Erythritol | American Society of Baking
Commercial Baking Ingredients:


Also known as erythrol, erythrite, or erythoglucin

What is erythritol?

Erythritol is a low-calorie keto sweetener commonly used to sweeten beverages, yogurts, custards, and baked goods. It has a sweetening potency is around 60% that of sucrose1

  • Commercially available as a crystalline white powder, erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has a similar flavor profile to sucrose.
  • It provides a cooling effect and a slight acidic taste with no lingering aftertaste.1


Erythritol was discovered accidentally by Cerestar Company while studying the possibility of  producing polyols via the fermentation route. Following regulatory approval, commercial production started in 1993 for the Japanese market. Today, it is available worldwide and is approved for consumption in several countries.2

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Erythritol is used as an alternative sweetener in several food products. It is recognized as a bulk sweetener which provides volume and texture. Erythritol does not dissolve as readily as sucrose and does not caramelize when heated.2


Erythritol is no calorie sweetener, has non-cariogenic properties and doesn’t raise insulin levels. Similar to other polyols, erythritol if consumed in excess may cause bloating.2

Commercial production

Erythritol is commercially manufactured through the following process:1

  • Hydrolysis reaction: starch is hydrolyzed into glucose and other carbohydrates by hydrolytic enzymes.
  • Fermentation: osmophilic yeast is added to the solution to ferment glucose to a mixture of erythritol and other polyols, such as glycerol and ribitol.
  • Filtration: microorganisms are separated from the fermentation broth.
  • Purification: erythritol is separated from glycerol and ribitol present in small amounts.
  • Concentration, drying and crystallization: erythritol solution is concentrated and further crystallized to produce erythritol powder with a 99.5% purity.

Other less used production methods include reduction of meso-tartrate or oxidation of 4,5 – O – ethylidene D-glucose.1


Erythritol is commonly used in low calorie food products such as:1

  • Carbonated beverages
  • Dairy products and edibles ices
  • Baked goods
  • Cereals
  • Confections and chewing gums
  • Jams, marmalades and preserves
  • Chocolate
  • Fondants

When using this ingredient as a sweetener in baked goods some consideration should be taken into account:2

Baked good Usage level Considerations Effect
Bakery filling 60 %
  • Erythritol with a particle size of 300 microns.
  • Cooling effect, masking fatty mouthfeel.
  • Reduction of caloric intake.
  • Similar shelf-life to conventional cream fillings.
Biscuit, cookies, cakes 7 %
  • Cream with butter.
  • Improves baking stability and shelf-life.
Sponge cake 10 %
  • Blend with dried ingredients.
  • Improves baking stability and shelf-life.
  • Improves cake volume.
Fruit fillings
  • May enhance characteristic fruit flavor.

Erythritol generally provides a different melting profile than sucrose, and produces a more compact dough and softer final products. It doesn’t participate in browning Maillard reaction, and thus produces lighter colored baked goods.2

Commonly used in combination with maltitol to improve sweetness and humectancy. So, it improves shelf-life and baking stability, providing a finer crumb structure and softer end product.1


According to the FDA, erythritol can be safely added to food products as an all-purpose sweetener and flavor enhancer.3

In the EU, erythritol (E 968) is safe to be added to food products. 4


  1. O’Brien-Nabors, L. Alternative Sweeteners, Fourth Edition, Revised and Expanded. Switzerland, Taylor & Francis, 2012.
  2. Mitchell, H. Sweeteners and sugar alternatives in food technology. John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). US Department of Health and Human Services. CFR Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Part 101 Food Labeling,  , Accessed 25 July 2021.
  4. “Erythritol (E 968) – EPA – European Association Of Polyol Producers.” EPA – European Association Of Polyol Producers, 2021,  . Accessed 25 July 2021.