Three experts from Penford Food Ingredients, Centennial, CO — Bryan Scherer, director of R&D; Ibrahim Abbas, PhD, senior R&D manager; and Jennifer Stephens, marketing manager — examine how starch-based ingredients work together with non-nutritive sweeteners in bakery formulations.

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

Ibraham Abbas: One strategy to reduce the amount of sugar in bakery formulations is using starch-based ingredients in combination with non-nutritive sweeteners. During sugar reduction, solids decrease. Starch-based ingredients provide bulking, which maintains the level of solids. However, starch-based ingredients do not contribute sweetness; therefore, non-nutritive sweeteners need to be used to bring the sweetness to a full-sugar sweetness level.

What ingredients does Penford Ingredients offer for bakery and snack applications that reduce the amount of sugar in such foods?

Dr. Abbas: Resistant starch such as PenFibe RS provides not only health benefits but also functionality benefits. PenFibe RS elicits a low glycemic response and contributes minimal calories. In terms of functionality benefits, this potato-based resistant starch can replace sugar yet still provide bulking. Since resistant starch does not have any sweetness, non-nutritive sweeteners must be used to bring the sweetness up to full-sugar sweetness.

Another product, PenNovo 00, is an enzyme-modified starch that can be used in glazes, frostings, coatings and other liquid or semi-liquid systems to replace the solids lost from sugar reduction. Since PenNovo 00 does not contribute sweetness, non-nutritive sweeteners must be used to bring the sweetness up to full-sugar sweetness.

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?

Dr. Abbas: Both of these products, PenFibe RS potato-based resistant starch and PenNovo 00, replace the solids lost by the removal of sugar from the formulation. Both of these products contribute no flavor on their own, so they work well in conjunction with non-nutritive sweeteners. PenFibe RS elicits little or no glycemic response and contributes only 0.7 Cal per g vs. sugar at 4 Cal per g, which makes it ideal for low-glycemic food products. PenFibe RS can partially to fully replace sugar; however, it depends on the application. If the sugar replacement is for bulking, the usage level is close to 1:1. If the sugar replacer needs to provide specialized functionalities such as crystallization, the usage levels are lower.

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

Jennifer Stevens: There are snack items on the market that are formulated to contain certain amounts of calories for portion control. Some of these snack items take a systems approach in achieving the reduced caloric content such as sugar reduction and/or fiber inclusion in one or more parts of a multicomponent snack item. The PenFibe RS potato-based resistant starch is used to replace higher caloric content such as sugar and flour in one component to reduce the overall caloric content of the snack.

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?

Bryan Scherer: It is always best to work directly with a customer as optimal use of these ingredients is almost always formula-dependent. In addition, Penford can customize these ingredients or blends of these ingredients depending on the attributes desired in the finished product.

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

Dr. Abbas: The PenFibe RS resistant starch and the PenNovo 00 enzyme-treated starch are labeled as “modified food starch” or “modified potato starch.”