Sugar-reduced cookies: Inulin shows potential, erythritol maybe not, says study


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Sugar-reduced cookies: Inulin shows potential, erythritol maybe not, says study

Related tags: Replacement, Replacements

Formulators seeking reduced-sugar cookies that are also acceptable to consumers may consider inulin to replace some of the sucrose, but erythritol isn’t a valid option, suggests new research from Spain.

According to findings published in the Journal of Food Science​, erythritol as a sugar replacer in cookies performed well from a processing point of view, but the resulting cookie was deemed too hard in a consumer acceptance test.

On the other hand, replacing 25% of the sucrose in cookies with inulin did not detrimentally affect consumer perception of the product, report researchers from the Instituto de Agroquımica y Tecnologıa de Alimentos (CSIC) in Valencia, Spain.

The study comes at a time when consumers are paying a lot more attention to how much​ sugar is in their foods, according to a recent survey from Mintel Research Consultancy (MRC). Sugar intakes also hit the headlines again following the publication of a study claiming sugar consumption may have a ‘direct and independent’ link to the risk of developing diabetes.


Numerous research groups and corporate R&D groups have investigated the production of reduced sugar cookies, but, according the Valencia-based scientists, no-one has reported the effect of replacing sucrose with inulin in cookies.

Erythritol has been used as a sugar replacer in bakery products such as Danish cookies and chiffon cake, they said, with good results reported.

“Inulin and erythritol may be considered as sucrose substitutes with advantageous properties. Inulin possesses the advantage that may act as dietary fiber with prebiotic effects and erythritol has better digestive tolerance than other polyols,”​ they explained.

While the properties of these sugar substitutes may be considered advantageous, the results indicate that only inulin has potential for reduced-sugar cookies.

Formulation details

Short-dough cookies were prepared using inulin and erythritol to replace 25% or 50% of the sugar.

Results showed that both sucrose replacement strategies affected the texture of the cookies and how they looked.

“In general, sucrose substitutes produced a less crispy cookie and lower consumer acceptability, with the exception of 25% sucrose replacement by inulin,”​ wrote the researchers.

In sensory tests, the inulin cookies were closest to the control cookies, they said, with acceptance of the erythritol cookies decreasing significantly as the erythritol level increased.

“Changes in sensory and instrumental data were observed but a replacement of 25% sucrose was achieved without having a detrimental effect on consumer perception,”​ they explained.

“Further studies will be needed to achieve a complete sucrose replacement without quality loss,”​ they concluded.

Source: Journal of Food Science
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12119
“Inulin and Erythritol As Sucrose Replacers in Short-dough Cookies: Sensory, Fracture, and Acoustic Properties”
Authors: L. Laguna, C. Primo-Martin, A. Salvador, T. Sanz

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