Fruits & Vegetables
Quality & Safety
Sugars are sweet, water soluble, low molecular weigth carbohydrates largely present in foods by either nature or addition. They comprise a class of compounds with different chemical, physico-chemical and physical properties that have been recognised important for their role and functionality in food applications. In addition to the peculiar taste properties mainly associated to the sweeteness, sugars are multifunctional compounds. Hygroscopicity, humectancy, osmotic and textural effects along with the reactivity and physical stability of the low molecular weight saccharides are affecting significantly the quality of food products upon processes and storage conditions. Their ability to inhibit degradative microbial and biochemical reactions is the basis of the ancient use of sugars and sugar-based ingredients (honey, plant syrups) for preservation purposes in intermediate moisture foods. Moreover, sugars could also indirectly affect also the perception of other sensory properties of food products like bitterness and aroma. From a nutritional point of view sugars are mostly contributing to the energetic value of foods. In the last decades their presence and concentration in formulated and processed products (e.g. soft drinks, confectionery) have been under a main debate due to their direct role on various diet-related metabolic diseases like diabetes, obesity, lactose intolerance and dental caries. The reduction of the content of sugar (in particular sucrose), and/or the use of alternatives sweeteness able to mimic the sensory properties of sugars is generally applied to meet the modern nutritional guidelines. However, these strategies do not consider the other technological functionalities that these saccharides exert in foods and thus the optimization of formulation and processing conditions is required in order to achieve high quality, low sugar and low calories foods. Aim of this webinar is to give an overview of the technological functionalities of sugars in foods underlying the related scientific basis and to provide some knowledge and information useful for the desig and, development of formulated, high quality and stable food products.
Carbohydrates; Sugar-based ingredients
Provider - Source:
Prof. Paola Pittia, University of Teramo