Sweetening agents are added to multitude of foods and beverages to provide a sweet flavour and at the same time they are also used for preserving foods and enhancing other flavours. Sweeteners help in fermentation and provide body, texture and bulk to bakes goods and ice-cream.
Kinds of sweetener: Sweeteners are of two kinds, nutritive sweetener and non-nutritive sweetener. The nutritive sweeteners provide energy or calorie to the diet at a rate of four calories per gram which is same as carbohydrate or protein. On the other hand non-nutritive sweeteners are Low Calorie Sweeteners that contain very low calories and can be added to food and beverages just like the nutritive ones. Non-nutritive sweeteners include cyclamate, saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium and sucralose.
Common Nutritive sweeteners:
Nutritive sweeteners are commonly used as white table sugars or brown table sugars, molasses, syrups, honey, etc. Nutritive Sweetener Resources have glucose; fructose or sucrose in them and this makes them sweet. Another kind of these sweeteners is sugar alcohol which is derived from fruits or commercially produced from dextrose. Sugar alcohols also provide energy to the body. Nutritive sweeteners come under "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) category of foods by FDA or Food and Drug Administration.
As sweetener: The nutritive sweeteners provide natural sweetness to foods and beverages. These occur in the food naturally or are added to the food before consumption. These sweeteners are excellent for increasing the sweetness of foods and beverages. Adding these sweetening agents foods become delicious.
Flavour and texture Enhancer: Adding nutritive sweeteners to the food you can unmask the flavour of fruits and spices. They also enhance the texture of food.
Offers shelf-stability: They remain stable over a long period of storage time, especially fructose that does not get hydrolysed in acidic conditions.
Nutritive functions: The nutritive sweeteners provide calories and have nutritive function which is beneficial when taken in moderate amount. They contain carbohydrates and are energy giving.
Uses of Nutritive Sweeteners
These are common sweetening agents for preparing beverages and energy drinks. It is cheap and ensures maximum sweetness in the drinks.
Nutritive Sweeteners are most commonly used in baking and confectionery as sweetening agent for cakes, cookies, pies and biscuits. They enhance the texture and flavour of baked goods and at the same time improve quality.
Nutritive Sweeteners are used to sprinkle on foods, as sweetening agent for hot and cold drinks. For cooked products too, it is used to add sweetness and texture. The nutritive sweetener is a preservative that prevents the growth of micro-organisms and saves perishable food from spoiling. It is used in candied fruits, jams and marmalades.
Nutritive Sweeteners are used in food processing of a large range of products that include ice cream and jams.
In wine making nutritive sweeteners are mostly used. The fruit sugars are turned into alcohol and additional sugar is used to raise the alcohol content.
People these days may be concerned about the Nutritive Sweetener Effects and have an idea that these sweeteners and other carbohydrates are bad for health and people with diabetes should avoid them but research has proved that Sugars can be included in a healthy diet and it can be a part of a carefully planned meal plan when spread evenly over the day. At the same time Nonnutritive sweetener consumption does not always mean intake of low calories. Beverages, breads, cakes and ice cream with Nutritive Sweeteners come with a natural flavour and taste which is difficult to find in artificial sweeteners.