When it comes to replacing the sweetness of baked goods that contain less sugar and calories, bakers have a plethora of options. Discoveries in nature and in the food science laboratory have enabled new understandings of how sweetness is perceived and how formulators can deliver flavor with fewer calories. The key has been to provide a well-balanced sweet flavor without the nasty notes that some substitute ingredients can provide.
“When you take something out of a standard product, you have a lot of flavor issues, even if you take the flour out,” said Dave Lindhorst, technical account manager at Cargill. “We often recommend the combination of erythritol and stevia because the erythritol provides a bit of sweetness while adding bulk and that’s where the stevia solution comes in, to provide the sweet roundness.”
Stevia has long reigned as the clean choice for sweetening. However, he also struggled with bitter notes, which made his job difficult. However, new developments in stevia sourcing and extraction have improved these aspects, making it a more reliable flavor substitute for sugar.
“Monk fruit and first-generation stevia present flavor challenges and usage levels will need to be monitored,” explained Eric Shinsato, senior project manager, innovation and technical service, Ingredion Inc. “However, next generation stevia has significantly improved flavor and sweetness and can be enhanced with other steviol glycosides with flavor modifying properties.
The two most researched steviol glycosides, Reb M and Reb D, provide the best flavor but also make up less than 1% of the stevia leaf. These steviol glycosides can be obtained by specific fermentation or extraction techniques specific to each ingredient supplier.
ADM uses a proprietary stevia extraction and purification approach to maximize the glycosides that provide the most sweetness with the fewest off-notes in its SweetRight Edge Stevia. By doing so, ADM is able to deliver a sweet flavor with fewer off-notes that often require formulators to add taste modifiers or flavor masking when working with stevia.
Cargill’s EverSweet and ClearFlo Sweetener System combines the company’s Reb M stevia-based sweetener with natural flavor to manage off-notes and provide a sweeter taste in the high-intensity sweetener.
Beneo’s Isomalt comes from beet sugar and has only half the calories of sugar. Not only does Isomalt provide some of the functionality of sugar, its low hygroscopicity helps crisp cookies retain their texture. It also has a rounded smoothness profile.
If clean labels aren’t an issue, bakers now have other sweetener options available, although these may require further accommodations.
“Sucralose is economical, tastes good, and is bake-stable, but that can be a problem if you’re looking for a cleaner label,” Shinsato said. “Aspartame cannot withstand cooking temperatures without degrading, and ace-k generally must be combined with other sweeteners to provide an acceptable flavor profile.”
By knowing in advance the limitations of these and other sugar-reducing ingredients, bakers can understand how to combine ingredients to effectively reduce sugar and calories in their product, without losing the quality of taste and flavor. texture.
This article is an excerpt from the July 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the full article on calorie reduction, Click here.