A recently published study in the LWT - Food Science and Technology journal by Zahn et al. details a stevia muffin formulation with 30% sucrose replaced by stevia variety rebaudioside A.
The researchers said its stevia muffin retained the quality of a full sugar muffin and even significantly upped fibre-content when inulin or polydextrose was added.
Promising future alternative
“Glycosides from leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, an indigenous plant in central South America, might be a promising alternative to artificial sweeteners in bakery products manufacture,” said the study.
Last November, steviol glycosides were approved for EU-use in 31 food categories, including high-fibre breakfast cereals. However, stevia cannot currently be used in bakery products.
“Because of its natural origin and the history of use it might be suspected that regulations become loosened in the future, and that Steviol glycosides will also be permitted in other sweet foods such as bakery products,” said the study.
Stevia has GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status in the US, and can already been used in baked good there.
The researchers in the present study compared several fibres to reach the optimium Reb A muffin as assessed by chemical, colour and texture analysis.
A combination of inulin or polydextrose with rebaudioside A results was found to produce results closest to a regular sugar muffin.
The use of wheat bran or apple fibre as bulk replacer was also seen to offset crumb colour deviations and off-tastes.
Significant fibre advantages
The inulin and polydextrose stevia formulations also significantly boosted fibre content. The reference sugar muffin contained 1.3 g/100 g of fibre, but was upped to 4.6 for inulin and 7.1 g/100 g for polydextrose, an increase of over 400%.
“A further advantage of formulation modification is that also fibre content is affected so that the modified products are helpful in diminishing fibre uptake deficiency,” said the study
It added that this would be enough to allow a “source of fibre” under EC regulations and stevia muffins with polydextrose could even be regarded as “high fibre” products.
LWT - Food Science and Technology
‘Combined use of rebaudioside A and fibres for partial sucrose replacement in muffins’
Authors: Susann Zahn, Anne Forker, Lydia Krügel, Harald Rohm