What is Invert Sugar?
Invert sugar is a term used to refer to a mix of basic sugars namely fructose and glucose. It is derived from the split of sucrose into free fructose and free glucose. Invert sugar is a natural part of honey. The mixture is called invert sugar because the dextrorotatory sugar is changed or flipped into a fructose called laevorotatory. Basically, invert sugar syrups are made through hydrolysis of acid, specifically from sugar through exchange of acidic ions. It may also be manufactured by splitting saccharose. Syrups made using invert sugar depict various technological qualities. For instance, the syrup does not crystallize fast because it contains high levels of fructose compared to normal sugar. It is hence used where sugar crystals are not required with respect to sensory impressions such as marzipan. Compared to table sugar, invert sugar is much sweeter because fructose has more sweetness that both glucose and sucrose.
Benefits of Invert Sugar
Invert sugar has many desirable features in baked foods and processed products. Since sugar crystals found in invert sugar are much tinnier than those in sucrose, invert sugar forms smoother and consistent texture in final products. The crystals tend to dissolve quickly compared to sucrose. Invert sugar also has a better moisture retaining ability compared to sucrose. It has an improved shelf life and a mixture of 10 to 15 percent of invert sugar to sucrose brings down crystallization levels in products significantly. This helps in extending the product’s shelf life. Invert sugar can be made through enzymatic inversion or through acid hydrolysis. Acid hydrolysis involves subjecting sucrose to heat and acid that breaks it into fructose and glucose. Enzymatic inversion involves the use of yeast derived from the invertase enzyme. This process is costly and involves using low temperatures to eliminate polymerization elements then filtering the enzyme.