Predicting the solubility of mixtures of sugars and their replacers using the Flory-Huggins theory

R.G.M. van der Sman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we investigate whether the Flory-Huggins theory can describe the thermodynamics of solutions of simple carbohydrates, like sugars and polyols. In particular, we focus on the description of the solubility of the carbohydrates in water. This is investigated for both binary and ternary mixtures, having two types of these carbohydrates. This research question arises especially in the case of bakery products, where one seeks to replace sucrose with other simple carbohydrates-which are often polyols. Based on the model parameters obtained from fitting the theory to the experimental data of binary solutions, we show that the theory can predict (a) solubility data for ternary mixtures, over a broad range of concentrations and temperatures, and (b) the deliquescence point of binary mixtures of carbohydrate crystals as a function of temperature. The theory can even be applied to carbohydrates, which form hydrate crystals. Together with our earlier theories on the thermodynamics of complex food mixtures, we have now a complete thermodynamic framework to describe the phase and state transitions of food materials as confectionery and bakery products, where the question of sucrose replacement is urgent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-371
JournalFood & Function
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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