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Our top 12 applications for 2023 showcasing sugar’s importance and versatility
Sugar performs many functions in food and beverage products. As such, it’s become something of a tradition to do a round-up article at the end of the year, highlighting our top sugar applications in food and beverage products picked from Ragus’ back catalogue of blogs. As before, we’ve chosen one sugar application for each month of the year.
In praise of invert sugar’s ability to retain moisture
Invert sugar is a liquid, sweet substance which is either fully or partially inverted sucrose. It brings sweetness and is a humectant, improving moisture retention, thereby prolonging shelf life in baked goods such as cookies and cakes. As sugar lowers the freezing point of water, invert sugar and its smooth texture is perfect for sweetening ice cream, sorbet and frozen cocktails. Our blog on invert sugar in granular detail delves deeper into invert sugar.
The sweetness spectrum
Sugar takes many forms and different sugars perform different functions within food and beverages. But why are some sugars sweeter than others? It’s partly to do with our taste sensors and partly to do with how sugar interacts with water molecules. Our blog on the chemistry of taste and what makes some sugars sweeter than others breaks this down in greater detail.
Quality and provenance are key
Technically, this blog isn’t about a sugar application, but it is about an important topic. For food producers globally, it’s important to both claim and prove quality compliance. In this, being able to demonstrate that you hold industry standard, independent certifications and accreditations is essential. We know how important sugar accreditations are in proving our adherence to quality and ethical standards and this blog provides our clients and customers with a full list of Ragus’ sugar accreditations.
It’s all in the brewing
When Spring arrives, the most optimistic of us will be planning barbecues and enjoying more time outdoors eating and drinking. And where would we be at this time without the nation’s favourite drink, beer? Sugar plays three essential roles in the brewing process: flavour and colour development, and, of course, fermentation. Molasses colours darker porters and invert sugar or glucose syrup for fermentation. Our sugar for spring blog highlights the valuable contribution this ingredient brings to the season.
Sugarcane’s many uses and applications
Sugarcane is used for everything from the making of paper to its plant mass being converted into renewable energy. Sucrose is extracted from sugarcane, milled, processed and refined and used to sweeten drinks like tea, to set and preserve jams and conserves, and as a sweetener and means of decorating cakes and desserts. This blog explains the sugarcane manufacturing process, and the work that goes into turning sugarcane into a product we all recognise.
Sugar balances saltiness and spice in savoury dishes
We tend to associate sugar with cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks, but it’s an essential ingredient in many savoury foods. Sugar balances out sour or bitter flavours and is often necessary in spicy or salty foods, or to enhance these flavours. Savoury dishes need sugar in interesting ways. For example, Pad Thai, one of the world’s best-known dishes, relies on dark soft brown sugar to counteract the pungent tamarind and the briny fish sauce. Our sugars in savoury foods blog goes into more detail.
Sugar’s role in changing or enhancing texture
Think sticky popcorn, wobbly jelly and the crunch of a biscuit. Sugar is nothing if not versatile, affecting mouthfeel and texture and making us enjoy eating certain foods all the more. In one of our blogs on sugar’s functional properties, we focus on texture and mouthfeel and why sugar can’t be underestimated as an ingredient.
Savoury Chinese foods thrive on sugar
In the UK, consumption of Chinese food is widely popular, perhaps just as popular as the Indian curry. In Chinese cuisine, sugar brings flavour, structure and texture to a range of mainly savoury dishes. Molasses may be found in umami sauce, liquid sugar on rice cakes, and rock sugar in tea. Learn more about sugar’s foundational role in Chinese cuisine.
Sugar’s role in changing or enhancing the colour and appearance of food, beverages and pharma products
Sugar isn’t just a power player in the food and beverage industry; we have sugar to thank for the pleasant taste of medicinal syrups. The caramelisation of sugar and other ingredients during the brewing process is also responsible for the many shades of beer we enjoy. One of the reasons many sweet treats, like caramel sauce, look so appealing is because sugar has acted as a colourant. This blog celebrates how sugar enhances so many things simply by changing its colour and appearance.
The one and only demerara
This crunchy crystalline is used extensively in baking and valued for the flavour and texture it brings to desserts like crème brûlée or crumble. Demerara can be classed as a brown sugar, but it is a cane sugar that is recognisable by its larger crystal size. It’s versatile. This blog on demerara versus brown sugar breaks down what makes demerara unique among sugars and nods to its versatility.
How clean are your labels?
Clean label foods and beverages use minimal ingredients and focus on natural ingredients over artificial ones. Along with showing proof of accreditation, food manufacturers are under increasing pressure from consumers to simplify the ingredients in products and demonstrate their ESG credentials. Our blog explores the clean label food movement and why it is important for sugar and food manufacturers to take note.
Where would we be without sugar during the holiday season?
From festive main courses to hot seasonal drinks, this time of year wouldn’t be the same without sugar. At Diwali, gulab jamun dough balls are transformed by the warm sugar syrup that’s poured over them, while the deep colour, rich flavour and moisture-adding light cane muscovado sugar is an essential ingredient in Yule log.
Source: 283.172.5734 Foods of the world holidays article.docx
Our sugars are not only sweeteners enhancing the taste of foods and beverages, but functional ingredients that provide foundational properties to food products, such as colour and texture. To learn more about our pure sugar products, contact our Customer Services Team. For more sugar news and Ragus updates, keep browsing SUGARTALK and follow Ragus on LinkedIn.