Reformulating for sugar reduction is not always straightforward as formulators must match the sweetness profile that sugar brings and build back the application specific sugar functionality in the system, Didem Icoz, a senior business scientist, Global Sugar Reduction R&D, at Ingredion Incorporated, tells ConfectioneryNews.
Allulose is a versatile ingredient that satisfies both sweetness and functional build back aspects for sugar reduction and can help product developers in applications including beverages, dairy, bakery, confectionery and sauces and spreads.
He says Allulose has a similar taste profile to sugar and is 70% as sweet, helping to maintain consumer-winning sweetness in low-sugar products. The ingredient solution also functions similar to sugar while adding almost no calories, and now with FDA guidance, no grams of sugar.
In confectionery applications, such as candies, gummies and chocolate, Allulose offers a similar sweet taste and functionality of sugar without the added sugar and calories, helping product developers create sweet indulgences with better-for-you appeal.
The non-cariogenic aspect of Allulose is also advantageous. Also, the lower tendency for crystallization enables making candy products with desired textural characteristics, says Icoz.
“When used at 25% level (dry basis), Allulose can provide 55% sugar reduction and 30% fewer calories with comparable firmness and springiness to a full sugar control in a gummy candy. When these candies are subjected to moisture absorption at increasing relative humidity conditions (from about 5% RH to 80% RH) at 25°C and 30°C, there is no notable deformation observed.
“However, because Allulose has high hygroscopic characteristics, one may observe some textural deformation in candies under higher temperature/humidity storage conditions. Proper handling and packaging would minimize any of these effects. Also, at high temperature cooking conditions in candies, allulose will tend to caramelize, which couples well with the use of various color and flavor compounds in candy products.”
Icoz says to create reduced-sugar dark chocolate with desirable mouthfeel characteristics, try allulose at a 25% usage level to provide up to 65% sugar reduction and 15% calorie reduction. During processing, keep the conch temperature below 60 degrees Celsius to preserve flavor.