Sucrose esters are made by reacting sucrose and vinyl esters from fatty acids, says Foodnavigator.com. One of their main uses is to improve the solubility of flavorings in soft drinks and fats in other food products.
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Esters are chemical compounds that are created by condensing an oxoacid -- one that contains oxygen, such as carboxylic and sulphuric acids -- with an alcohol, says Chemguide.co.uk Animal fats, such as butter, and vegetable oils are some of the most common esters.
Uses for Sucrose Esters
Sucrose esters are a type of emulsifier, which means they help ensure other ingredients in a food or drink product don’t separate. An example would be having a layer of oil or fat and solids, says Next Generation Food. As a result, sucrose esters also reduce the stickiness of a lot of foods. Essentially, they help to maintain the stability of a food product. They are often used in baked goods, cereals, ice cream and sauces.
Sucrose is obviously the main ingredient in sucrose esters. The common name for sucrose is table sugar, and it is made from sugar cane or sugar beet. It occurs naturally in all plants due to photosynthesis, the process by which plants make their own food, and is a combination of glucose and fructose molecules, says Elmhurst College.
Other Ingredients in Sucrose Esters
This ester is made by combining sucrose with the fatty acids from palm oil, says Next Generation Food. The amount of fatty acids used depends on what food the sucrose ester is being used in. For example, if it is being used to emulsify a product with a oil-in-water content, such as high-fat mayonnaise, the sucrose ester will be created with a high level, 50 per cent or more, of fatty acids.