Erythritol

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Erythritol
Erythritol box and sample.jpg
Store-grade erythritol
Names
IUPAC name
(2R,3S)-butane-1,2,3,4-tetraol
Properties
C4H10O4
Molar mass 122.12
Appearance White crystalline solid
Density 1.45 g/cm3
Melting point 121 °C (250 °F; 394 K)
Boiling point 330 °C (626 °F; 603 K)
32 g/100 ml (20 °C)
Hazards
Safety data sheet ScienceLab
Related compounds
Related compounds
Glycerol
Threitol
Sorbitol
Xylitol
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol (or polyol) with the chemical formula C4H10O4. It is used as a sugar substitute, though it is less sweet than sugar. It occurs naturally in some fruit and fermented foods.

Properties

Chemical

Erythritol will be dehydrated to carbon by strong desiccants, such as conc. sulfuric acid.

Physical

Erythritol is an odorless white crystalline solid, with a slight sweet taste. Erythritol is 60-70% as sweet as table sugar (sucrose). It is soluble in water, but less so in alcohols and acetone.

Availability

Erythritol is available in most hypermarkets and health food stores, and is fairly pure. The price depends on the brand.

Preparation

Erythritol is industrially prepared via the fermentation of glucose from maize-derived starch, using Moniliella pollinis yeast.[1]

Erythritol can be extracted from various plant fruits, such as grapes and pears. However, it's much more economical to simply purchase it from the store.

Projects

Handling

Safety

Erythritol is approved as a sugar substitute in many countries. It is slightly less sweet than sucrose, but unlike other sugar alcohols it does not have a laxative effect. Consuming large quantities of erythritol however may cause nausea and stomach rumbling.

Avoid consuming lab-grade erythritol though.

It is not flammable, though it may burn when mixed with an oxidizer.

Storage

Any container with a lid is good: glass jars, plastic boxes, zipper bags, metal cans, etc.

Disposal

No special disposal is required and can be safely poured down the drain or dumped in the ground or trash.

References

  1. http://www.google.com/patents/US5902739

Relevant Sciencemadness threads