Most Granulated Sweeteners May Increase Calories When Used to Replace Sugar for Baking Applications Whereas Fibrelle™ Fiber-Rich Sweetener Helps Shed Them

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Contrary to popular belief, most granulated sweeteners may increase the caloric value of baked goods when they replace sugar. This is due to the fact that granulated sweeteners weigh much less than the equisweet amount of sugar and the missing bulk of the sugar in the final baked good has to be compensated by an increase in the flour and fat content. As fat is more energy dense than sugar, the final sugar-free baked goods may have more fat and calories compared to their full sugar counterparts. This problem is successfully addressed by Fibrelle™ fiber-rich sweetener for baking which is a weight by weight sugar replacer with a low caloric value.

Calories per 100g Cookie

while granulated sweetener caused a 12% increase in calories, Fibrelle™ reduced them by 22% compared to sugar

We have some bad news and some good news for those consumers who are using sweeteners to shed calories from baked goods. The bad news is that most granulated sweeteners may actually increase the calories of baked goods when they are used to replace sugar. The good news is that Fibrelle™ fiber-rich sweetener for baking is an ideal solution that can significantly reduce the calories of baked goods while providing excellent taste and texture with a good amount of soluble fiber.

So why granulated sweeteners actually increase calories of baked goods instead of reducing them?

The serving size of a baked good is the same both for the sugar free and full sugar versions. For example according to FDA Regulations 21CFR101.12 the standard serving size is 30g for cookies and 55g for light weight cakes. To determine the total calories of the final baked goods one must add the caloric contribution of the individual nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and fat.

We may evaluate a reference cookie where the recipe calls for 40 parts of sugar, 40 parts of flour and 20 parts of fat (as oil or shortening) to make 100 parts of cookie. Most granulated sweeteners contain a bulking agent like maltodextrin blended with a sweetener like sucralose and they are mostly used as one eight of the sugar by weight (though they have the same volume). Therefore to replace 40 parts of sugar, one should add 5 parts of granulated sweetener to the recipe.

Most consumers wrongly believe that when 40 parts of sugar is replaced with only 5 parts of granulated sweetener they will save the calories of the eliminated 35 parts of sugar. However in reality the missing bulk of 35 parts of sugar is actually compensated by a respective increase in the flour and fat content to add up to 100 parts. Therefore the final sugar-free cookie will actually contain 5 parts of granulated sweetener, 63 parts of flour and 32 parts of fat to add up to 100 parts.

Individual energy values are 4 kcal/g for sugar, 4 kcal/g for flour, and 9 kcal/g for fat. Over 99% of most granulated sweeteners is maltodextrin that also has a caloric value of 4kcal/g. So the final energy values of the cookies are:

Caloric Value of Sugar Cookies per 100g
(40g sugar) 160kcal + (40g flour) 160 kcal + (20g fat) 180kcal = 500kcal

Caloric Value of Granulated Sweetener Cookies per 100g
(5g sweetener) 20kcal + (63g flour) 252kcal + (32g fat) 288kcal = 560kcal

It is very obvious to see that this sugar-free cookie where sugar is replaced with equisweet amount of granulated sweetener will have 60% more fat and 12% more calories compared to the full sugar cookie that has the same weight. Unfortunately most consumers are not aware that they are actually getting more fat and calories when they use granulated sweeteners instead of sugar for baking.

Fibrelle™ fiber-rich sweetener for baking which is a weight by weight sugar replacer offers an excellent solution to this problem. For baking applications no conversion or recipe modification is needed and the same weight of Fibrelle™ fiber-rich sweetener for baking can be used to replace all the sugar.

Fibrelle™ fiber-rich sweetener for baking contains a significant amount of non-digestible fibers and its caloric value is only 1.25 kcal/g compared to 4 kcal/g for sugar. As the bulk of the sugar is fully replaced, flour and fat content in the recipe does not increase whereas the calories coming from sugar are significantly reduced. The final energy value of cookies where sugar is replaced with Fibrelle™ fiber-rich sweetener for baking is:

Caloric Value of Fibrelle™ Sweetened Cookies for 100g
(40g Fibrelle™) 50kcal + (40g flour) 160kcal + (20g fat) 180kcal = 390kcal

While replacing sugar with granulated sweetener in this reference cookie formulation increased the energy value from 500kcal per 100g sugar cookie to 560kcal per 100g sweetener cookie, Fibrelle fiber-rich sweetener for baking reduced the caloric content to only 390kcal per 100g cookie while providing excellent taste and texture along with a high amount of fiber.

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Samil Ozavar
Cardelle LLC
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