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January 2009 Issue

Erythritol Sweeteners Stand Out from the Pack, With Benefits to Boot

Polyols are a type of carbohydrate, so they provide calories, but they arenít sugars, so products using them can be called "sugar-free." While all polyols are lower in calories than table sugar, erythritol is much lower. It is virtually calorie-free (0.2 calories per gram; sugar provides 4 calories, sorbitol 2.6 and xylitol 2.4). The Food and Drug Administration declared erythritol safe more than a decade ago. However, itís only now being used extensively in products like chewing gum, candy, ice cream, baked goods and fruit spreads, as well as in some oral care and cold products.

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