Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 75
Reducing sugar is more about replacing flavor.
Its wealth of functionality requires multiple tools to reduce.
by Charlotte Atchley
As Len Heflich wrote in a column in the June issue of
Baking & Snack, consumers are well on their way to demonizing yet another critical ingredient to the baking
industry - this time sugar. Attitudes about sugar and
the US Food and Drug Administration's latest "Added
Sugar" line on nutrition labels have bakers trying to cut
the level of sugar in baked foods. But consumers aren't
willing to compromise on what they perceive to be sugar's No. 1 role: taste. However, sugar isn't just providing
sweetness to desserts.
"Taste is not only the sweetness from the sugar," said
Andy Estal, director of consumer technical service,
Americas region, BENEO. "Taste describes the overall
eating experience. Moistness, hardness, crunchiness,
texture, flavors and sweetness all play into the balance
when looking at reducing sugar."
Remove sugar from a dessert and there is not only a
loss of flavor but also a loss of function. Cookie spreading, aeration in cakes, browning, bulk, texture and shelf
life all depend on sugar. "It takes a holistic and balanced
approach to reduce sugar and get the taste and texture
right," said Bill Gilbert, certified master baker and principal food technologist, Cargill. "However, the more we
understand how a formula's components work together
for flavor, sweetness and texture, the better we are able to
provide solutions to our customers."
Bakers have many tools today to lessen the sugar levels
in desserts while still providing consumers the eating experience they've come to expect. Choosing the right set
of ingredients requires understanding how sugar operates
in a formulation and how to make up for lost sweetness.
Hammering out objectives
Sugar's functional attributes in bakery applications
are vast, but in specific formulations, it may only be
performing a handful of roles. "The best place to start
when looking at sugar reduction is to consider the key
role that sugar is playing in that particular application,"
said Scott Turowski, technical sales manager, Sensus
America. "Sugars provide a number of functional
benefits that contribute to texture, mouthfeel and taste,
and different sources of sugar also deliver a different
combination of benefits to the finished product."
Sugar contributes to shelf life by absorbing extra
moisture and stopping bacterial growth. It can increase
dough yield and softness through fermentation. In the
oven, as water is removed, sugar is recrystallized, helping create a crisp texture. It also helps with visual appearance by facilitating the Maillard reaction, which
results in the browning or caramelization effect that is
so often desired in baked goods. It can also delay the coagulation of eggs or gelatinization of the crumb.
With all that sugar can do, it's important for bakers
to consider the application as well as the desired quality
and consistency of the product when reformulating for
sugar reduction, said Kathy Sargent, strategic innovation
director, Corbion. "In addition to ensuring the flavor,
texture and quality of their products, bakery manufac-
Reducing or replacing sugar
in dessert and sweet goods
formulations requires several
ingredients working together
to maintain taste and bulk.
www.bakingandsnack.com / July 2018 Baking & Snack 75