Regarding: TRUVIA brand sweetener.
The ingredient listing on the Truvia box: Erythritol, rebiana, natural flavors.
Please see the article below, (scroll down after my research), explaining what erythritol is. Seems pretty harmless - I've had some bad experiences with the sweetener "malitol" so erythritol is not supposed to create the same gastrointestinal disturbance as malitol.
Rebiana listed in the ingredients is the stevia extract and natural flavors...well...only the manufacturer and God knows what that is. Remember - "natural flavors" can mean a lot of things. I'll use the analogy of "meat" as a listed ingredient in a product. "Meat" can mean horse, roadkill, etc. Why be shy - why not just SAY what these supposed "natural flavors" really are?
I will contact the company directly and ask them what they mean by "natural flavors". I like products to say what they mean and mean what they say.
I paid $3.68 at Wal-Mart for 40 packets of this stuff. Each packet is equivalent to the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar. For me, this will sweeten about 80 cups of coffee or tea.
Now, I have a 1.3 oz. bottle of KAL brand "Pure Stevia Organic Extract" that I purchased last year and I've used it on a daily basis. YES - bought it last year - perhaps June/July of 2008 and use it on a daily basis for coffee, tea, etc. On average I use about 1/4 of a scoop to sweeten because it is that potent; I might add that I enjoy herbal teas and drink several cups daily so I may use the equivalent of 2 scoops daily of this product. The cost of this 1.3 oz. bottle of pure, organic Stevia extract cost me $13.99 at Healthy Alternatives Health Food Store on Harbor-Petoskey Rd. So let's do the math...Let's say on the conservative side that I've sweetened 730 cups of tea/coffee thus far & I have 1/3 of the bottle left so that gives me about 1095 cups of sweetened beverage from this small 1.3 oz. bottle. Now with the Truvia I get 80 cups of sweetened beverage for $3.68 - in comparison I would need 13.7 boxes of Truvia to sweeten 1095 cups of beverage. So let's multiply 13.7 boxes times $3.68 cost per box = $50.42.
Looks like good 'ole health food store Stevia wins on many levels. It is organic, non-gmo and does not contain any mystery ingredients.
Also - buyer beware with products labeled as "truvia-sweetened" because I just purchased "Blue Bunny" brand fudgsicles from Wal-Mart and read the label when I got home. The second ingredient is "malitol" (sweetener) - this causes bloating, gas and discomfort in some people. In other words, Truvia is not the ONLY sweetening agent in the fudgsicles. Quite misleading but that's why I am a LABEL READER.
Hope you find this information helpful. Please see the article below regarding "erythritol".
Future sugar substitute under revision
Related topics: Science & Nutrition
The next generation of low-calorie sugar substitute could be a linear four-carbon sugar alcohol called erythritol, Nutrition Science News reports this month.
The sugar substitute is intended for use in beverage and bakery products, candy, and chewing gum.
According to a recent issue of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, toxicology studies show erythritol to be safe, as does a comprehensive review by William Berndt, Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Most studies on erythritol were animal feeding experiments in which up to 20 per cent of the diet consisted of erythritol. Long-term feeding studies were used to determine carcinogenicity, and two-generation studies explored reproductive effects. Embryo, teratagenic, and mutgenic studies all examined different areas of concern. Every animal study found that erythritol was harmless. The only side effects occurred at very high doses and consisted of a slight laxative effect, decreased weight gain, increased water consumption, and increased urination.
Human studies also found erythritol to be well tolerated and safe. Erythritol is well absorbed and is excreted unchanged in the urine, 90 per cent within 24 hours.
Developed by Cerestar USA , erythritol occurs naturally in alcoholic beverages, soy sauce, some fruits, and is also found in small amounts in human plasma.
It is 60-80 per cent sweeter than sucrose and it is produced from corn or wheat starch by enzymatic hydrolysis yielding glucose, which is fermented by osmophilic yeast. Once erythritol is separated from the fermentation broth, it is purified to a crystalline product that is more than 99 per cent pure.
In the near future Erythritol may become an effective sugar substitute for diabetics and for those who wish to control their weight.One entire issue of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology was devoted to 15 different studies evaluating the safety of erythritol. In his review, Berndt refers to these studies and others. Most were animal feeding experiments in which up to 20 percent of the diet consisted of erythritol. Long-term feeding studies were used to determine carcinogenicity, and two-generation studies explored reproductive effects. Embryo, teratagenic, and mutgenic studies all examined different areas of concern. Every animal study found that erythritol was harmless. The only side effects occurred at very high doses and consisted of a slight laxative effect, decreased weight gain, increased water consumption, and increased urination.
In the near future Erythritol may be become an effective sugar substitute for diabetics and for those who wish to control their weight, the journal concludes.