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Newby and Zylitol/Erythritol Questions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just ran across this forum by accident. Hope to learn alot and offer help where I can.

Was wondering if any one has made peanut butter fudge with Xylitol as the sweetener. I found a chocolate fudge recipe on the net using xylitol but not sure if substituting peanut butter for the chocolate would work for it to come out ok. I made a pumpkin pie using xylitol just substituting xylitol for the sugar using recipe on pumpkin
can and it was delicious!!!

Has anyone got experience using the sweetener erythritol? I have done some reading on it and know it is 70% as sweet as sugar, so wondering if that means if you are substituing erythritol in a recipe using sugar if you should use extra erythritol. Wondering if erythritol tastes like sugar like the xylitol does?

Anyone that has experience with these sweeteners and can offer any tips would be much appreciated.

post #2 of 11

why to use all this artificial crap?

if making some nice fudge, that will pull your teeth, make your dentist laugh all the way to the bank, make it at leat with real ingredients!! i know the suff is bad but at least it should TASTE GOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!
good food, one of the few pleasures left to mankind...
good food, one of the few pleasures left to mankind...
post #3 of 11
Are you using for diabetic reasons? Have you tried Stevia sp?
I'm pretty sure you shouldn't ingest large amounts of Xylitol, maybe under 10 grms a day, I could be wrong though, I think it has a flushing effect since it's not all absorbed.
Just something I remember from working with JDS.
Tell us more, love to hear about both.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hotchef and panini,

Thanks for yor replys,

Xylitol is a safe and healthy alternative to sugar. It is derived from corn or birch trees and is found in some vegetables. Our body manufactures it every day. It is slowly absorbed and metabolised in our bodies and 1/3 consumed is absorbed in the liver and 2/3 travels to the intestinal tract and broken down by gut bacteria into short chain fatty acids. It deterss tooth decay and gum disease by 80% and treats ear infections and sinus infections. Safe for diabetic people because will not raise insulin levels. No, I am not diabetic but use xylitol for it's health benifts. Over 1500 scientific studies show the more you ue xylitol the more you can eliminate sugar cravings, reduce insulin levels and alkalinize your body. They say that if you introduce too much into your body at once you can have mild diarrea or cramps and best to use smaller amounts and work up to using more. The pumpkin pie I made with xylitol was delicious and my adult son ate about 3/4 of it himself! He had no side effects and I personally have had no problems using xylitol. But I know everyone is different and might be best to introduce into your body slowly.

I pray all of you have good health! :talk:

Do some research on the net and there is more info to learn.
post #5 of 11


..sometimes i do forget that there are people around who for whatever reason are not allowed to eat sugar but still have a 'sweet tooth'
and for them this post obvious was ment!
i will keep that in mind on future replies to posts of this kind.:o
good food, one of the few pleasures left to mankind...
good food, one of the few pleasures left to mankind...
post #6 of 11
If your definition of fudge is not too rigid, then xylitol can play a role.

If you have a traditional fudge in mind (crystallized sugar/crumbly texture) then technically, xylitol will give you the right texture, but the cooling effect will be extremely pronounced/impalatable. Maybe a mint fudge might fit the bill.

If you're looking for something 'fudgey'- more on the gooey/chewy side than crumbly, then xylitol should definitely work- although I'd be inclined to utilize it as a component of the sweetening mix, combining it with other sugar alcohols (erythritol, perhaps) and/or textural sugar subs, such as inulin or polydextrose. The other ingredients will go a long way in preventing the xylitol from re-crystallizing/causing a cooling effect.

When you add water to peanut butter, the tiny peanut solids swell, recreating a slightly similar texture to the crystallized grains of sugar in real fudge. I must stress the term 'slightly,' though. You find peanut butter in a LOT of sugar free fudge recipes, but it's really not ideal. Cream cheese also has a slightly particulate nature- it's no where near as good as PB, but sometimes you'll find it in fudge recipes.

If you do tolerate xylitol so well, you should consider investing in either some maltitol or some isomalt. Both will make a real 'crumbly' fudge without the cooling effect of the xylitol. Both will sub 1 for 1 with sugar in recipes, although isomalt is less sweet/requires the addition of a high intensity sweetener (splenda works well).

Erythritol produces very similar results to xylitol in baking, but the cooling effect is a little stronger. The biggest difference, though, is it's caloric/glycemic impact. Erythritol has a fraction of the carbs/calories of xylitol and is potentially less laxating.
post #7 of 11

Reply, re: Erythritol Question

Hi, Cathy.
I'm new here.
I saw your question about using erythritol and thought I'd offer what I've learned from experimenting with it in the kitchen.
Erythritol is about 70% as sweet as sugar, I suppose, but it is easy to use too much. Interesting things I've noticed about erythritol:
It is hydrophobic (it does not like, or attract, water) so foods sweetened with it tend to be drier than those sweetened with other things. You are better off substituting erythritol for only half the granuated sugar in a recipe and making up the difference with another natural sweetener such as stevia.
It has a very clean, sweet taste and makes the mouth feel cool. It is not a cool taste such as a mint would give, it is a cool feeling.
Erythritol seems to be non-water-soluble in the absence of high heat. This is probably why we cannot really metabolize it; our bodies cannot produce enough heat to keep the crystals from reforming.
Erythritol re-crystallizes quickly. Just how quickly? Well, if you put a cup of powdered erythritol in a saucepan on the heat and add a half cup of water, sort of the way you'd do if you wanted to make a simple sugar syrup, once the water gets really hot if you stir it, the erythritol crystals will dissolve. When you turn off the heat, almost immediately the erythritol will start to re-crystallize. In fact, if a minute particle of dust lands on the surface of the liquid a large, flat, six-sided crystal will probably form and float on the surface of the liquid, right before your eyes. Weird. So I found that I could make some good desserts with no sugar in them using erythritol either powdered or in a simple, rapidly-recrystallizing syrup.
Cool stuff I've done with erythritol:
Adapted an old-fashioned butter cookie recipe that came with my grandmother's Mirro cookie press to make sugar-free almond-butter cookies and sugar-free chocolate-tahini cookies that my sugar-craving husband (Test Subject #1) raves about. I don't put these through the cookie press; I use a cookie scoop and mash them down with the tines of a fork.
Adapted the cheesecake recipe off the back of the Sunshine graham cracker crumb box for sweetening with Erythritol/water and stevia, instead of sugar (provides minimal savings in calories because of all that cream cheese).
Adapted the easy fudgy brownie recipe off the back of the Hershey's unsweetened baking chocolate box for sweetening with erythritol/water and stevia. This makes something that is sort of part fudge, part brownie, so we call them "frownies" even though they make us smile...
Ideas to try: Pick a recipe for a cookie that calls for only white granulated sugar rather than a combination of white and brown. Substitute 1/2 as much erythritol as the amount of sugar called for and make up the difference in sweetness (there will be a difference) with high-quality white powdered stevia extract. I use 1/4 to 3/8 teaspoon stevia to substitute for 1/2 cup sugar. Whether it is 1/4 or 3/8 teaspoon depends on the brand. You will find that you will want to increase the amount of liquid over that called for in the recipe. You may also want to add something that will keep the cookies softer such as creamy raw almond butter or even some blond tahini (sesame butter), starting with just a couple of tablespoonsful in a recipe. As soon as I figure out where I might be able to post some recipes, maybe I'll share the ones I've developed. Have to ask Test Subject #1 first.
Have fun experimenting, and be brave!!!
post #8 of 11
CitizenKate, I like how you think: equal parts palate and scientific method. :)
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post #9 of 11 it's crystallized/undissolved state. If you can keep erythritol dissolved, though, it has zero cooling effect. Another feature of dissolved erythritol is it's perceived sweetness. Your mouth can only detect sweetness in whatever it can dissolve. Because of crystallized erythritol's insolubility, it dissolves poorly in your mouth and you get far less sweetness than if it was in a syrup form. Think about how unsweetened ice tea tastes when you add sugar to it and the sugar, rather than dissolving, goes straight to the bottom. The tea is barely sweetened. Undissolved erythritol has this same effect except more pronounced.

The reason why erythritol can't metabolize in our bodies is because it's molecular size is so small. Rather than traveling from the stomach to the intestines, it is excreted through the stomach lining. It doesn't make it to our digestive tract. It is passed through the urine unchanged.

Heat has nothing to do with it.

Erythritol re-crystallizes quickly in the absence of other ingredients. Dissolved erythritol molecules in water will find each other a lot easier/form crystals than dissolved erythritol molecules in baked goods, especially if you utilize crystallization inhibitors such as polydextrose or inulin. In fact, you can make a simple syrup with polyd and erythritol that, as long as you use a small proportion of erythritol, will not crystallize.

Also, erythritol will not form a crystal with other sugar alcohols, so using other ingredients such as xylitol will not only provide sweetness, but they'll help mitigate the cooling effect.

I like erythritol, but it's only a small part of my sugar free sweetener arsenal. Thanks to the synergy between different sweeteners, it helps the sweetness component dramatically (as long as you can keep it dissolved), but texturally, it's pretty much useless. The gooey/chewy texture that you get from sugar you will never get from erythritol. Erythritol's small molecular size causes it, when dissolved, to create solutions with very low viscosity. Low viscosity = lack of chewiness/gooeyness.
post #10 of 11
I am no expert on sugar alcohols application but I know that not many things are absorbed through our stomach lining including erythritol.

Link:Zsweet All Natural Sweetener - Plasma and Urine Kinetics of Erythritol

<Erythritol is a sugar alcohol which, following ingestion, is rapidly absorbed from the small intestine due to its low molecular weight. It is not metabolized by the human body and is excreted unchanged in the urine (Oku and N oda, 1990; Hiele et al., 1993). Due to its good absorption, only a small fraction of ingested erythritol reaches the large intestine where it is available to un*dergo fermentation by the gut microflora (Oku and Noda, 1990; INRA, unpublished report). The low amount of erythritol reaching the lower intestine re*duces its potential conversion to useable energy sources and prevents osmotic diarrhea and flatulence. In addition the absence of systemic metabolism of erythritol means that it has limited potential to induce changes in plasma glucose and insulin levels. Together, these properties suggest that erythritol may be used advantageously in special foods for people with diabetes.>

The main reason sugar alcohols, in general, are malabsorbed in our GI tract is because they diffuse through the intestine lining rather than being actively transported inside our blood stream like glucose and fructose are, the components that make up sucrose (table sugar).

Sugar alcohols also have a lot of chemical affinity to water being that they are surrounded with -OH groups called alcohol groups. Water has a hard time leaving them which make water stay in the GI tract which CAN cause diarrhea.

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #11 of 11
Although, technically, erythritol's low molecular weight will allow it to pass through just about anything (including the stomach), you are correct, the bulk of it is absorbed from the small intestine. Thanks for clarifying that.

Although erythritol and the other sugar alcohols do share some similarities, to lump them under the same digestive umbrella would be highly erroneous. Digestively speaking, erythritol is an entirely different animal. No other SA passes through the urine in the relatively unchanged manner erythritol does. Unless consumed in very large amounts, erythritol doesn't cause the gastrointestinal issues of the other SAs because the vast majority of it doesn't reach the large intestine.

You pay a price in texture and ease of use, but calorically, glycemically and digestively, erythritol is in a class by itself.
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