Why Sugar is in Food
Beyond its contributions as a sweetener and flavor-enhancer, sugar:
- Interacts with molecules of protein or starch during baking and cooking process.
- Act as a tenderizer by absorbing water and inhibiting flour gluten development, as well as delaying starch gelatinization.
- Incorporates air into shortening in the creaming process.
- Caramelizes under heat, to provide cooked and baked foods with pleasing color and aroma.
- Speeds the growth of yeast by providing nourishment.
- Serves as a whipping aid to stabilize beaten egg foams.
- Delays coagulation of egg proteins in custards.
- Regulates the gelling of fruit jellies and preserves.
- Helps to prevent spoilage of jellies and preserves.
- Improves the appearance and tenderness of canned fruits.
- Delays discoloration of the surface of frozen fresh fruits.
- Enables a wide variety of candies through varying degrees of recrystallization.
- Controls the reformation of crystals through inversion (breakdown to fructose and glucose).
- Enhances the smoothness and flavor of ice cream.
Other Sugar Resources
- Calories in Sugar
- Sugar and Your Diet
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How We Get Sugar
- Types of Sugar
- Other Caloric Sweeteners
- The Other 26 Sweeteners
- Sugar in Bakery Foods
- Sugar in Jellies and Preserves
- Sugar in Canning and Freezing
- Sugar in Non-sweet Foods