Sweeteners2018-12-10T05:16:12+00:00
sweeteners used in baking

In baking, sweeteners contribute flavor, crust color (browning), tenderizing, and shelf-life extension.

Sweeteners


What are Sweeteners?

There are two categories of sweeteners: nutritive and non-nutritive. Nutritive sweeteners (caloric sweeteners) provide energy in the form of carbohydrates. Some are found naturally in food, such as fruits, and others are added to food before consumption. Non-nutritive sweeteners are zero or low-calorie sweeteners, however only some of these can be used in baking.

There are also liquid and dry sweeteners which can be substituted for one another only with adjustments to the rest of the formula. Sweeteners contribute to four major areas: flavor, crust color (browning), tenderizing, and shelf-life extension. Non-nutritive sweeteners may not be able to provide all four benefits as they are not all chemically identical to sugar (sucrose), which is a critical ingredient in both sweet goods and yeasted doughs.

Origin

Non-Nutritive Sweeteners: Saccharine (300-500 times sweeter than sugar) was developed in the late 1870’s on accident by two chemists. Today, it is marketed as “Sweet’N Low”. Aspartame (200 times sweeter than sugar), marketed as Equal or Nutrisweet, was discovered the same way only in the 1960’s. Sucralose (600 times sweeter than sugar) was discovered in London by a graduate student in the1970’s working for a British sugar company. The FDA approved sucralose, or Splenda as it’s marketed, for sale in 1998. Its chemical makeup does NOT change when heated, and therefore it is an acceptable substitute for sugar in most cases.

Nutritive Sweeteners: Sucrose originates from sugar cane or sugar beets. Other nutritive sweeteners, like high-fructose corn syrup, are produced from corn. Controversy surrounds HFCS as to whether it should be substituted for sucrose, especially in products geared towards adolescents.

Function

Sweeteners contribute to four major areas: flavor, crust color (browning), tenderizing, and shelf-life extension. Non-nutritive sweeteners may not be able to provide all four benefits as they are not all chemically identical to sugar (sucrose), which is a critical ingredient in both sweet goods and yeasted doughs.

Types/Variations

There are two categories of sweeteners:

  • Nutritive sweeteners (caloric sweeteners) provide energy in the form of carbohydrates. Some are found naturally in food, such as fruits, and others are added to food before consumption.
  • Non-nutritive sweeteners are zero, or low-calorie sweeteners, however only some of these can be used in baking. There are also liquid and dry sweeteners which can be substituted for one another only with adjustments to the rest of the formula.

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