The sugar-free sweets market has seen significant growth in recent years, as consumers become more interested in sugar-free and low-calorie options. There are a wide variety of sweeteners available and choosing the right one is crucial to achieving the perfect taste, texture, and appearance of products. Here are five key factors we consider when using sugar replacements in chocolates, compounds, fillings and spreads.
1. Sweetness level
Different sweeteners have varying levels of sweetness, and it is important to choose one that provides the desired level of sweetness for the product. For example, if a product requires a low-calorie sweetener, stevia may be good options. Stevia, for instance, is up to 350 times sweeter than sugar and only a small amount of stevia is needed to achieve the same level of sweetness as sugar.
Alternatively, if a product requires a sugar substitute that closely mimics the sweetness of sugar, maltitol is a great choice as it is approximately 90% as sweet as sugar, and can be used in the same ratio as sugar in recipes. This makes it an easy substitution for sugar in recipes without affecting the taste or texture of the final product.
When replacing sugar with sweetener, it is important to keep in mind that sugar not only provides sweetness, but it also contributes to the overall texture and structure of the product.
One of the biggest advantages of “1:1 ratio sweeteners” like maltitol is that it adds the same bulk and texture as sugar, while low-calorie sweeteners like stevia cannot be used in the same quantity as sugar, and you need to replace the remaining bulk with something else – like flour, cornstarch, or other low-calorie sweeteners. The challenge then lies in adding bulk without impacting on the final product negatively. For example, adding flour or cornstarch can result in a dense, heavy texture, while too much of another low-calorie sweetener can result in an artificial aftertaste.
The flavor of a sweetener can also impact the overall taste of a product. Some sweeteners risk adding a bitter aftertaste to the product, while others have a sweetness and flavor that mimics the taste of sugar. We especially like using maltitol in our chocolates and chocolate flavored compounds as it preserves the creamy chocolaty sweetness and taste.
4. Caloric content
The caloric content of a sweetener is also a consideration, especially for products marketed as low-calorie or sugar-free. Some sweeteners, such as sucralose or aspartame, have zero calories, while others, such as sugar alcohols, have fewer calories than sugar but still contribute to the overall calorie count of a product.
Finally, like all raw materials, the cost of a sweetener is important to take into consideration to ensure a final product that is competitive on the market.
Get in touch for a sample!
At Göteborgs Food Budapest, we opt for maltitol as our preferred sweetener when producing our no sugar chocolates, compounds, ice cream coatings, fillings and spreads. Would you like to learn more or request a sample? Do not hesitate to contact us!