June 04, 2014
In a study that began as a sixth-grade science fair project, researchers at Drexel University have found that a popular non-nutritive sweetener, erythritol, may be an effective and human-safe insecticide. Erythritol, the main component of the sweetener Truvia®, was toxic to Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies in a dose-dependent manner in the Drexel team’s study, published in PLOS ONE. The flies consumed erythritol when sugar was available and even seemed to prefer it. No other sweeteners tested had these toxic effects.