IFIC Foundation Statement: Drexel University study on erythritol toxicity in fruit flies

Erythritol is a safe low-calorie sweetener added to some foods and beverages to provide sweetness without added calories. Erythritol is also naturally present in many foods (e.g. pears, melons, mushrooms, and fermented foods such as wine, soy sauce, and cheese). Erythritol is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and has been safely used in foods and beverages in the US and around the world for decades.

"Erythritol and other low-calorie sweeteners offer options for people looking to manage their weight by providing reduced-calorie food and beverage options," stated Lindsey Loving, Senior Director, Food Ingredient & Technology Communications at IFIC Foundation. "In addition, people with diabetes are able to consume a wider variety of sweet-tasting foods due to the use of low-calorie sweeteners such as erythritol."

It is important to emphasize that this study, done in fruit flies, does not translate to harm for humans.  It is well-known that some ingredients that are safe for humans sometimes are not safe for other species; however, consumers can feel confident that the foods they currently consume containing erythritol are safe. It is also important to note that while the product used in the study was a stevia-based sweetener product containing erythritol, neither stevia leaf extract nor other low-calorie sweeteners tested in the study (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, etc.) were found to have any similar effects and can also be safely consumed in food and beverage products.

Additional information on erythritol and low-calorie sweeteners can be found on the IFIC Foundation website:

Sweet Taste, Without the Calories

Facts About Low-Calorie Sweeteners

Facts About Sugar Alcohols