Culinary Strategies for Enhancing Sweetness

Originally Published: May 1, 2020
Last Updated: February 25, 2021

“From Amazake to Acid Blockers: Culinary Strategies for Enhancing Sweetness” was prepared for the 2020 Sweetener Systems Conference by-Allison Rittman, C.R.C., Culinary Culture.

Abstract: Sweeteners such as sugar, stevia, monk fruit and honey are “go to” natural ingredient tools for formulated foods and beverages. However, by expanding one’s horizon to look to strategies and on-trend food components used in fine dining, creative and flavorful new options can be found. This presentation investigates potential emerging sweeteners not yet utilized in mainstream food products. Supported by a food science background, it will delve into sophisticated ways in which complimentary food components can enhance sweetness and even functionality for a superior sensory experience. Find new approaches to sweeten foods for now and into the future.

An excerpt from the written summary of this presentation: What exactly is amazake (ah-mah-za-keh)? It is a probiotic rice concentrate made from steamed rice, kōji and water. Fermentation converts naturally occurring starches in the rice into sugars, and it has a neutral flavor profile. All these attributes make it a great alternative sweetener.

kōji (koh-jee) is an important part ofamazake. kōji is a filamentous fungus (mold), Aspergillus oryzae. Some of the sugar bound by starch in grains cannot be fermented by yeast, so this specialized fungus is inoculated with the grains and releases enzymes that convert these starches into sugars. kōji has been traditionally used to turn soybeans into miso; rice into sake; and rice into vinegar, Rittman explained.

Click here to view the written summary “Culinary Sweetener Strategies” of this presentation.

Click on the button below to download a PDF of Rittman’s PowerPoint presentation “From Amazake to Acid Blockers: Culinary Strategies for Enhancing Sweetness.”


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