Erythritol ((2R,3S)-butane-1,2,3,4-tetraol) is a sugar alcohol that has been approved for use as a food additive in theUnited States and throughout much of the world. It was discovered in 1848 by Scottish chemist John Stenhouse. It occurs naturally in some fruit and fermented foods.
Erythritol is commonly used as a medium in which to deliver high-intensity sweeteners, especially stevia derivatives, serving the dual function of providing both bulk and a flavor similar to that of table sugar. Diet beverages made with this blend, thus, contain erythritol in addition to the main sweetener. Beyond high-intensity sweeteners, erythritol is often paired with other bulky ingredients that exhibit sugar-like characteristics to better mimic the texture and mouthfeel of sucrose. The cooling effect of erythritol is rarely desired, hence other ingredients are chosen to dilute or negate that effect. Erythritol also has a propensity to crystallize and is not as soluble as sucrose, so ingredients may also be chosen to help negate this disadvantage