicines and teas for over 500 years! Thanks to them, the rest of the world has caught onto this magic and Stevia rebaudiana is now grown and harvested globally, including in places like Japan and China.
1. The leaves of the stevia plant are harvested and dried.
2. The dried leaves are steeped in hot water to make an extract.
3. The extract is then filtered and centrifuged to create pure, concentrated stevia that’s ready to use.
It sounds complicated, but it’s actually a pretty simple process that doesn’t involve adding any artificial nasties at any point. In fact, it’s a lot like the process for making other plant-based extracts, like vanilla.
At only 70% of regular sugar’s sweetness, erythritol doesn’t pack anything like the same sweet punch as stevia. But it makes up for that in what food techies call ‘bulking properties’. In short, this means it feels and tastes the same as sugar to your mouth (which means no aftertaste, woo!).
Other than that, erythritol has many of the same benefits as stevia. It also doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes or insulin response, and nor does it have calories or nasty side-effects.
That’s because your body absorbs about 90% of any erythritol you eat into your bloodstream before it gets to your gut. From there, you get rid of it in your pee. So, unlike some other sugar alcohol sweeteners (xylitol and sorbitol: we’re looking at you), you don’t absorb erythritol into your digestive system. In short, no gassy upsets for you.