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VIRTUE SWEETENER has just the right blend of erythritol and monk fruit extract and is 4 times as sweet as sugar. That makes conversion quite simple - i.e. if the recipe you are recreating calls for 1 cup of sugar, just use 1/4 cup of our sweetener! While the price per pound might seem expensive, given you use only 1/4 as much as you would Xylitol alone, or only 1/5 as much as you would erythritol alone, it is quite economical.
You really get the best of both worlds: the bulk and baking benefits of the erythritol but in reduced amounts to avoid that "cooling effect" or even tummy issues; and the benefit of the high intensity of monk fruit extract, which unlike Stevia, has NO aftertaste!
What is Monk Fruit Extract?
Monk fruit extract, also called luo han guo, comes from the bulbous fruit of a perennial vine native to southern China. This extract is nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar and has been used in China as a low-calorie sweetener for centuries.
What is Erythritol?
Despite its somewhat "chemical-sounding" name, erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol (or "polyol") occurring in many plants such as corn and fruits such as apples and oranges. For food production, erythritol is typically extracted from the plants using a fermentation process, so at the end of the process erythritol remains by itself for use in many sugar-free products.
Erythritol yields no increase in blood sugar even with a quantity of up to 15 teaspoons. There are less than 1.6 calories per teaspoon in erythritol, as such it is labeled in the US as zero calorie. Studies have demonstrated modest reductions blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (a reflection of the previous 90 days’ blood sugar) in people with diabetes who use erythritol in place of sugar
Unlike sugar that causes dental cavities, erythritol is proving to yield protective effects, cutting the number of cavities observed in children. Unlike most other sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, and maltitol, erythritol does not cause bloating or gas when used in the modest quantities such as those typical in low-carb baking recipes.
More than 80% of ingested erythritol is excreted in the urine, the remaining metabolized by bacteria in the colon (with beneficial effects there, as well, including nourishing bowel flora). Erythritol provides about 70% of the sweetness of table sugar. It also has a slight “cooling” sensation, similar to that of peppermint, though less intense.
Honkala S, Runnel R, Saag M et al. Effect of erythritol and xylitol on dental caries prevention in children. Caries Res. 2014;48(5):482-90.
Ishikawa M, Miyashita M, Kawashima Y et al. Effects of oral administration of erythritol on patients with diabetes. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 1996 Oct;24(2 Pt 2):S303-8.
Munro IC, Berndt WO, Borzelleca JF et al. Erythritol: an interpretive summary of biochemical, metabolic, toxicological and clinical data. Food Chem Toxicol. 1998 Dec;36(12):1139-74.