Four sugar reduction solutions

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sugar can be reduced by using clever application technologies
Sugar can be reduced by using clever application technologies

Related tags: Sugar

Food manufacturers could slash sugar content in products by applying four technologies to use sugar differently, according to Leatherhead Food Research’s head of ingredients and product innovation Dr Wayne Morley.

These four approaches were: particle size reduction, nano spray drying of sugar on to foods, recrystallisation of dissolved sugar and using sugar-coated calcium carbonate particles, said Morley. He was speaking at the Sugar Reduction Summit organised by Smooth Events in London last month (July).

For example, he said smaller sugar particles had a bigger surface area, delivering greater sweetness, gram for gram, than standard sugar. Sweetness over time could be scored using groups of people working as sensory testers, he said.

Tests

Tests indicated that the method worked particularly well for chocolate, delivering added benefits, he said. For sugar particles ranging in size from 17 to 52 micrometres, the smallest particles rated most highly for creamy flavour and creamy texture, for example. “As you reduce sugar size in chocolate, creaminess increases.”

Products spray dried with nano-sized sugar particles were also sweeter than those containing the same amount of standard sugar, said Morley.

Another solution involved dissolving sucrose in solvents, such as alcohol, then recrystallising it, creating fine, web-like threads of sugar that augmented taste and texture.

Sugar could also be recrystallised to create an extremely thin coating on calcium carbonate particles.

Potential

Aside from these ingredient technologies, food firms had the potential to use layers of contrasting sugar levels in products and double water-on-water emulsions to cut sugar content while preserving sweetness, he said. “Double emulsions have been used for salt reduction and can also be used for sugar reduction,”​ he suggested.

Processors had to decide which technologies were appropriate for them, he said. “I need a toolbox of solutions and the tool that I choose will depend on the brand, market state, price point any number of factors.”

Dependent on what tools food businesses used, taste, texture or even the shelf-life of a product could be affected, he warned. “When I remove sugar, there may be a compromise further down the line,”​ he added.

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