the tart of good taste: acidulants for confectionery...

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  • Confectionery

    FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA OCTOBER 20045858585858


    By Daniel R. Sortwell

    *Estimated using Bartek sourness models. See the Self Teaching Guide for Food Acidulants.

    The Tart of Good Taste:The Tart of Good Taste:The Tart of Good Taste:The Tart of Good Taste:The Tart of Good Taste:

    Acidulants for Confectionery

    There are six

    confectionery acidulants

    used in non-chocolate

    confectionery. These are

    Acetic, Citric, Fumaric,

    Lactic, Malic, and Tartaric

    Acids. This article

    discusses the taste and

    flavour effects of these

    acidulants and makes

    recommendations for

    specific applications.

    CIDULANTS have uniquetaste and flavour effects, asshown in the table below. The

    relative sourness of the acidulants atpH 3.0 is depicted by the sourness barchart. For example, Acetic Acid pro-vides much more sourness per unitweight than other acidulants at pH 3.0.It also boosts the impact of some aro-matic flavour notes due to its volatil-ity; for example, in grape flavouredchewing gum, but its use is limitedby its vinegar flavour.

    Malic Acid enhances fruit flavoursand acts as a flavour blender. MalicAcid occurs naturally in all fruits. Forexample, Malic Acid is naturallypresent in orange juice at levels of 0.1-0.2% w/v. It has a more persistent sour-ness than Citric Acid and thereforecomplements the lingering sweetnessof aspartame and sucralose.

    Citric Acid has a refreshing sensa-tion because its sourness dissipatesquickly, as seen in its temporal profile.This is more important in beveragesthan in confectionery products. CitricAcid provides less sourness at pH 3.0than the other acidulants. Citric andMalic Acids, the acids naturally presentin most fruits, are used in fruit flavoured

    confectionery to provide the sournessreminiscent of fruit.

    Tartaric Acid provides a brusquesourness with some dryness. It can beused to add a hard edge to the sour-ness profile of confectionery products.

    Fumaric Acid provides a persistentsourness with some dryness. Its slowdissolution extends the release of sour-ness in acid coatings and in chewinggum.

    Lactic Acid provides a cream fla-vour note that is useful in dairy or dairy-and-fruit flavoured confectionery prod-ucts.

    Acidulant combinations versussingle acidulants

    Combinations of acidulants arenow commonly used in confectionery,with some extremely sour productscontaining up to four differentacidulants. More sourness per unitweight results from acidulant combi-nations than from a single acidulant.Sourness is a power function with anaverage exponent of about 0.8 (eachacidulant has a different exponent).This means that if we double the levelof a single acidulant, the sourness in-tensity does not double, it only in-

    creases by 74%. For this reason,acidulant combinations providemore sourness per unit weight thansingle acidulants. Mixed bufferpairs, such as Malic Acid and So-dium Citrate, provide more sournessthan single anion buffer pairs suchas Citric Acid and Sodium Citratefor the same reason. Buffer systemsare used in three classes of confec-tionery, as described below.

    Hard candy/high boiledsweets

    Sucrose inversion in hard candy/high boiled sweets results in a sticky

  • Confectionery

    5959595959FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA OCTOBER 2004

    surface that is unacceptable. To re-tard sucrose inversion:

    1. Cool down the acidifiedmolten hard candy as rapidly aspossible.

    2. Minimise the initial mois-ture level of the candy.

    3. Use acid/buffer salt com-binations to raise the pH. Combi-nations of Malic Acid and SodiumCitrate or Malic Acid and SodiumLactate provide more sournessand buffer capacity than other buffer pairs at pH 3.0. Thesebuffer pairs also take advantage of Malic Acids fruit fla-vour-enhancing property.

    Liquid acid/buffer salt solutions are metered into con-tinuous process systems. A Malic Acid and Sodium Lactatesolution for continuous metering consists of: 59% water, 27%Malic Acid, and 14% Sodium Lactate.

    For hard candy made with isomalt, acidulants with per-sistent sourness, such as Malic and Lactic Acids, are used tomatch the slightly delayed sweetness of isomalt.

    Chewing gumAcidulants are used in fruit flavoured chewing gum to

    provide sourness (an essential el-ement of fruit taste) and to stimu-late saliva flow.

    Acidulant combinations areused in so that sourness will beperceived over a longer time pe-riod, since acidulants differ intheir rate of sourness release inchewing gum systems. The rateof release is influenced by thehydrophobicity of the acidulant,usually measured by the partition

    coefficient.Since gum base is hydrophobic, acidulants that are more

    hydrophobic associate more strongly with the gum base andrelease more slowly. The hydrophobicity of the gum baseitself or of other ingredients in the chewing gum may alsobe adjusted to strengthen the association with a particularacidulant in order to delay its release.

    The most hydrophobic of the food acidulants is FumaricAcid. Powdered Fumaric Acid is used in some chewing gumsto prolong sourness. In the manufacture of compressed chew-ing gum tablets, process yields and efficiencies are improvedby using more hydrophobic acidulants, since these are moreeffective tablet lubricants.

    Sourness is a power function with an

    average exponent of about 0.8. This

    means that if we double the level of a

    single acidulant, the sourness intensity

    does not double, it only increases by

    74%. For this reason, acidulant

    combinations provide more sourness

    per unit weight than single acidulants.

  • Confectionery

    FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA OCTOBER 20046060606060

    Daniel R. Sortwell is Senior Food Scientist, Bartek Ingredients Inc. Additionalinformation about acidulants and their application in confectionery is foundin the Self Teaching Guide for Food Acidulants, which is at Barteks web

    Confectionery jelliesAcid hydrolysis of hydrocolloids

    results in a loss of gel strength and ingel texture variation. To minimiseacid hydrolysis of hydrocolloids inconfectionery jellies:

    1. Add the acid last and cooldown the acidified product as rapidlyas possible.

    2. Use acid/buffer salt combina-tions to raise the pH. The acid/buffersalt combination for maximum sour-ness and buffer capacity depends onthe target pH. At a pH below 3.5, thecombination of Citric Acid and So-dium Citrate provides less sourness andbuffer capacity than combinations ofMalic Acid with Sodium Citrate, MalicAcid with Sodium Lactate, or LacticAcid with Sodium Lactate.

    Limiting pH variation to a narrowrange controls gel texture. This isdone using buffer systems. Gelatinebloom strength is reduced when bothglucose syrups and buffer salts arepresent.

    Compressed tabletsBoth Malic and Fumaric Acids

    provide significantly more sournessper unit weight than Citric Acid at pH3.0. It is possible to reduce the acidlevel in the tablet by using these ac-ids.

    Malic Acid enhances fruit fla-vours in compressed tablets and itspersistent sourness complements thelingering sweetness of aspartame and

    Enquiry No: 043

    crose. Vegetable fat coatings are nor-mally used for this application. Onemanufacturer also coats acid particleswith buffer salts.

    3. Use Fumaric Acid, which isnonhygroscopic, as part of the coating.

    4. Separate the acid and sucroseby using a coating that contains onlyacid and no sucrose.

    5. Use an anti-caking agent as partof the coating to control excess moisture.

    6. Thoroughly dry the sanded con-fection.

    7. Use conditioned air in the pack-aging area.

    Trends in confectioneryacidulants

    Many low carbohydrate confec-tionery products have been launchedin North America. These products usesweeteners such as aspartame,sucralose and isomalt. To achieve theoptimum sweet/sour balance in theseproducts, the acidulant or acidulantcombination is adjusted to mirror thetemporal profile of the sweetenersused. Since these sweeteners aremore persistent than sucrose or fruc-tose, it makes sense to use acidulantswith lingering sourness such as Lac-tic, Fumaric, and Malic Acids in theseproducts.

    sucralose.Malic and Fumaric Acids improve

    tablet lubrication compared to Citricor Tartaric Acid because they aremore hydrophobic. This results in atablet that is less brittle and that hasa smoother surface. This is especiallyimportant for engraved tablets. Proc-ess efficiencies are also improvedbecause there is less tablet breakageand less tablet adhesion to the punchface and diewall.

    Acid sanded confectioneryThe challenge in acid sanded con-

    fectionery is to prevent sucrose in-version from starting, because onceit starts, it is difficult, if not impossi-ble, to stop. Sucrose inversion in acidsanded confections results in a stickysurface that is unacceptable.

    To retard sucrose inversion:1. Use acid/buffer salt combina-

    tions to raise the pH. Combinations ofMalic Acid and Sodium Citrate orMalic Acid and Sodium Lactate pro-vide more sourness and buffer capac-ity than other buffer pairs at pH 3.0.These buffer pairs also take advantageof Malic Acids fruit flavour-enhanc-ing property.

    2. Use coated acids to prevent theinteraction between the acids and su-

    To retard sucrose inversion

    in candies, the initial

    moisture level of the product

    should be minimised.

    Acid/buffer salt combinations

    are used to raise the pH.

    Acids coated with vegetable

    fat or buffer salts also prevent

    the interaction between the

    acids and sucrose.