Diving into natural sweetener specifics
Sweeteners may come in different forms. Malt Products Corp., Saddle Brook, N.J., offers oat extract sweeteners in liquid (20% moisture) and dry (3% moisture) versions, said Amy Targan, president of Malt Products Corp. Both versions are derived from whole grain oats. “Liquid and dry extracts are interchangeable based on application needs,” she said. “M.P.C.’s liquid OatRite is easy to transport and is easier for manufacturing operations as it may be pumped into mixers, kettles and syrup. Liquids are preferred in applications where finished products are liquid or when coating, enrobing and moisture addition is desired in food products.” Dry extracts deliver longer shelf life. “M.P.C.’s OatRite is more concentrated in flavor and nutrients and useful in dry baked goods, especially when manufacturers want to replace other sweeteners, such as dextrose, as it can be swapped at a 1:1 ratio,” Ms. Targan said. Oat extract sweeteners are a good fit for cereal and granola, breakfast bars, pancakes, cookies and a variety of other baked foods. They are high in protein, minerals, soluble fiber and antioxidants. Functional benefits include browning (Maillard reaction), crystal control for frozen products, improved texture and extended shelf life. MaltRite malted barley extracts are other sweeteners in Malt Products Corp.’s portfolio. The multifunctional ingredients act as natural humectants (moisture absorber) and enhance browning (Maillard reaction), fermentation, body and viscosity. “Malted barley extract is used extensively in baked goods such as cereal, cookies, crackers, pretzel, nutritional liquid and dry beverages, chocolate confections and many more,” Ms. Targan said.
Molasses for shelf life
International Molasses, a Malt Products Corp. company, offers Golden Trim molasses that provide an aromatic flavor that masks undesirable off-notes from additives such as protein isolates, according to International Molasses. Golden Trim is smooth with honey overtones and caramel notes. Molasses, a humectant, helps extend shelf life, Ms. Targan said. “It also helps keep soft batch cookies soft and chewy bars chewy and serves as an excellent binder for granola bars,” she said. “In baked goods, the natural antioxidants in molasses help improve shelf life (bars, cookies). In all of the above, it can help replace high-fructose corn syrup.” MBN — Jeff Gelski