July 21/Melbourne, Australia/Journal of Technology & Science -- According to recent research published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology, "Sucrose-free milk chocolates sweetened with Stevia and containing different types of commercial inulin or polydextrose as bulking agents, were examined in relation to their physico-chemical, rheological and sensory properties. Compared with chocolate sweetened with sucrose, noticeable differences in lightness (L* values) were observed for sucrose-free chocolates and attributed to changes in surface roughness."
"Chocolate-containing inulin with a higher degree of polymerization (DP) had higher melting points, greater plastic viscosity and an increased flow behavior index. The Herschel-Bulkley mathematical model most closely fitted to the rheological data. Chocolate containing the highest DP inulin was found to be very similar to control in tested sensory attributes (appearance, firmness, smoothness, mouth feel, flavor/taste and overall acceptance) when assessed by a consumer panel," wrote A.B. Shah and colleagues, Victoria University.
The researchers concluded, "These data indicate that it is possible to manufacture sucrose-free chocolate using high DP inulin without adversely affecting its important physico-chemical properties and sensory acceptance."
Shah and colleagues published their study in International Journal of Food Science and Technology ("Sucrose-free Chocolate Sweetened with Stevia Rebaudiana Extract and Containing Different Bulking Agents - Effects on Physicochemical and Sensory Properties." International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2010;45(7):1426-1435).
For additional information, contact T. Vasiljevic, Victoria University, School Biomedical & Health Science, Werribee Campus, POB 14428, Melbourne, Vic 8001, Australia.
From the August 2, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition