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Old 08-02-2005, 09:10 AM   #1
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What is the difference between Xylitol and Erythritol?

Was wondering about this. Are they the same in baking, cooking, making ice cream, etc.? Or do they have different properties that make them react different in recipes?

Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:27 AM   #2
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I'd like to know as well. I think you can use them both in the same way is my understanding, but I'm not sure about differences. They are sugar alcohols. I think Erithyritol has fewer carbs than the Xylitol. Xylitol has some added health benefits apparently. I'm starting to mix Splenda with one or the other for the synergy it gives baked goods, however, I still have to figure out chocolate. I'm making "crunchy" chocolate. If anyone has some ideas, I'd appreciate it, not to hijack the thread. I think one could blend the granular products into a powder in the blender. I'm going to try that and failing that I think I must dissolve it in cream before stirring into unsweetened and melted chocolate.
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Old 08-02-2005, 12:23 PM   #3
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I think both of those methods would help. I know with Erythritol it helps to dissolve it in warmed liquid, so if you're using DaVinci or something, just heat it in that until the E is gone.

Xylitol has a pretty strong cooling effect, fwiw. It's not a problem in ice cream making, though!

I'm sure Scott123 will be around before long to drop some further science...
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:31 PM   #4
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Beeb, this is a very good question...I know there has been discussion before regarding these two and the "synergy" thing...but that was before I had both the Xylitol and Erythritol on hand so I haven't retained much info. I'd also like to start incorporating them with some Splenda and/or DaVinci syrups.
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Old 08-02-2005, 04:45 PM   #5
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I stopped using Xylitol because it gave me too much gas and bloating. I like Erythritol, no gas plus it's way lower in calories too.
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Old 08-03-2005, 12:14 PM   #6
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I did not know those were the side effects of xylitol, Tater Head. I can't say I have noticed, but will keep that in mind. Xylitol binds some of the bad bacteria to it and flushes them out of the system apparently.

Thanks Binki I will dissolve it first. I thought it was strange. I had heard of Erythritol having that cooling effect, but I noticed it with the xylitol too, if not more so.
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Old 08-13-2005, 10:49 PM   #7
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Both (Xylitol and Erythritol)
Cooling Effect
Very long history of safe use (i.e. definitely NOT a carcinogen)
Harder to dissolve than sugar
Killer freezing point depression (small molecule size)
Good for the teeth
Synergistic with sucralose (but not with each other)
Provides bulk/sugary texture
Will not brown/caramelize
Can recrystallize upon cooling/get grainy
Can be powdered in a blender

Xylitol
Caloric/ketogenic/glycemic impact - not known for sure - potentially high/stalling
Travels through large intestine - potentially laxating
Less costly than most SAs
1 to 1.3 times as sweet as sugar
Found locally
Thought (by some, not me) to have healing properties

Erythritol
Caloric/ketogenic/glycemic impact - extremely low
Is excreted through urine - supposedly non laxating, but a few debate this
More costly
Almost impossible to find locally
.7 times as sweet as sugar
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:02 AM   #8
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On one of my recent searches, I came across the information that if you eat more than 50 grams of Xylitol it can cause gas and bloating. Under this should be okay, but of course we all react differently.
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:18 AM   #9
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I really like Xylitol and have been using it for years. My DH who is diabetic, likes that it does NOT raise his insulin levels. For me, I wanted to move away from using too much sucralose, so I started blending it with other sweeteners. I now combine Xylitol with Erythrytol, Diabetisweet, Stevia+ and LoHan Sweet to make up my own synergistic sweetener for baking. I have used this blend to sweeten various baked goods and have tried them out on a few friends who did NOT know I wasn't using regular sugar. I haven't really settled on exactly what proportions work best, but so far I have received NO complaints about gastric distress. However, I suppose if I consumed enough, I'd be the first to notice!

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Old 08-14-2005, 09:28 AM   #10
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I, too, blend X, E, D'sweet and liquid Stevia. At times, I notice a slight"bite" in the back of my throat. Eating a cookie, perhaps. Is that because I have used too much total sweeteners in my product, or what?
Thanks, helper
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Old 08-14-2005, 11:36 AM   #11
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RV cook, what do you think about the lo han? Have you tasted it side by side with the stevia? What brand of stevia are you using?

Helper, my guess is that the bite comes from the stevia. The bitterness in stevia has a slightly astringent burning quality. At least that's how I've noticed it. I don't think it's the cooling effect of the X/E. The cooling effect is quite literally, the temperature of your tongue/mouth drops a few degrees. A few degrees drop in temperature shouldn't create a biting sensation. I would taste your stevia on it's own and see if that's the culprit.

Wait... now that I think about it, the first few times I had SAs (especially sorbitol), the back of my throat burned, but it went away. I've heard someone theorize that the SA might be killing off nasties or something like that. I don't know.
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:44 PM   #12
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Scott123,

I have tried various brands of Stevia and I still perfer the taste of SteviaPlus (SweetLeaf-Wisdom of the Ancients brand). I have a clear handle on how much to use and I have never had a "bitter" experience with it. As far as the LoHan, again, I have tried various brands, but the one I like the best is made by Jarrow Formulas - LoHan Sweet (LoHan Kuo and Xylitol combination). I like the fact that the LoHan adds a 'depth of sweetness' that I cannot achieve any other way. I did try to use LoHan as the only sweetener in a few different recipes, but I did NOT like the results. So for the most part, I'm using it for its "enriching" properties. I could not even begin to compare the LoHan with Stevia as they have two entirely different taste complexities.

I know that every LC cook has a "taste expectation" when it comes to baking sweet treats, but for me, Splenda just doesn't do it. I just always get this chemically, metallic afertaste - yuck! Don't get me wrong, I still use some DaVinci and Torani in a few recipes, but since I started experimenting with blending different types of sweeteners, I get results that are very, VERY close to the taste of real sugar and therefore, I prefer to use my blend.

By the way...my 'blend' was a direct result of your posts on "synergy" so I do owe you a heartfelt, "Thank You!"

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Old 08-14-2005, 08:53 PM   #13
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Scott123 -- in the post above when you are comparing E and X, you stated that they were "synergistic with sucralose (but not with each other)" -- what do you mean that they are not synergistic with each other? Is it just that they don't multiply each other's sweetness, or do they not play well together? Just curious...thanks!

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Old 08-17-2005, 03:33 PM   #14
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Scott, thanks for the thorough info. I was doing a search on xylitol because it's the only sweetener (besides stevia) that Dr. Schwarzbein recommends in her book (she is down on all sweeteners except for those to for healthy reasons). I'm wanting to move to her plan for maintenance so I'm looking at these two sweeteners for alternatives to the liquid splenda I'm using now.

From what I've read here, blending these two sweeteners is a possability. Would the xylitol alieviate some of the bitter aftertaste of the stevia? I've tried to switch to stevia several times (using mainly SteviaPlus) and every time I gave up because of the bitter aftertaste I kept getting with it. I really want to switch to more natural sweeteners (as opposed to the synthasized splenda) but just haven't been able to find the right one.

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Old 08-18-2005, 04:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook
I know that every LC cook has a "taste expectation" when it comes to baking sweet treats, but for me, Splenda just doesn't do it. I just always get this chemically, metallic afertaste - yuck! Don't get me wrong, I still use some DaVinci and Torani in a few recipes, but since I started experimenting with blending different types of sweeteners, I get results that are very, VERY close to the taste of real sugar and therefore, I prefer to use my blend.

By the way...my 'blend' was a direct result of your posts on "synergy" so I do owe you a heartfelt, "Thank You!"
You're very welcome. It's my pleasure

I'm curious about something... have you tried baking with the splenda on multiple occasions over a substantial period of time? The reason I ask is that I've found that with many people (myself included) the sensitivity to splenda can sometimes fade over time. When I first tried it, it's aftertaste was incredibly harsh to me, but now, I can still detect it, but it's nowhere nearly as strong. You might be one of the unlucky ones that just can't tolerate it at any level. If you are, it sounds like the combo you're using is brilliant. At some point, though, you might want to give splenda another shot.
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Old 08-18-2005, 04:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmt_24fan
Scott123 -- in the post above when you are comparing E and X, you stated that they were "synergistic with sucralose (but not with each other)" -- what do you mean that they are not synergistic with each other? Is it just that they don't multiply each other's sweetness, or do they not play well together? Just curious...thanks!
Lynn, I could be wrong about this, but because of their similarities, I don't see sugar alcohols being synergistic with each other, i.e., they don't multiply each other's sweetness like the high intensity sweeteners do.
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Old 08-18-2005, 04:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammay
From what I've read here, blending these two sweeteners is a possability. Would the xylitol alieviate some of the bitter aftertaste of the stevia? I've tried to switch to stevia several times (using mainly SteviaPlus) and every time I gave up because of the bitter aftertaste I kept getting with it. I really want to switch to more natural sweeteners (as opposed to the synthasized splenda) but just haven't been able to find the right one.
Yes, I have to admit that although I feel that splenda creates, by far, the best tasting sweetening mixes, splenda doesn't give me a very warm fuzzy feeling when contemplating it's history of safe use. This is big reason why I combine. It's not just to save money and obtain a better quality of sweetness. The fact that the sweetness is coming from different sources along with the synergistic boost involved allows me to use a lot less splenda. If it turned out down the line that splenda did cause health problems, I think I'd be in a lot better shape than someone who was solely consuming splenda. In other words, by using a miniscule amount of a bunch of sweeteners, I'm hedging my bets in the event one of them turns out to be bad news.

Now, to answer your questions regarding xylitol and stevia... I've tried adding stevia to my mix a bunch of times and no matter how little I added, I could detect the bitterness in the final product. I've also tried using multiple brands of stevia, including the steviaplus, and although the steviaplus was a little better, it still couldn't reach the quality of sweetness that I could achieve with splenda, ace k and erythritol. This is why you won't find stevia in any of my recipes. The taste just doesn't work for me.

I can understand you're desire to use these two sweeteners, though. They do seem to have one of the safest track records out there. If I could find something natural/safe that tasted as good as splenda, I'd be buying it by the truckload. I'm still holding out some hope for stevia. I think that somewhere down the line a non-bitter stevia might hit the market.
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Old 08-18-2005, 07:42 PM   #18
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Scott123,

Nah...I'm just trying to move away from Splenda alltogether, so I doubt that I'll be baking with it again. Besides, even though there may not be a synergistic effect between the Xylitol and Erythrytol, I do like having the bulking properties in my baking. AND...adding the E takes away the possibility of "gastro distress" that an excess amount of X sometimes creates, while helping with the sweetness and the bulk. Considering I haven't even ventured into the realm of Poly-D, I'm quite satisfied with just using my blend.

My suggestion to anyone considering trying to blend sweeteners is to use the individual sweeterner's sugar equivalent scale and then 'tweak' it until you find what equals real sugar for your taste. In my case, I had my husband taste a bit of sugar and then taste a bit of my blend. I had to 'tweak' it several times before I got it right, but it is very close to the taste of real sugar now...at least as far as I can remember!!!!

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Old 08-19-2005, 02:52 PM   #19
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Scott - thanks for the (as always) thoughtful answer about the sweeteners. I've ordered some xylitol and also some powdered stevia that someone recommended to me (she said she never had a problem with bitter aftertaste with that particular brand, but then, maybe I'm more sensitive to it than most) so I'll be experimenting with those. I'll post results once I get them so hopefully others will be able to use them as well.

And what you said about developing less of a sensitivity to splenda the longer you use it makes a lot of sense. I've noticed that I seem to have to add more and more of it when I start to use it for a longer period of time.

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