The functional properties of sugars in food products extend beyond taste. In addition to contributing sweetness, bulk and calories, sugars help to hold the components of many products together. They also are used in coating systems on the exterior surface of baked goods and snacks. By using a unique hydrocolloid (xanthan gum) with a natural sugar alcohol (erythritol), some of the functional properties of sugars can be replaced. Erythritol will crystallize at higher concentrations, but when combined with other ingredients in a particular order, the properties of erythritol can be controlled and the usage range extended. This paper will describe some preliminary applications related to this functionality.
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