Truvia sweetener is made from about 99.5% erythritol (a sugar alcohol), and 0.5% rebiana, an extract from the stevia plant (but not at all the same thing as stevia). A shocking new study published in the journal PLOS ONE (1) has found that Truvia, an alternative sweetener manufactured by food giant Cargill, is a potent insecticide that kills fruit flies which consume it. The study found that while fruit flies normally live between 39 and 51 days, those that ate the Truvia ingredient erythritol died in less than a week.
Truvia a really amazing insecticide
This story on Truvia’s insecticidal properties has really caught the attention of the public. Even CBS News (3), a mainstream media outlet that rarely covers the dangers of food additives, covered this story, reporting:
Erythritol, the main component of the sweetener Truvia, has a new, unexpected application — it may be used as an insecticide. …Researchers found that fruit flies fed with food that included erythritol or the erythritol-containing sweetener Truvia died much sooner than flies fed with food containing other types of sweeteners.
“The more you get [fruit flies] to consume erythritol, the faster they die,” Sean O’Donnell, a professor of biology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, told CBS News.
“We are hoping to develop it into a human-safe insecticide,” O’Donnell later says in the story.