New and innovative sweeteners for bakers | 2021-08-10

In addition to stevia, there is now a growing toolbox of natural sweeteners available to bakers. Some are not
calorie substitutes for sugar. Others are considered more label-friendly and sustainable crops. One example is Pure, Single Origin Organic Coconut Nectar.

“Coconut nectar is a ‘new’ millennial ingredient,” said Paul Whitman, specialty fruit and vegetable category manager, Global Organics Ltd. “Our supplier in Java, Indonesia uses a traditional harvesting method: wrapping the coconut blossoms in palm fronds. to prevent full bloom. Twice a day, climbers carefully climb to the top of the tree, expertly cutting thin razor-sharp slices into the coconut blossoms, to drain the sap and collect 2-5 liters per day. The sap is evaporated and concentrated into a syrup. If the sap had completely evaporated, you would have produced coconut sugar.

Minimal processing retains essential phytonutrients and minerals, such as small amounts of iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, as well as broad spectrum amino acids and B vitamins. Coconut nectar has a low glycemic index and is naturally gluten-free and suitable for a paleo diet.

“Organic coconut nectar can be used as an individual replacement for liquid sweeteners,” said Whitman. “It softens, binds, adds texture, browns and extends shelf life. It has a caramelized, syrupy, brown sugar flavor, with distinct floral notes and a taste similar to molasses but without the bitter aftertaste.

“The floral note is really unique in sweeteners,” he continued. “We think it would enhance the flavor of the figs in the fig bars and accentuate the apricot, raspberries, golden raisins and other ‘shiny’ fruits in the energy bars and granola. If you use a drizzle of dark chocolate on bars or cakes, the floral note will highlight the fruity flavor of the dark chocolate.

Although honey has been around for thousands of years, it is increasingly used as consumer demands put all-natural sweeteners in the spotlight. The growing popularity of honey has spurred innovation in the industry, including the use of more monofloral honey varieties and dried honey. Dried honey is made by dehydrating liquid honey and in some cases adding processing aids to prevent clumping and make it more fluid.

“Monofloral honeys give bakers the ability to create unique and specific flavor profiles based solely on the type of honey used,” said Catherine Barry, Director of Marketing, National Honey Board. “We find it works exceptionally well in products such as granolas, where a manufacturer can use buckwheat honey in a basic granola formula to impart a robust, earthy flavor and dark color. With the same basic formula, they can use orange blossom honey for a lighter looking and tasting product with a hint of citrus.

[Related reading: Stevia takes the lead in sweeteners]

Honey may seem simple at first glance, but it is a complex substance with over 180 components, including antioxidants, minerals, prebiotics, and vitamins, as well as a host of carbohydrates and acids that make honey. its complex flavor profile.

Monk fruit juice concentrate is gaining ground in baked goods. Adallen Nutrition is deploying an organic option.

“The liquid is approximately 15 to 18 times sweeter than sugar and is a pale yellow liquid that is ideal for baked goods for its level of sweetness as well as for improving binding abilities in bars and cookies.” said Malcolm Greenberg, vice president of sales. “We also offer a monk fruit / erythritol blend as close as possible to a true 1: 1 sugar substitute that has no net carbs, no calories, and works almost the same as sugar.”

Isomaltulose and isomalt are unique functional carbohydrates that can be used in a variety of baked goods to replace or reduce sugar. Derived from sucrose, these ingredients offer a very mild natural taste in addition to being non-cariogenic.

“Our isomaltulose is non-GMO and a fully carbohydrate, but slowly digestible and low glycemic index,” said Kyle Krause, product manager, functional fiber and carbohydrate, BENEO. “It is slowly released in the body, providing energy in a balanced and sustained manner with less fluctuations in blood sugar and more stable insulin release, which improves metabolism.

“Isomalt is the only sugar substitute derived from pure beet sugar and has a natural taste and a rounded sweetness profile, while being non-cariogenic,” said Mr. Krause. “As isomalt contains only half the calories of sugar, it is increasingly used in baked goods as a solution to reduce or replace sugars. It is particularly suitable for cookies due to its low hygroscopicity, which helps keep them crisp, especially in more humid climates.

With the growing number of sweetener and bulking agent options available, bakers can find creative solutions to reduce sugars without compromising taste and quality.

This article is an excerpt from the July 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the full article on sweeteners, Click here.

About Sherri Flowers

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