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    In many confectionery systems, an understanding of crystallization behavior is essential for proper control of product texture. While this knowledge is well developed in sucrose-based systems, there is little information on controlling crystallization in sugar-free systems, such as those formulated with sorbitol. By leveraging such advances in time domain-nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR) methodology, the impact of mannitol and maltitol on modulating sorbitol crystal growth in sugar-free systems. Binary and ternary systems of sorbitol mixed with mannitol, maltitol, or a mixture thereof were evaluated at total impurity addition levels of 10% and 20%. Polyol mixtures were dissolved in water, evaporated to 10% moisture, and mixed with γ sorbitol seed crystals to create a sugar-free fondant. Fondants were crystallized at 25 °C, and crystal content was measured using TD-NMR over time. Crystal content increased rapidly at the start but quickly tapered off to a final asymptote indicating phase equilibrium. In all systems, the addition of impurities decreased the extent and rate of sorbitol crystallization, with mannitol having the greatest impact on rate. When both mannitol and maltitol were present as impurities, the rate of crystallization was reduced to a greater extent. At the highest level of mannitol, the final crystal content increased, presumably because mannitol also crystallized. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Controlling sorbitol crystallization in the presence of impurities is a key to controlling quality in certain confections. © 2020 Institute of Food Technologists®.


    Amy E DeJong, Richard W Hartel. Quantification of γ-sorbitol crystal growth rate and solubility in the presence of mannitol and maltitol. Journal of food science. 2020 Dec;85(12):4319-4326

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    PMID: 33175398

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