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Frequently Asked Questions


The learner will be able to --
  • discuss the role(s) of sugars in foods.
  • predict the relationship between water activity, shelf life, sugar concentration in typical food products.
  • discuss the process and factors affecting sugar(s) crystallization.
  • generalize the contribution of flavor, solubility, and melting point to the use(s) of sugar.
  • describe the mechanism(s) and functions of sugar(s) in carmelization and the Maillard browning reactions.


Color, texture, and/or flavor are all characteristics that sugar plays some role in most foods. The study of sugars can be approached from their chemical structure, their properties, their characteristics, or their variety or source. None of these are entirely satisfactory. A discussion of the chemistry and characteristics facilitates the development of an instructional module. However, this is not necessarily a well-rounded view of sugar. Certainly, the sweetness that sugar presents makes an obvious approach to the study of sugars. Fortunately, or unfortunately not all sweeteners are, chemically, sugars.

Of the three sensory characteristics; color, texture and flavor, it is easy to focus on flavors as the role of importance. The roles it is apparent that, in addition to sweetness, sugars impact on texture. The question is, how does one make sense of all this?

These roles influence the considerations that one must make when selecting a sugar or sweetener. Such considerations that one must make are

  • the desired taste profile of the food
  • the interaction between sugars and/or sweeteners
  • the interaction between sugars and sweeteners and other ingredients
  • the cost of sugars/sweeteners
  • Certainly one can not disregard the role of color. Two phenomena in which sugar plays a major role are the Maillard Reaction and Carmelization. One should not disregard the role of sugars in nutrition. The Revised Dietary Goals (Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, 1977) released by the Senate Nutrition Subcommittee suggests one goal of our population should be a change in food selection and preparation with the U.S. toward a decrease in consumption of refined and other processed sugars and foods high in sugars. A reduction of the "teaspoons of sugar" on your cereal or in your glass of tea is fairly easy to do and, other than flavor, there is not much of a discernible influence on overall quality. However, if one tries to remove sugar as an ingredient and/or replace it with a substitute or alternative, the altered food frequently shows a quality difference. For this reason, in striving towards this proposed U.S. Dietary Goal, it is important to not only consider the role and function of sugar in the diet but also consider those in the food itself.

    Sugar affects the gelatinization of starch, whether a starch pudding or a high-moisture cake. In either instance, both research and qualitative observations have shown that sugar will delay or inhibit gelatinization of starch. The starch pudding may be less viscose or have a less firm gel. The cake may collapse as the structural contribution of starch is delayed or inhibited. The type of sugar also influences the degree of gelatinization. As seen in the graph the types of sugar impact the degree, temperature and/or speed of gelatinization.

    Used with Permission Institute of Food Technology

    The reason for sugars delay upon the gelatinization of starch is still not clear. Generally, researchers indicate that it is likely due to the competition for water. It becomes less clear as to how this competition actually influences the water structure. Does it actually form the "hydrate" structure, does it affect its plasticity or mobility, or does it actually prevent the adsorption of water.

    Types of Sugar
    Sugar in most recipes is understood to be granulated sucrose. This sugar usually comes from a cane sugar and sugar beet. However, these last several years, old sources of sugar, engineered and processed sugars, and a new understanding of sugar roles has broadened the knowledge that a food professional should know.

    There are many types and derivations of sugar types available. More information about sources, processing, and grades of sugar sources is available in the resources section of this site. It is critical to recognize that the type and source of sugars, as well as their granulation will impact the extent of their roles. Frequently, food service personnel and nutritionists, look to the types of sugars and their source. In addition to types, one should look to the granulation and the delivery manner of the sugars. A review of the site will give you some indication of the different types, sources, physical characteristics and affects of sugars.

    These various sugar sources may have a number of the following sugars.

    Glucose glucose fruits, honey, corn syrup
    Fructose fructose fruits, honey, corn syrup
    Galactose galactose does not occur in free form in foods
    Mannose mannose does not occur in free form in foods
    Ribose ribose derived from pentoses of fruits and nucleic acids of meat products & seafood, does not occur in free forms in foods, is an aldose
    Xylose xylose is an aldose
    Arabinose arabinose is an aldose

    sucrose glucose
    beet and cane sugars, molasses, maple syrup, comes in many crystal sizes and grades
    lactose glucose
    milk and milk products
    maltose glucose malt products, low concentrations in plants and processed foods

    candy dish with fondants and chocolate covered cherries

    Crystallization of sugar can be a problem in a variety of products. For example, the crystallization of lactose in a glassy state will make nonfat milk difficult to disperse. If too great amount of milk solids are added to a frozen dessert one may get a gritty texture due to the lactose crystals. However, in the totality, the major commodity where crystallization of sugar is a major factor is the candy industry.

    Candies can be divided into two groups, crystalline and noncrystalline. Crystalline candies include fudge, fondant and any other candies which have crystals as an important structural component. Divinity is a crystalline candy but is a special case as the crystals are dispersed in a foam. Noncrystalline candies include caramels, brittles, taffies, marshmallows and gum drops. Marshmallows and gum drops are also special classes of candies as they contain a gelling substance.

    Candies are made of sugar (sucrose), water or other liquid and usually some interfering agent(s). Butter, milk, cocoa and corn syrup are commonly used as both crystal interfering agents and flavoring. Candy begins when the water or other liquid is supersaturated with the solute, usually sucrose. Supersaturation occurs when more sugar is present than can be dissolved at that temperature. By heating the solution above the boiling point of water the solute concentration becomes greater. A supersaturated solution is formed when this solution, after heating to a high temperature, is allowed to cool undisturbed. Upon cooling the sugar recrystallizes into several small crystals or forms one large amorphous mass. For crystallization to occur, nuclei must form and solute must be added from the solution to these nuclei. Usually these nuclei form spontaneously but sometimes are "seeded" to the cooked mixture to initiate crystallization. The size of the resulting crystals depends on the number of nuclei, rate and temperature of crystallization, agitation and impurities in the solution.

    Crystallization is a complex process with many interrelated factors. The nature of the crystallizing substance is important for crystallization, although not as obvious in candy making as sucrose is almost always the substance under discussion. The rate of crystallization is the speed at which nuclei grow into crystals. This rate is dependent upon the concentration of the solute in the solution as a more concentrated (more supersaturated) syrup will crystallize more rapidly than a less concentrated syrup. At a higher temperature the rate of crystallization is slow and becomes more rapid at a lower temperature. Agitation distributes the crystal forming nuclei and hastens crystallization.

    Impurities in the solution usually delay crystallization and in some cases such as caramels may prevent crystal formation. Fat and protein decrease the number and size of crystals through the interference of their masses with the orientation of the sucrose molecules. Corn syrup also has this interfering role; however, additionally it serves to enhance the solubility of sucrose and thus decreases its tendency to crystallize. Cream of tartar as an added ingredient in a candy formula serves indirectly to decrease the rate of crystallization as well as crystal size. It does this through its ability to hydrolyze sucrose into its invert sugar. This not only forms two sugars of greater solubility than sucrose, but it gives agents which enhance the solubility of sucrose.

    Inversion of sugars refers to the hydrolysis of sucrose into fructose and glucose to form these sugars which are sometimes referred to as invert sugars. This inversion is thought to take place due to the presence of either enzyme or acid.

    The classic example of when we take advantage of this in foods is with chocolate covered cherries. These cherries are made by adding the enzyme invertase to fondant which, as a solid crystalline candy, is placed around the cherries and coated with chocolate. The cherries are allowed to sit and the invertase inside hydrolyzes the sucrose into fructose and glucose. The fructose and glucose combination is much more soluble than the sucrose crystals and so the consumer (eater) perceives a syrup that is very sweet. The reason for the increased sweetness is that fructose is 40-70% greater in sweetness.

    There is a whole other category that is referred to as inversion. It is the exciting world which develops the high fructose corn syrup. HFCS is manufactured from corn starch. The cornstarch is hydrolyzed by acid or enzyme and then the resulting glucose is "inverted" into fructose. The percentage will vary. This is one of the "new" processing methods in foods, particularly in the sweetener area.

    Acid will hydrolyze and invert the sugars into their component monosaccharides. The implications of this are that any product which has an acid compound may bring about the hydrolysis of sucrose into fructose and glucose. This is particularly true if the product is heated. Fructose and glucose production will bring on a whole series of potential problems in a product. They are reducing sugars, sucrose is not. This means that they will enhance browning. They are more soluble and more hygroscopic than sucrose.
    Sweetness is probably the most obvious role of sugar in foods; however, there are a number of others. For example, in candy making the structural role of crystallization is usually critical. In baked products, sugar not only contributes to the browning of the product, but it may serve to tenderize the product through its action on both the gelatinization of starch and denaturation of protein. Before further elucidating the roles and functions of sugar in the various food products it becomes important to be aware of the relative properties of the various sweeteners.

    Following are some of the numbers for the relative sweetness of sweeteners and sugars. It is the standard to compare the sweetness of a product to sucrose.

    fructose140 173140
    sucrose100 100100
    glucose70-80 74.3 70-80
    70DE corn syrup70-7570-75
    regular cornsyrup50
    maltose30-50 32.5 30-50
    galactose 32.1
    lactose2016.0 20
    high conversion corn syrup 65
    regular conversion corn syrup 50
    HFCS-90% 120-160
    HFCS-55% >100
    HFCS-42% 100
    invert sugar 50
    sorbitol 50
    xylitol 100
    saccharin 30,000-50,000
    sucrol [dulcin] 20,000
    honey 97
    molasses 74
    sorghum syrup 69
    corn syrup 30
    aspartame 180X
    Sucralose 600x
    Saccharin 300x
    Sucrose is 100 and the standard of comparison

    What are the practical implications of the varying sweetness?
    What do the above sweeteners have in common?

    The problem with having a number for sweetness is that it does not take into account the interactions. Powers [Powers, M.A. 1994. Sweetener blending: How sweet it is!. Journal American Dietetic Association 94: 498.] discusses the synergy and interaction between individual sugars and sweeteners. These interactions were summarized as follows:

    does a chart comparison of sweetenersPermission Pending for Excerpt from Powers, M.A. 1994. Sweetener blending: How sweet it is!. 94: 498.

    Sugars are basically hygroscopic and relatively soluble. This can be seen by the old 1912 reference by Browne. A comparison of sugar to salt shows the tremendous differences between these two type of compounds. A specific review of the relative solubility's between sugars does have tremendous ramifications during food preparation. Generally by reviewing the data from the Chemical Handbook one ranks the order of solubility from the highest through fructose, sucrose, glucose, maltose, galactose, and, least soluble, lactose. Generally, hygroscopcity follows this same ranking. The question becomes, what are the ramifications of this.

    Candies are one of the major commodities where the hygroscopicity and solubility, or insolubility, is important.
    If you have every gotten a lollipop which was sticky. Very likely the invert sugars [fructose, glucose; corn syrup], which are very hygroscopic, would attract water from the atmosphere.
    Effect of Temperature on Solubility of Sucrose, Fructose, and Sodium Chloride (grams per 100 grams water)
    0 179.2 . 35.6
    10 190.5 . .
    20 203.9 375.0 36.0
    30 219.5 . .
    40 238.1 538.0 .
    50 260.4 . .
    100 487.3 . 37.8
    115 669 . .
    C.A. Browne. 1912. A Handbook of Sugar Analysis, p. 649. John Wiley & Sons.

    Name FormulaMolecular
    Solubility in grams
    per 100 ml of Water
    D-Fructose C6H12O6 180.16 very
    D-Galactose C6H12O6 180.16 10.3
    C6H12O6 180.16 83
    Lactose C12H22O11.H2O 360.31 8
    Lyxosee C6H10O5 150.13 very soluble
    Maltose C12H22O11.H20 360.31 108
    D-Mannose CH2OH(CHOH)4-CHO 180.16248
    Raffinose CH18H22O16*5H2O594.5214
    Sucrose C12H22O11 342.30 179
    D-xylose C6H10O6 159.13 117

    Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 41st Edition 1959-1960. Chemical Rubber Publishing Co.
    (a gift from my Dad when I entered College)

    Melting Point
    The melting point of sugars are important from the viewpoint of glassy candies and resulting characteristics. Generally, it is considered to be lower than the point of carmelization.
    Name FormulaMolecular
    Melting Point
    D-Fructose C6H12O6 180.16 105C
    D-Galactose C6H12O6 180.16 10.3
    118 - 120
    C6H12O6 180.16 118-120
    anh. 146C
    Lactose C12H22O11.H2O 360.31 -40C
    Lyxose C6H10O5 150.13 106-107
    Maltose C12H22O11.H20 360.31 102.5C
    D-Mannose CH2OH(CHOH)4-CHO 180.16132C
    Raffinose CH18H22O16*5H2O594.52118-Anhydrous
    Rhamnose C6H12O6*H20182.17126
    Sucrose C12H22O11 342.30 179C
    D-xylose C6H10O6 159.13153C

    Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 41st Edition 1959-1960. Chemical Rubber Publishing Co.
    (a gift from my Dad when I entered College)

    Carmelization is the application of heat to the point the sugars dehydrate and breakdown and polymerize. Below is the general word reaction. Carmelization is described as follows by Bennion and Scheule (Introductory Foods, 2000; p. 202).

    Caremlization is one type of browning, called nonenzymatic browning because it does not involve enzymes. It is a complex chemical reaction, involving the removal of water and eventual polymerization, and is not very well understood. Caramel has a pungent taste, is often bitter, is much less sweet than the original sugar from which it is produced, is noncrystalline, and is soluble in water. both the extent and rate of the caramelization reaction are influenced by the type of sugar being heated.

    Galactose, sucrose and glucose all carmelizes around 160C, but fructose caramelizes at 110C and maltose caramelizes at about 180C.

    However, the above reaction is only a broad general brushstroke of this complex reaction. Below is still further step by step detail.

  • equilibration of anomeric and ring forms
  • sucrose inversion to fructose and glucose
  • condensation
  • intramolecular bonding
  • isomerization of aldoses to ketoses
  • dehydration reactions
  • fragmentation reactions
  • unsaturated polymer formation
  • Although a relatively complex reaction, it can be simply done. In the making of peanut brittle, one takes sugar and slowly and carefully heats this in a skillet. It has been found that this slow heating to allow for the uniform "unsaturated polymer formation" occurs best in a heavy cast iron skillet. The brown flavorful peanut brittle is a result of this carmelization process. The presence of sugar acids produced during this process is evident if one wishes to make "foamy peanut brittle". This is produced by taking the heated brown mixture, while still hot, and adding a small amount of baking soda. The reaction of the baking soda with the sugar acids produces carbon dioxide gas which foams. The mixture is quickly poured out into a buttered tray or a solid skillet of peanut brittle will occur.

    A number of researchers attribute the carmelization reaction to a range of browning reactions and flavor development. It is only once the melting point has been obtained, sugars will caramelize. Each sugar has its own carmelization temperature.

    Maillard Reaction The Maillard reaction is simply the reaction between the amino group of a protein or amino acid and the reducing group of a reducing sugar. It is interesting that the type of sugar and the type of amino acids will impact the "brown" color obtained. The color may range from a yellow to a red. The key here is the reducing sugar. Not all sugars are reducing sugars. Those that are effective reducing sugars are fructose, glucose, maltose, galactose and lactose. Surprisingly, table sugar, or sucrose, is not a reducing sugar.

    The affect of sugar upon water activity and shelf life is dependent upon its concencentration and affect upon colligative properties. Certainly, water activity is decreased by adding sugar. As water activity decreases, generally, shelf life increases up to optimum. Remember, water activity not only affects the growth of microorganisms but impacts enzyme activities and oxidative rancidity.


  • adsorption: adherence of molecules of liquid, gas or solid to surface of a solid.
  • absorption:penetration of liquid into solid which contains a porous structure
  • amorphous: has no crystalline structure. Amorphous candy are those such as lollipops, marshmallows, caramels.
  • amylase: an enzyme that hydrolyzes starch to produce dextrins, maltose, and glucose
  • amylopectin: a fraction of starch with a highly branched and bushy type of molecular structure.
  • amylose: is the straight-chain fraction of starch made up of a polymer of glucose.
  • bacteria: microorganisms usually classified as plants. Some bacteria are helpful to man; others cause disease.
  • beta-amylase: an enzyme that hydrolyzes starch by breaking off two glucose units at a time, thus producing maltose
  • birefringence: the ability of a substance to refract light in two directions; this produces a dark cross on each starch granule when viewed with a polarizing microscope
  • blanc mange: is a milk dessert, flavored and thickened with cornstarch, flour, or gelatin and usually shaped in a mold
  • carbohydrate: are organic compounds that consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They vary from simple sugars containing from three to seven carbon atoms to very complex polymers. Only the hexoses (sugars with six carbon atoms) and pentoses (sugars with five carbon atoms) and their polymers play important roles in nutrition. Carbohydrates in food provide 4 calories per gram. Plants manufacture and store carbohydrates as their chief source of energy. The glucose synthesized in the leaves of plants is used as the basis for more complex forms of carbohydrates. Classification of carbohydrates relates to their structural core of simple sugars, saccharides. Principal monosaccharides that occur in food are glucose and fructose. Three common disaccharides are sucrose, maltose and lactose. Polysaccharides of interest in nutrition include starch, dextrin, glycogen and cellulose.
  • brown sugar (light and dark): brown sugar is refined to retain some of the molasses syrup and other impurities of sugarcane which impart a pleasant flavor. Brown sugar tends to clump because it contains more moisture than while granulated sugar. Dark brown sugar has more color and a stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar. Lighter types are generally used in baking and making butterscotch, condiments and glazes. Dark brown sugar has a rich flavor that is good for gingerbread, mincemeat, baked beans, plum pudding and other full flavored foods.
  • carbonyl group: is the -COOH group usually found in an organic acid.
  • cold water-swelling starch(CWS):
  • colloidal dispersion: state of subdivision of dispersed particles; intermediate between very small particles in true solution and large particles in suspensior; usually refers to the state of subdivision of dispersed particles; intermediate between very small particles in true solution and large particles in suspension
  • complex carbohydrates: carbohydrates made up of many small sugar units joined together, for example, starch and cellulose
  • corn syrup: is a corn sweetener which is a viscous liquid containing maltose, dextrin, dextrose, and other polysaccharides. It is obtained from the incomplete hydrolysis of corn starch. It is classified according to the degree of conversion which is expressed as the dextrose equivalent (DE), which is the measure of sweetness of the corn syrup as compared to that of a sucrose syrup. Generally the greater the degree of conversion the sweeter the syrup. Corn syrup is used as replacement for sucrose but is less sweet than sucrose. It can control crystallization in candy making, contribute body in ice cream, and provide pliability in confections.
  • covalent bond: a strong chemical bond that joins two atoms together
  • crosslinked starch
  • D.E.: term used to indicate the degree of hydrolysis of starch into glucose syrup. It is defined as the total reducing sugar content expressed as dextrose, calculated as a percentage of the dry solids content (i.e. the higher the DE the more sugar and the less dextrins are present).
  • crystalline: the aggregation of molecules of a substance in a set, ordered pattern, forming individual crystals. Crystalline candy generally has sugar crystals.
  • crystallization: the formation of crystals from the solidification of dispersed elements in a precise orderly structure
  • crystallize: is to coat and impregnate (fruit or petals) with sugar as a means of preserving them: a box of crystallized fruits. the formation of crystals from the solidification of dispersed elements in a precise orderly structure
  • dendritic salt: a form of ordinary table salt, sodium chloride, with the crystals branched or star-like (dendritic) instead of the normal cubes. The advantages claimed are the lower bulk density, rapid solution, and unusual capacity for absorbing moisture before becoming wet.
  • demerara sugar: the sugar is named after the Demerara area in Guyana, South America, where it iriginated. It is often described as natural, unrefined cane sugar, and is light brown with large, slightly sticky crystals. Demerara sugar is a popular product for tea and coffee in England, Australia and Canada, but it is not very well known in the United States.
  • dextrins: mixture of soluble compounds formed by partial breakdown of starch by heat, acid or enzymes (complete breakdown yields maltose). Formed when bread is toasted. Nutritionally equivalent to starch; industrially used as adhesives in the sizing of paper and textiles, and as gums.
  • dextrinization: is the breakdown of the starch polymer into shorter chain lengths. This is often done with either acid, enzyme or heat.
  • dextrose: an altername name for glucose, a monosaccharide having the chemical formula C6H12O6.
  • enzyme: is a protein that speeds up specific chemical reactions and processes in the body, such as digestion and energy production. organic catalyst produced by living cells that changes the rate of a reaction without being used up in the reaction
  • enzymatic reactions: is the reaction of the enzyme to change a compound into different component parts from the original substrate.
  • fermentation: the transformation of organic molecules into smaller ones by the action of microorganisms; for example, yeast ferments glucose to carbon dioxide and alcohol. The products are used for "esthetics" in beverages and leavening in selected baked products such as bread and rolls.
  • free-flowing brown sugar: these sugars are specialty products produced by a cocrystallization process. The process yields fine, powder-like brown sugar that is less moist than "regular" brown sugar. Since it is less moist it does not lump and is free-flowing like granulated white sugar
  • freeze-thaw stability:
  • gel: a colloidal dispersion that shows some rigidity and will, when unmolded, keep the shape of the container in which it had been placed; a semi-rigid structure at room temperature. This dispersion does show some rigidity or moldability.
  • gelatinization of starch: the sum of changes that occur in the first stages of heating starch granules in a moist environment; includes swelling of granules as water is absorbed and disruption of the organized granule structure
  • gelation: the process of forming a gel, a semi-rigid mixture at room temperature. Gelation may occur due to chemicals, heat, or enzymes from selected carbohydrates or proteins.
  • glucoamylase: an enzyme that hydrolyses starch by breaking off one glucose unit at a time, thus producing glucose immediately
  • grain size: in regard to sugar is the size of a crystal as measured by the smallest sieve opening through which it can pass.
  • grind: is to reduce a foodstuff to small particles or powder by crushing it, such as to grind some black pepper over the salad | they grind up fish to make fish cakes. Also refers to the size of ground particles, especially ground coffee beans as only the right grind gives you all the fine flavor.
  • hilum:
  • hydration capacity: the ability of a substance, such as flour, to absorb water
  • hydrocolloid: a substance with particles of colloidal size that is greatly attracted to water and absorbs it readily; colloidal materials such as vegetable gums, that bind water and have thickening and/or gelling properties; large molecules, such as those that make up vegetable gums, that form colloidal dispersions, hold water, and often serve as thickeners and stabilizers in processed foods.
  • implosion
  • invert sugar: Inversion or chemical breakdown of sucrose results in invert sugar, an equal mixture of glucose and fructose. Available commercially only in liquid form, invert sugar is sweeter than granulated sugar. One form of liquid invert was specially developed for the carbonated beverage industry and can be used only in liquid products. This liquid sugar is actually part invert sugar combined with part dissolved granulated sugar. Another type, named total invert sugar syrup, is commercially processed and is almost completely invert sugar. It is used mainly in food products to retard crystallization of sugar and retain moisture.
  • leucoplast:
  • liquid sugars: Liquid sugars were developed before today's methods of sugar processing made transport and handling granulated sugars practical. There are several types of liquid sugar. Liquid sucrose (sugar) is essentially liquid granulated sugar and can be used in products wherever dissolved granulated sugar might be used. Amber liquid sucrose (sugar) is darker in color and can be used where impurities are not a problem in the product.
  • malt processed barley: has been steeped in water, germinated on malting floors or in germination boxes or drums and later dried in kilns for the purpose of converting the insoluble starch in barley to the soluble substances and sugars in malt.
  • maltase: Enzyme that splits maltose (malt sugar) into two molecules of glucose; present in the pancreatic juice and intestinal juice. an enzyme that hydrolyzes maltose to glucose
  • Maltese cross:
  • maltodextrins: a mixture of small molecules resulting from starch hydrolysis, having a dextrose equivalent (de) of less than 20
  • maltose: Malt sugar, maltose, maltobiose; 4-ortho-gamma-D-glucopyranose. Double molecule of glucose which is hydrolyzed during digestion to glucose. Does not occur in foods (unless specifically added as malt) but is formed as an intermediate during acid or enzymic digestion of starch. 33% as sweet as sucrose; a reducing sugar.
  • milled starch:
  • modified starches: are natural starches that have been treated chemically to create some specific change in chemical structure, such as linking parts of the molecules together or adding some new chemical groups to the molecules. The changes alter physical properties that improve the performance of the starches in food preparation.
  • muscovado or barbados sugar: Muscovado sugar, a British specialty brown sugar, is very dark brown and has a particularly strong molasses flavor. The crystals are slightly coarser and stickier in texture than "regular" brown sugar.
  • non-reducing end: in a polysaccharide or oligosacchride is the end which does not have a reducing agent. It lacks a free glycosidic hydroxyl.
  • oxidized corn starches: is starch which is produced by treating aqueous starch suspension with dilute sodium hypochlorite containing a small excess of caustic soda (NaOH) untile the desired degree of oxidation is reached. The slurry is then treated with an antichlor, such as sodium bisulfate, adjusted to the desired pH, filtered, washed, and dried. It still retains its original granule structure and is insoluble in water. It is extremely white, has decreased viscosity, is relatively clear and shows a reduced tendency to thicken when cooled. Its food applications are those where high solids and low viscosity are desired.
  • pasting: as applied to wine or cidermaking, pasting is a professional word meaning clarifying or fining.
  • pearl tapioca:
  • polymerization: the formation of large molecules by combining smaller chemical units
  • pregelatinized starch: Raw starch does not form a paste with cold water and therefore requires cooking if it is to be used as a food thickening agent. Pregelatinized starch, mostly maize starch, has been cooked and dried. Used in instant puddings, pie-fillings, soup mixes, salad dressings, sugar confectionery, as binder in meat products. Nutritional value the same as that of the original starch.
  • retorted: canned or sterilized by processing in a pressurized retor or vessel in order to raise the temperature to 121 C to kill microorganisms.
  • retrogradation: the process in which starch molecules, particularly the amylose fraction, reassociate or bond together in an ordered structure after disruption by gelatinization; ultimately a crystalline order appears
  • roux: preparation of flour and butter for thickening gravies and sauces.
  • retrogradation: the process in which starch molecules, particularly the amylose fraction, reassociate or bond together in an ordered structure after disruption by gelatinization; ultimately a crystalline order appears
  • starch: Starch is stored by plants and is taken from grains of wheat, potatoes, rice, corn, beans, and many other vegetable foods. Insoluble in cold water or alcohol but soluble in boiling water. Comparatively resistant to naturally occurring enzymes and this is the reason processors "modify" starch to make it more digestible. Starch is modified with propylene oxide, succinic anhydride, 1-octenyl succinic anhydride, aluminum sulfate, or sodium hydroxide. Used internally as a gruel in diarrhea and externally to soothe skin rashes; used in dusting powder as a demulcent for irritated colon and an antidote for iodine poisoning. Modified starches are on the FDA list for further study for safety. GRAS ACCEPTABLE for packaging.
    is a carbohydrate polymer made up of many units of glucose.
  • starch granule: a particle formation starch is stored; composed of millions of starch molecules laid down in a very organized patter; the shape of the granule is typical for each species; starch molecules are organized into tight little bundles, called granules, as they are stored in the seeds or roots of plants, the granules with characteristic shapes and sizes, can be seen under the microscope.
  • starch phosphates:
  • syneresis: oozing of liquid from gel when cut and allowed to stand (e.g. starch gel, jelly or baked custard).
    the oozing of liquid from a rigid gel; sometimes called weeping
  • tapioca: Starch prepared from the root of the cassava plant. The starch paste is heated to burst the granules, then dried either in globules resembling sago or in flakes. The term is also used for starch in general, as in manioc tapioca and potato flour tapioca.
  • texture: arrangement of the parts of a material showing the structure; the texture of baked flour products such as a slice of bread may be fine and even or coarse and open; the texture of a cream sauce may be smooth or lumpy; the arrangement of the particles or constituent parts of a material that gives it its characteristic structure
  • thin-boiling starch:
  • turbinado sugar: this sugar is raw sugar which has been only partially refined removing the surface molasses. It is a blond color with a mild brown sugar flavor and is often used in tea.
  • viscosity: Term used of liquids to define their resistance to flow (i.e. the internal friction). Viscosity is a critical factor in use of vegetable gums. The readings below only reflect the actually viscosity indicated by the ability of stress and strain from an instrument. Hydrocolloids may contribute a sliminess to a product which changes their viscosity. For example, carboxy methyl celluose, locust bean gum, methyl cellulose, pectin, and sodium alginate are considered to be slimy hydrocolloids. Carrageenan, guar, karaya, and tragacanth are less slim and starch is nonslimy.
  • waxy starch: Those containing a high percentage of amylopectin, they do not form rigid gels when gelatinized but soft pastes.
  • whitesauce: a starch-thickened sauce made from fat, flour, liquid, and seasonings

  • Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012.