Erythritol is a chemical compound, sugar alcohol, which is used as a food additive and sugar substitute. The formula is C₄H₁₀O₄, or HO (CHOH) ₂OH; Compared to ordinary sugar, the sweetness level of Erythritol is around 60-70% ordinary sugar, but it is non-calorie and does not affect blood sugar.
Erythritol is produced industrially beginning with enzymatic hydrolysis of the starch from corn to generate glucose. Glucose is then fermented with yeast or another fungus to produce erythritol.
Since 1990, erythritol has had a history of safe use as a sweetener and flavor-enhancer in food and beverage products, and is approved for use by government regulatory agencies of more than 60 countries. Beverage categories for its use are coffee and tea, liquid dietary supplements, juice blends, soft drinks, and flavored water product variations, with foods including confections, biscuits and cookies, tabletop sweeteners, and sugar-free chewing gum.