Is there a test to distinguish erythritol from sugar at home without expensive lab equipment or exotic reagents? Sometimes I purchase erythritol online and wonder if it's been diluted with sugar.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would consult with a doctor regarding symptoms. It should be relatively straightforward for a properly equipped lab to test composition but I can't think of a suitable and simple home test. There should be labels on the product - is this from a reputable vendor? $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Nov 5 '19 at 7:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Clearly I didn't word this clearly. I'm not asking for medical advice, just a simple chemistry question: how does one test for erythritol vs sugar. Answering my own question: erythritol melts at 121 C, while sugar (sucrose) melts at 186 C. I imagine there are other tests, such as solvents that dissolve one but not the other. $\endgroup$ – Sullivan Nov 6 '19 at 1:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's a good question, but it remains broad and unclear. It sounds like you want to run a home test. I would say a number of spectroscopic techniques will give you clear cut information, but you are unlikely to have access if you aren't working in a lab. On the other hand there are chemical tests for sugars that distinguish them from polyols. I'm no expert on this aspect but I suspect this would be a good start: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molisch%27s_test You can't run just any test for sugars, because sucrose is a so-called nonreducing sugar. $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Nov 6 '19 at 8:57
  • $\begingroup$ See also: theskepticalchemist.com/… $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Nov 6 '19 at 8:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ BTW remove any suggestion that this is for personal medical reasons (you can edit your post) and the question might be reopened. Hopefully my comments will provide useful pointers. $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Nov 6 '19 at 9:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.