Understanding functionality of sucrose in cake for reformulation purposes

R.G.M. van der Sman*, S. Renzetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We review the functionality of sucrose during the manufacture of cakes from the perspective of sugar replacement. Besides providing sweetness, sucrose has important functionalities concerning structure formation. These functionalities also need to be mimicked in reformulated cakes. First, we review the hypotheses, concerning the development of structure and texture of cakes during manufacturing, which are conveniently summarized in a qualitative way using the Complex Dispersed Systems methodology. Subsequently, we represent the changes of the state of the cake during manufacturing in a supplemented state diagram, which indicates the important phase transitions occurring during baking. From the analysis, we have learned that sucrose act both as a plasticizer and as a humectant, modifying the phase transitions of biopolymers, dough viscosity, and water activity. If sugar replacers exactly mimick this behavior of sucrose, similar textures in reformulated cakes can be obtained. Physical theories exist for characterizing the plasticizing and hygroscopic behavior of sugars and their replacers. We have shown that the starch gelatinization and egg white denaturation can be predicted by the volumetric density of hydrogen bonds present in the solvent, consisting of water, sugar or its replacers, such as polyols or amino-acids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2756-2772
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number16
Early online date9 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cake
  • ingredient functionality
  • state diagram
  • sugar replacement
  • thermodynamics


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