If you start researching natural options for replacing sugar, you'll likely come across both allulose and erythritol. Both of these options are naturally derived and you can even find granulated versions of these that resemble sugar. Allulose is about 70% as sweet as sugar and Erythritol is about 60% as sweet so both are less sweet than sucrose. They are great additions to high intensity sweeteners like Monk Fruit and Stevia that are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. So adding high intensity sweeteners to allulose or erythritol can get you a formula that is a 1:1 sugar replacement in terms of sweetness.

Allulose vs Erythritol

First of all, let's talk about allulose. It's a rare sugar that is found in small quantities in nature, in certain fruits like figs, raisins and jackfruit. Unlike other sugar substitutes, allulose is absorbed by the body but not metabolized, which means that it doesn't contribute to blood sugar levels. This makes it a great choice for people with diabetes or who are looking to manage their sugar intake. Additionally, allulose has a similar taste and texture to sugar, making it a great option for baking and cooking. The molecular structure of allulose is C6H12O6 which is identical to glucose but bonded slightly differently so your body doesn't metabolize it. Allulose has 4 grams of carbs but since it is not metabolized, it is considered zero carbs. As for calories, allulose has about 1/10th the calories as regular sugar so 0.4/gram.

On the other hand, erythritol is considered a sugar alcohol (also known as polyols) in the same class as xylitol and maltitol. Erythritol is a bit less sweet than allulose so more is needed to get to the same sweetness level. While the name sounds like an artificial chemical, it is indeed a natural alternative sweetener. When eaten in pure form, it does cool your tongue a bit and the sweetness profile slightly differs from sugar (but very close). It's a very similar taste to sugar but not identical. Sugar alcohols tend to cause digestive issues like gas and bloating when you ingest too much but erythritol is one of the better tolerated sugar alcohols. While allulose can also cause stomach upset, we have found that it is more tolerable at higher quantities than erythritol. However, individual experience may vary. Erythritol is also considered zero glycemic as well as zero calories and zero net carbs. Overall, in moderate amounts, erythritol is a good alternative to traditional sugar.

Recently, a study released by Nature Medicine that did a study on heart health as it relates to erythritol showed a correlation to heart attacks. However, we caution you to jump to conclusions. The study was indeed a human based study of those that already had heart conditions. Then later, they pulled out just 8 individuals to do further experimentation with. This was not a double blind study and not possible to determine causation. The problem with this study is that your body naturally produces erythritol through a process called pentose phosphate pathway. There is just no way to conclude that dietary erythritol caused the heart conditions noted. While we do not use erythritol, we do have concerns about sensationalized research reports and headlines. If you are interested in a deeper read that we feel is very objective, take a look at this article by Peter Attia, MD.

Both erythritol and allulose are deemed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the fda. The fda GRAS notices for limiting the amount per serving for carbonated beverages is currently at 3.5% for both allulose and erythritol. So in a 354 liquid gram serving (12 oz soda), that is equivalent to 12.4 grams limit. At this level, for a typical person, they should not experience stomach distress unless they consumed 5-6 servings at once. (please don't). Because allulose and erythritol are not high intensity sweeteners, they add a certain amount of "thickness" and "viscosity" to the drink as well which improves the mouthfeel of a soda.

 Show table Allulose Erythritol
Natural Yes Yes
Sweetness Level ~70% ~60%
Cooling Effect  No Yes
Sugar Alcohol No Yes
Suitable for Cooking Yes Somewhat
Calories 0.4/gram 0
Sugar-like Taste Identical Very Similar
Aftertaste No No

So, which one is better? That is a tough choice. We like both of these options but in the end felt that Allulose was slightly better. It was a bit more sweet than erythritol, less digestive sensitivity and identical sugar like taste profile. The only negative with allulose in comparison was the calorie count which is still negligible. Our soda's using allulose only contain 5 calories but we can't claim 0 calories like erythritol. Both options are limited to 3.5% by the FDA.

After heavily researching natural options to replace sugar, we opted for allulose being our primary sweetener for our soda's and hence AlluSoda was born.