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Sweetness is probably the most obvious role of sugar in foods; however, there are a number of others. For example, in candy making the structural role of crystallization is usually critical. In baked products, sugar not only contributes to the browning of the product, but it may serve to tenderize the product through its action on both the gelatinization of starch and denaturation of protein. Before further elucidating the roles and functions of sugar in the various food products it becomes important to be aware of the relative properties of the various sweeteners.
Following are some of the numbers for the relative sweetness of sweeteners and sugars. It is the standard to compare the sweetness of a product to sucrose.
Sucrose is 100 and the standard of comparison
Food Engineering, October 1993, p. 102.
Relative Sweetness of Sugar Alcohols [25C tap water; sucrose 100.
Approximately Sweetness with Sucrose=1.
What are the practical implications of the varying sweetness?
What do the above sugars have in common?
The problem with having a number for sweetness is that it does not take into account the interactions. Powers [Powers, M.A. 1994. Sweetener blending: How sweet it is!. Journal American Dietetic Association 94: 498.] discusses the synergy and interaction between individual sugars and sweeteners. These interactions were summarized as follows:
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Powers, M.A. 1994May. Sweetener blending: How sweet it is! Journal American Dietetic Association 94: 498.
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Updated: Sunday, March 30, 2008.