Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 45

FORMULATION
Sweeteners

BENEFITS
When it comes to natural sweeteners, options abound for not
only a cleaner label but also functionality and nutrition.
by Donna Berry

P

Pourable and pumpable, viscous sweeteners are plantderived liquids that bakers use to not only sweeten products but also add color, flavor and even nutrition. They
are appreciated for their ability to bind ingredients and
moisture, too. Some of them are minimally processed
extracts, such as agave nectar and maple syrup, while
others are produced commercially with assistance from
acids, enzymes and/or heat. Think corn syrup and molasses. Concentrated fruit slurries also qualify as viscous
sweeteners, as does honey.
Those with a healthful natural halo provide permission for consumers to enjoy a sweet treat. Economical
options make baked foods affordable, often extending
product shelf life and thus reducing waste.
Bakers value the ease of working with liquid sweeteners, as they can be metered and dispensed for quick
dissolution in batter and dough. They are also more
sanitary than their dry counterparts, as particles do not
linger in the air.
"From a processing standpoint, viscous sweeteners
can be easily incorporated into formulations and provide a smooth, homogenous texture in comparison to
granulated sweeteners," said Tom Sanders, global applications manager, ASR Group-DFI Specialty Ingredients.
The most cost-effective options tend to be flavorless

and colorless with their primary purpose to provide
sweetness, humectancy or both. Examples include corn
syrup, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and invert sugar. Others are more complex, thereby contributing to the
sensory profile of the product.

Some liquid sweeteners,
such as those derived from
sweet potatoes, impart the
nutritional profile of their
sources to the finished
baked good.
Carolina Food Ingredients

Chemical compositions
Sucrose, also known as table sugar, is the base by which
various ingredients are compared in terms of relative
sweetness. Sucrose has a value of 1.0. It is a disaccharide
of glucose, also known as dextrose, which has a sweetness of 0.7, and fructose with a sweetness of 1.2 to 1.8.
Therefore, viscous sweeteners vary in relative sweetness
based on their composition.
They also differ in their ability to brown through the
Maillard reaction. This is a function of the presence of
reducing sugars and is measured by dextrose equivalent
(DE). The DE may also be an indicator of sweetness for
ingredients that have a high DE value being sweeter than
those with a lower value.
"Depending on the makeup of the liquid sweetener,
it can either help or hinder the browning of the finished
product," said Tim Christensen, research and development, bakery applications, Cargill. "Both agave and
honey, for example, contain reducing sugars. Some of

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