Because sugar provides structure and humectancy to baked foods, its replacements must account for these properties, according to Troy Boutte, PhD, group manager, bakery/fats and oils, DuPont Nutrition & Health, New Century, KS.

Baking & Snack: What sugar-sparing strategies do you advise bakery formulators to follow?

Troy Boutte: Sugar obviously makes up a significant percentage of certain bakery products. So besides the obvious function of providing sweetness, sugar also provides a structural component in many cases.

Using a standard layer cake as an example, sugar makes up about 30% of the batter weight. So removing all of the sugar without replacing the bulk is not practical if the eating quality is expected to remain the same.

We could go back to an old style low-ratio cake formula which would contain 30% less sugar, but the eating quality and flavor would need to be adjusted with a bulking agent such as Litesse (polydextrose) to replace the bulk of the sugar. We could also replace the tenderizing effect of the sugar to some extent by using enzyme technology such as the DuPont PowerSoft line of enzyme softeners. And of course, some of the sweetness could be replaced by changing the sugars used and/or adding an artificial sweetener. Another option is to use sugar alcohols such as lactitol and xylitol (Xivia). The sugar alcohols can replace all sugar in a product while maintaining good eating quality. The sugar alcohols best used in combination with each other and with Litesse to give the best overall performance. In general, a combination of these approaches also works well.

Sweet yeast-raised products don’t actually contain that much sugar especially since quite a bit of it is fermented by the yeast. For instance, typical pan bread contains about 8% sugar solids, but after fermentation only about 2 to 3% of the sugar remains even though the nutrition label doesn’t reflect that. Of course the label is important and if we want to reduce the sugar then we can use the Litesse, sugar alcohols and artificial sweetener as we did with the cakes. The effect is even better in sweet breads since we are removing much less sugar.

What ingredients does DuPont Nutrition & Health offer for bakery and snack applications that reduce the amount of sugar in such foods?

For sugar-sparing bakery applications, DuPont Nutrition & Health supplies Litesse polydextrose, Xivia xylitol (polyol), Lactitol sugar alcohol (polyol), PowerSoft enzymes and PowerFresh enzymes.


How does this work? What is the mechanism that allows these ingredients to reduce overall sugar content? Or cut the finished products glycemic index? What usage and/or substitution levels are required?

Litesse polydextrose: This is polymerized dextrose that directly replaces the bulking effect of sugar. Litesseonly has 15% of the sweetness of sucrose, so use with sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners may be required.

Xivia xylitol: Xivia is the sweetest of the sugar alcohols with the same sweetness intensity as sucrose with a clean sweetness and no aftertaste. In addition, Xivia actually exhibits anti-cariogenic activity. Xivia also contains only half the calories of sucrose.

Lactitol sugar alcohol: Lactitol is about one third as sweet as sucrose but otherwise has many similar properties. Lactitol has virtually no effect on glycemic index.

PowerSoft/PowerFresh enzymes: These enzyme ranges will partially hydrolyze starch resulting in reduced staling and increased moistness.

Can you point to baked foods already on the market that achieve such results?

Sandwich thins, light bread and English muffins, sugar free or reduced sugar cookies.

Looking at current uses of your ingredients in such formulations, how would you recommend their use be improved? Be made more effective in reducing the amounts of added sugars?

The main thing here is just to discuss the project with us in as much detail as possible so we can help with recommendations.

How must these materials be labeled in the ingredient listing on packages?

Litesse polydextrose is labeled as “polydextrose.” Xivia xylitol, “xylitol.” Lactitol, “lactitol.” PowerSoft enzymes, “enzymes.” PowerFresh enzymes, “   enzymes.”