Fructose is naturally occurring monosaccharide found in honey, fruits, and most root vegetables. The powder form is sourced from beetroot, fruits, sugar cane, and corn. While fructose is the sweetest tasting sugar, it has a lower impact on blood sugars than glucose or sucrose (table sugar).
Studies have shown that both fructose and glucose are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. However fructose on the other hand doesn’t impact insulin levels. This is one of the reasons why fructose is a recommended ingredient for those who are diabetics or are going through a strict diet. Though it is slightly different in taste, the substitution of table sugar with fructose is rarely noticed.
If you’re using fructose in baking, you’ll need about 1/3 less fructose than table sugar, and you won’t need to compensate for the reduced volume. This is because fructose attracts more water and increases the height of baked items. It also makes baked goods remain moister for longer. Other than baking and crystallization, fructose can also be added to glazes and dairy products to increase their viscosity. It will add more creaminess to ice creams, sauces, or marinades.
Maltose is a kind of sugar syrup produced by germinating malt. It is made through the production of germinating grain, usually barley. When the grain is collected, it is then soaked and allowed to sprout. This malted grain is then added to a slurry of water and starch and then cooked to create the maltose, a unique type of sugar.
Maltose’s sweetness is about 70% less sweet than normal sugar, however, it has a high GI (glycaemic index). It is unsuitable for diabetics. Maltose has a certain toasty, nutty, caramelized flavour which means that it is not so much used as a sugar in cooking but as a flavouring. Ice cream and chocolate flavour well with maltose. This also works very well in bread and beer, as the sugar feeds the yeast without making bread too sweet. This will also extend the shelf life of these products. Maltose has a unique tolerance to heat and cold, thus meaning that it is works very well in frozen desserts and hard candies.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol naturally extracted from fruit. In high production, sorbitol is extracted from corn syrup. Most common fruits with high sorbitol levels include prunes, apples, pears and bananas. Sorbitol works very well when combined with other ingredients such as sugars, gelling agents, vegetable fats and proteins. It has a very low calorie content, lower than isomalt, which means that it can be used as a substitute within sweets, cakes, icings and fillings.
Sorbitol is the chemical in fruit that in excess can have a laxative effect, therefore is imperative that it is not overused.