There’s more to sugar than sweetness

19 Nov 2019


The consumer’s need for sugar reduction can be challenging for bakers and patissiers. Because while research clearly shows that consumers are increasingly conscious about the sugar content in their food, bakers and patissiers don’t want to compromise on taste. And as sugar fulfils more functions in patisserie products, it’s not just a matter of decreasing the amount of sugar in a product. There’s more to sugar than sweetness!

Sugar as a source of energy


Sugar has a bad image these days, but of course it is not necessarily a bad thing. From a nutritional point of view, sugars are simple carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body, providing an immediate source of energy. However, if too much sugar is consumed compared to the amount of energy expended, it is stored in the body as fat and can lead to an increased risk of illnesses. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has drawn up recommended limits of sugar consumption. For bakers and patissiers, this can be a challenge.

The many functions of sugar in patisserie products


Sugar is important in patisserie and dessert products. Not only because it gives the delicious taste that consumers expect, but also because it fulfils other functions in the preparation of these products.

In cakes, sugar helps the product to remain moist and fresh, and it gives the product a gloriously golden crust. Fruit and cream fillings benefit from a better texture and mouthfeel with sugar, as well as longer shelf life. And in chocolate, as well as texture and mouthfeel, sugar provides a bulking effect. 

And there’s more to sugar, as you can see in this table: 

Innovative solutions for sugar reduction


Before we start reducing the sugar level in products, we have to carefully consider how to compensate for these effects with another approach or ingredient whilst still delivering the high standards of taste that you want for your consumers, but contributes to meeting the new sugar consumption guidelines developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).