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Study shows isomalt protects vitamin C of baked apple snacks

23 April 2015

Isomalt can be used to protect the ascorbic acid content of crispy apple snacks during baking, according to researchers.  Published in LWT Food Science and Technology, researchers from Argentina assessed physical, chemical and sensory properties of baked apple snacks made using the sugar substitute isomalt and polysaccharide maltodextrin.  

The research showed that the use of isomalt had a protective effect on the apple tissue submitted to high temperatures since the snack had good quality attributes and also preserved the added ascorbic acid during the baking process.  Granny Smith apples were used in the study, pre-treated with calcium lactate for two minutes before being chilled over ice and pre-treated with aqueous solutions of isomalt and maltodextrin for 15 minutes.  After the pre-treatments, moisture decreased on average by four times from around 8% moisture to around 2%. Ascorbic acid retention after baking was also significantly higher when pre-treated - about 50% on average, which was valuable from a health perspective.  The researchers noted that a serving of 20 g of the snacks formulated with isomalt would nearly cover the recommended daily requirement of vitamin C, and also found that a 2:1 isomalt-maltodextrin ratio maintained a constant ascorbic acid content during 120 days of storage.

To conclude, a snack with good properties in terms of texture, colour and taste was developed with the addition of calcium, maltodextrin and isomalt to apple rings, with no fat or sodium added as well as with good consumer acceptance.  The presence of isomalt allowed baking at 140°C for a short time without detriment to the quality attributes.  This is an innovative food product since isomalt has hardly been used to formulate snacks.

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