The key difference between allulose and erythritol is that allulose is a monosaccharide sugar whereas erythritol is a polyol.
Both allulose and erythritol are useful as sweeteners in food and beverage industry. These substances are sweet-tasting but not largely absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Instead, it is absorbed in the intestine and excreted from urine. Therefore, these are safe sweeteners to be consumed.
What is Allulose?
Allulose is an organic compound having the chemical formula C6H12O6. It is also named as psicose. Allulose is a low-calorie monosaccharide sugar compound. Therefore, it is important in the food industry and beverage production as a sweetener. We can find this sugar in trace amounts in some food – e.g. corn, beet sugar, etc.
The sweetness of allulose is considered to be around 70% of the sweetness of sucrose. This substance has a cooling sensation but no bitterness. The taste of allulose resembles the taste of normal sugar we use. Typically, the caloric value of carbohydrates in our body stays around 4 kcal/g but the caloric value of allulose is about 0.2-0.4 kcal/g. Furthermore, allulose metabolism by our body is minimal and it is absorbed and excreted from urine. Therefore, the glycemic index of allulose is very low.
Safety of using allulose largely depends on the dose one takes. This substance causes incomplete absorption of carbohydrates from the gastrointestinal tract, which subsequently causes incomplete fermentation of these carbohydrates by intestinal bacteria. This can result in unpleasant symptoms such as flatulence, abdominal discomfort, and even diarrhoea. Therefore, there is a minimum intake value for allulose (usually, 0.55 g per 1 kg of body weight).
What is Erythritol?
Erythritol is an organic compound having the chemical formula C4H10O4. This compound is a sugar alcohol, and we can use it as a food additive and a sugar substituent. Erythritol is a naturally occurring substance, and we can make it from corn using enzymes and fermentation. Furthermore, it is a stereoisomer.
Erythritol is known to be about 60-70% sweet as sucrose. But this compound is almost noncaloric. This does not affect the blood sugar level and has no effect on tooth decay. Generally, erythritol occurs in some fruits and fermented food. In the industrial scale, we can produce it from the fermentation of glucose with yeast.
There are many applications of erythritol as a food additive. Examples include beverages such as coffee, tea, liquid dietary supplements, juice blends, soft drinks, and flavoured water.
Erythritol can be produced from starch, beginning with enzymatic hydrolysis of starch obtained from corn to generate glucose. Then, glucose is fermented with yeast or another fungus to form erythritol.
What is the Difference Between Allulose and Erythritol?
Allulose and erythritol are sweeteners. They are important in the food and beverage industry. The key difference between allulose and erythritol is that allulose is a monosaccharide sugar whereas erythritol is a polyol. Allulose has about 70% of the sweetness of sucrose while erythritol has about 60% of the sweetness of sucrose. Moreover, allulose occurs naturally in trace amounts while erythritol can be found in some fruits and fermented food and can be also produced by fermentation processes using yeast.
Below infographic tabulates the differences between allulose and erythritol.
Summary – Allulose vs Erythritol
Allulose and erythritol are sweeteners. They are important in the food and beverage industry. The key difference between allulose and erythritol is that allulose is a monosaccharide sugar whereas erythritol is a polyol.
1. Gunnars, Kris. Erythritol – Healthy Sweetener or a Big, Fat Lie? 23 Apr. 2018, Available here.