All countries in the European Union have approved the use of erythritol, a low-calorie polyol sweetener. Other countries, including the United States, already approve erythritol.
The benefits of erythritol go beyond sugar reduction, according to Jungbunzlauer, Basel, Switzerland, a producer of the sweetener. Erythritol is a natural sweetener with a glycemic index close to zero and a low laxative effect. It may be blended with other sweeteners.
Although the European Union has no legal definition for the term natural, the number of products launched carrying a natural claim increased about 25% in both 2006 and 2007, according to Jungbunzlauer.
The ruling also means Zerose erythritol from Cargill, Minneapolis, will be available in the 27 E.U. member states.
This article can also be found in the digital edition of Food Business News, April 1, 2008, starting on Page 61. Click