Functional properties of sugar
Sugar now comes in many varieties and can be used in many food products. Sugar has a range of unique properties that, either individually or in combination, make it an important ingredient in the modern Kitchen.
Without sugar, jam would soon go off, ice cream would crystallise, and bread would lose its freshness and dry out. In addition, the taste of foods would be disappointing without the ability of sugar to round off and enhance natural taste components. Learn more about the functional properties of sugar.
Sugar has an exceptionally pure sweetness that is completely free of secondary flavours and aftertastes.
Taste and aroma
Sugar enhances the flavour and aroma of, for example, fruit, berries and vegetables. A pinch of sugar can also take the edge off a sour or bitter taste.
Sugar increases the volume of certain foods, particularly bread and cakes. If you reduce the sugar in bread and cakes, you must replace the eliminated amount with another ingredient such as fat or flour.
Sugar affects the consistency of many products, for instance bread, cakes, jams and marmalades.
Sugar helps to increase the shelf life of your jams and marmalades. Sugar reduces the risk of microorganism growth.
Sweet and savoury breads rise better if you add a little sugar. This is because sugar feeds the yeast.
Reducing the freezing point
Sugar lowers the freezing point, resulting in smaller ice crystals in ice cream and frozen desserts. Small ice crystals produce a better mouth feel, thereby improving the perceived taste.
Sugar preserves the colour of jams and marmalades.
Sugar binds water, so helps bread and cakes keep for longer before drying out.