Sweeteners are carbohydrates that are essential components of baked goods.


What are Sweeteners?

Sweeteners are carbohydrates are characterized by their sweet taste. The most common ones in baking are mono and disaccharides.

These ingredients are essential components of baked goods. They are added to yeast-leavened products, as well as to chemically-leavened sweet goods like batter cakes and cookies. Although, then they are used in larger quantities.

  • Sucrose
  • Lactose
  • Crystalline glucose
  • Brown sugar
  • Molasses
  • Liquid sugar
  • Invert sugar syrup
  • Honey
  • Maple sugar
  • Glucose or corn syrup
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • High-intensity sweeteners
  • Sugar alcohols or polyols


Sweeteners are widely found in nature as components of biomass. They can also be produced from plant sources that are rich in starch. They are naturally found in fruits, stevioside leaves, milk, sugar cane, sugar beet, honey, maple tree, and in smaller amounts in cereals and grains.1


Some of the functions of these ingredients are:2,3

  • Sweetening
  • Tenderizing
  • Batter aeration (crystallized sugars)
  • Fermentation control through osmotic pressure
  • Yeast nutrient / food
  • Bulking agents (body)
  • Flavoring agents (molasses, honey, malt, maple sugar)
  • Browning or crust coloring agents
  • Humectants
  • Texture builders
  • Shelf‐life extenders by lowering water activity

They can be classified according to their caloric content as:

  1. Nutritive or caloric sweeteners
  2. Non-nutritive or high-intensity sweeteners

Nutritive options can be either mono or disaccharides, or a mixture of both:

Monosaccharides (simple sugars) Disaccharides (2 simple sugars, bound by glycosidic linkage)
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Galactose
  • Maltose: 2 units of glucose
  • Sucrose: 1 unit of fructose + 1 unit of glucose
  • Lactose: 1 unit of galactose + 1 unit of glucose

Non-nutritive sweeteners are zero or low-calorie sweeteners, however their usage in baking is limited.

Commercial production

The following table summarizes the production processes used to manufacture...

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