In addition to being a sweetening agent, sugar has other functions that create technological problems for product developers when reformulating.

It: Creates texture in cakes and biscuits by hindering gluten development during batter and dough mixing.

Increases the starch gelatinisation and protein denaturation temperatures, which produces softer products with higher volume due to longer time for batter and dough expansion.

Lowers the water activity of a product, which increases the mould-free shelf life.  

While sugars’ structural properties can be substituted using alternatives based on inulin, dextrans and modified starches, their development mechanisms are still under investigation. 

Anne Vissers, senior bakery scientist, Campden BRI

Campden BRI provides technical support to the food, drinks and allied industries worldwide. Its activities are built on a programme of industrial relevant research and innovation steered by industry. See or telephone 01386 842000