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Physicochemical and sensory quality of chiffon cake prepared with rebaudioside-A and erythritol as replacement for sucrose




Lothrop, Robert S., author
Stone, Martha, advisor
Avens, John, committee member
Hyatt, Doreene, committee member
Miller, Jeffrey, committee member

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Rebaudioside-A has been used for many years throughout the world as a non-nutritive sweetener in many different food systems (Goyal et al. 2010), however, up until 2008, it was not an approved food sweetener in the United States (FDA 2008). Prior to this approval, stevia extracts were found in herbal and health food stores throughout the United States since the 1970's (Carakostas et al. 2008). Since the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994, stevia extracts were legally sold as "dietary supplements" in the United States marketplace (Carakostas et al. 2008). However, under the DSHEA, these products were not permitted to be marketed with any packaging or advertising language suggesting that they be used as a sweetener (Carakostas et al. 2008). Since 2008, Truvia™ brand sweetener produced and marketed by Cargill (2010) has been available on the consumer market in the United States. This sweetener is a mixture of rebaudioside-A and erythritol that is made for a consumer to replace sucrose in applications at a 1:1 ratio (Cargill 2010). The sweetening characteristics of rebaudioside-A appear to be approximately 300 times that of sucrose (Lin and Lee 2005) and digestion, if any, occurs in the large intestine by gastrointestinal microflora, lending a minimal caloric intake to the user. Truvia™ and other blends of rebaudioside-A and erythritol can be used as a natural non-nutritive sugar alternative and may prove to be an effective and acceptable replacement to sucrose in baked systems such as chiffon cake (Cargill 2010). Rebaudioside-A is an leaf extract of the Stevia rebaudiana plant (Cargill 2010) and erythritol is a four-carbon polyol widely found in nature in such food as melons, grapes, pears, seaweeds, fungi as well as naturally occurring in fermented food products (Moon et al. 2010). The purpose of this research was to determine the physicochemical and sensory effects of replacing a mixture of rebaudioside-A and erythritol for sucrose at varying levels (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100%) in chiffon cake. Analytical testing of specific gravity, texture, volume, water activity, moisture, color and differential scanning calorimetry was conducted on the five cake formulations in addition to nutritional analysis and a consumer sensory evaluation (n = 40). Five treatments were prepared using four replications in a randomized complete block one factor design. ANOVA was used to determine significant differences. If so, differences among means were examined using Tukey's honestly significant difference. There were no differences in instrumental color of crust or crumb among any of the replacement levels with the exception that crumb color of both the control and 25% reduced sucrose samples were "more yellow" than the 100% reduced sucrose cakes (p < 0.05). Water activity ranged from 0.86 to 0.91 and some statistical differences were found among treatments. However, there were no differences in percent moisture. Texture analysis showed the 25 and 50% reduced sucrose cakes were more tender than the 100% reduced sucrose cake (p < 0.05). Volume and specific gravity tests had no differences among treatments. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results showed that as the replacement level of sucrose with a mixture of rebaudioside-A and erythritol increased, both the onset and peak temperatures decreased. These results corresponded with DSC testing conducted by Lim and others (1992) on wheat starch, sucrose and water interactions. Enthalpy was consistent for the control, 25 and 50% reduced sucrose samples and increased for both the 75 and 100% samples; however, differences were small and would likely not be detectable by consumers. A nine-point hedonic scale ranging from "like extremely" to "dislike extremely" was used to measure overall liking of color of crumb, tenderness, sweetness, aftertaste and overall acceptability. Panelists were asked to rank preference of the five samples from one to five with one being the most preferred. Sensory panelists "liked" all of the chiffon cake samples and the highest "overall acceptability" scores were for cakes prepared with 25 and 50% reduction in sucrose (p < 0.05). These two samples also ranked highest in preference (p < 0.05). Additionally panelists "liked" the tenderness of the 25 and 50% reduced sucrose cakes more than the other samples (p < 0.05). For sweetness and aftertaste, panelists "liked" the 25, 50 and 75% reduced sucrose cakes (p < 0.05). Chiffon cake prepared with 50% sucrose and 50% rebaudioside-A and erythritol resulted in a product with high overall consumer acceptability and 20% fewer calories than one formulated with 100% sucrose.


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