This article marks the second of two articles on various properties of allulose that can help food technologists as they consider reformulation opportunities to replace caloric sweeteners with low-calorie sugar allulose.
Allulose is a low-calorie, “rare” sugar (about 0.2 calories per gram) which can be found naturally in fruits, such as figs and raisins, as well as vegetables and other plants. Allulose is also about 70% as sweet as sucrose and has very good synergy with high-potency sweeteners, so it functions well when combined with these sweeteners. Additionally, allulose has similar taste profile sucrose and has similar functionality when reformulating food products for calorie reduction.
When reformulating products with allulose, several key considerations should be taken into account to achieve best results. Below is further information on four characteristics for consideration during reformulation: flavor profile, freezing, stability and sweetener compatibility.
Allulose can be used to build up the flavor profile of a product, especially since it has a similar taste to sucrose, giving it a “clean sweetness.” Further, it has a more up front sweetness compared to high-potency sweeteners, so it works well in blends with these sweeteners in products. Additionally, allulose does not have any “off flavors” or bitterness, making it ideal to create the flavor profile of the product. Allulose also does not have a cooling effect so can be beneficial if manufacturers do not want this effect in the final product.
As a monosaccharide, allulose significantly depresses the freezing point of frozen products. Similar to fructose and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), it is stable during freezing conditions, so can be used very successfully in frozen products, such as frozen desserts and ice cream. In fact, sensory testing with ice cream made with allulose versus sucrose demonstrates similar acceptance for taste. Further, both products had similar “meltdowns,” demonstrating the similar characteristics between products made with sucrose versus allulose.
The melting point of allulose is about 110°C, similar to other sugars such as fructose. Therefore, if melting point is a critical factor in processing, allulose could be considered to replace fructose or HFCS to help cut calories in the product. Allulose is stable in a variety of different food product formulations and under different processing conditions. Allulose has good stability at higher temperatures, meaning it can be ideal in applications such as baked goods.
In low pH systems, such as acidic beverages, allulose has good processing stability even under high temperature processing conditions.
Allulose is a great candidate for “sweetness synergy,” meaning that when used with other sweeteners, the blend results in a sweetness potency higher than that of the individual sweeteners. Allulose works well when combined with high-potency sweeteners, such as sucralose and stevia. It also has a similar temporal profile as sucrose, meaning the onset and dissipation of sweetness is comparable. Further, when combined with high-potency sweeteners, the temporal profile is closer to sucrose than the individual high-potency sweetener alone. Blending with high-potency sweeteners may be desirable to achieve a product’s nutrition and cost targets.
As mentioned, allulose is a great option for replacing sucrose and other caloric sweeteners in a variety of products, including beverages, frozen dairy products, baked goods, sauces and syrups, candies, jams and jellies, salad dressings and chewing gum. Allulose can provide a taste similar to sucrose with similar bulking, mouthfeel and sweetening properties. Additionally, allulose has fewer calories and does not impact glycemic response.
As food technologists and R&D professionals contemplate sugar and calorie reduction for their products in response to consumer preferences and trends, replacement with allulose should be considered. And if there is interest in allulose, professionals should get a sample. More information on allulose manufacturers can be found here.
Read the first article here.