Ulrick & Short launches sweetener that could halve sugar in sweet baked goods

Ulrick & Short have developed a tapioca-based starch that it claims will replace half of the sugar content in Swiss rolls. Pic: Ulrick & Short

British-based ingredients firm Ulrick & Short claims its avanté sweetener enables manufacturers to reduce sugar by up to 25% in frostings and as much as 50% in some sweet fillings.

The tapioca-based product has already a debuted in the cupcake frosting of a Christmas line by a UK retailer.

Further products targeting children are expected to follow this year.

Cutting down challenges

One of the bakery industry’s biggest challenges is sugar replacement.

Sugar is key to sweetness, retaining functionality and form, and, in the case of frostings, to maintain structure and volume.

According to John Ellis, Ulrick & Short field support technologist, a typical sweet topping contains approximately 30% fat and 70% sugar.

He said the level of fat has gradually shrunk over recent years in favor of sugar, which is considerably cheaper. Additionally, for some time, fat has been seen as the villain.

“However, in a ‘catch-22’ situation, reducing fat affects structure and volume and increasing fat adds calories,” he said, noting that the company’s new non-GM clean label starch offers a solution to reduce sugar in frostings and fillings but still maintain form and flavor.

“In a filling for, say, a Swiss roll, celebration or slab cake, it’s possible to replace up to half of the sugar content; in toppings up to 25% cent; and glace icing such as for doughnuts could see a 20% reduction,” he said.

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