Polyols promising for sugar-free muffins: Study

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Use of polyols in muffins also has health advantages, the researchers say
Use of polyols in muffins also has health advantages, the researchers say

Related tags Sugar alcohol Xylitol

Maltitol, isomalt and sorbitol can successfully replace sugar in muffins without any drastic changes to batter properties, finds research.

The study published in the Journal of Food Hydrocolloids ​investigated the batter property impacts of full sugar replacement in muffins using four different polyols - erythritol, sorbitol, maltitol and isomalt.

“The results from texture and consumer acceptability indicate that erythritol was the less suitable polyol to replace sucrose in muffins,”​ wrote the researchers from the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology in Spain.

While all polyols increased the starch gelatinization temperature, erythritol was the least effective. This polyol also created very different batter rheological properties compared to regular sugar.

“On the other hand, maltitol, isomalt and sorbitol were found to be suitable as sucrose replacers in muffins. They have similar batter thermosetting properties than sucrose and the obtained muffins show good instrumental texture properties and sensory acceptability scores,”​ the researchers said.

 Downside? Lower height

While texture and consumer acceptability scored well, the muffin height was reduced when using all four polyols in the formulation. However, the impact on parameter varied depending on the polyol.

“In comparison to sucrose, erythritol increased the hardness and sorbitol and maltitol decreased it. Isomalt conferred similar texture parameters than sucrose. No differences were found in sensory acceptance among sucrose, sorbitol and maltitol muffins.”

Upside? Health advantages

There are several advantages to using polyols for sugar replacement in muffins, the researchers said.

“Firstly, they do not promote the development of dental caries because dental bacteria are not able to ferment the sugar alcohols. Second, they produce a lower glycaemic response than sucrose and are therefore suitable for diabetics. And third, most polyols are lower in calories than sucrose.”

While extensive research has been conducted on sugar replacement in muffins, the researchers said this study provided the first detailed comparison of the impact each polyol has on the batter properties.


Source: Journal of Food Hydrocolloids
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2013.07.016. March 2014, Volume 35, Pages 1-8
“Comparison of different polyols as total sucrose replacers in muffins: Thermal, rheological, texture and acceptability properties”
Authors: S. Martinex-Cerbera, A. Salvador and T. Sanz

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