Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 48

SWEETENERS

As far as viscous
sweeteners go, honey
offers bakers flavor and
functionality in addition
to marketability.
National Honey Board

name suggests, has a light golden amber color with
mild maple flavor. As the harvest season progresses,
the sap gets darker and more flavorful. It is the end-ofseason syrups that are mostly used as commercial ingredients. These full-bodied syrups have intense maple
flavor and a dark color.
Fruit syrups are another all-natural option. Prune juice
concentrate, for example, is dark with a lightly caramelized flavor. It contains about 36% total sugars. More than
half is glucose with the rest fructose and sorbitol.
"Just a small amount added to a reduced-fat and
-sugar brownie recipe improves flavor and texture,"
said Kate Leahy, spokesperson, Sunsweet Ingredients.
"Prune juice concentrate may also help extend the shelf
life a few days longer for baked goods designed for graband-go displays, in particular in gluten-free products. In
gluten-free pumpkin bread, for example, the pumpkin

and prune juice concentrate work together to enhance
moisture and structure, eliminating the need for xanthan gum."
Fresh plum concentrate is another option. It is a dark
red syrup with a tart cherry flavor.
"It is a little higher in acid than prune juice concentrate (pH is 3.4-3.9) and not quite as sweet," Ms.
Leahy said. "Both can contribute to the Maillard reaction, which can be especially beneficial in baked goods
such as gluten-free products that tend to have difficulty
browning. Both concentrates also can add sheen to items
such as sauces and fruit compotes, so making a switch to
them from HFCS and other sweeteners will not cause a
product to lose its luster."
Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients uses the sweet
potato to make natural viscous sweeteners. One ingredient is a cloudy sweet potato juice that adds flavor, color
and a nutritional boost. There's also a clarified version
that is an alternative to HFCS and sugar.

Rich and thick
Several viscous sweeteners rely on the sugars found in
grains such as corn, oats and sorghum. Others are made
from sugar beet or sugarcane.
Basic corn syrup, for example, is starch extracted from
corn kernels treated with an acid or enzyme to create a
sweet syrup. HFCS takes that corn syrup a step further
by using enzymes to break down some of the glucose
into the sweeter-tasting fructose sugar.
Molasses is a natural byproduct of the manufacture of
granulated sugar from sugar beet or sugarcane. It is the
thick, brown syrup that remains after the extracted juice
is boiled down and cooled to form sugar crystals. The
molasses may go through many boils; each time, sugar
crystals get removed and the syrup thickens, concentrating the flavor and nutrients while intensifying in color.
Blackstrap is the darkest molasses available. It has a bittersweet flavor and is loaded with vitamins and minerals.
"Generally, molasses boosts spice flavors such as cinnamon and ginger in baked goods, which provides costin-use benefits," Mr. Sanders said. "Molasses can also
increase the viscosity of doughs to make them easier to
handle and process."
Its use is limited by its strong earthy flavor notes and
dark color. It is less sweet than sugar and usually used
with other sweeteners. As a result, sometimes molasses
is added more for flavor and color than sweetness.
"Using syrups high in fructose really helps with moisture retention in cakes, cookies and other chemically
leavened bakery products due to the hygroscopic nature of the sugars in these syrups," Mr. Christensen explained. "Syrups can also help limit sugar crystallization,
keeping cookies soft, preventing glazes and water icings

48 Baking & Snack June 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com


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