Elsevier, NFS Journal, Volume 23, June 2021
To exceed in sugar consumption is one of the main causes of overweight and obesity, especially for children and adolescent. However, sugar reduction, especially in baked goods, is challenging due to its effect not only on sensorial properties but also for other quality parameters. Multiple technological strategies to obtain muffins at low sugar content addressed for children were studied. Specifically, the inhomogeneous spatial distribution of sucrose (1, 3 and 5 layers of food formula at different sugar content), the taste enhancement by vanillin addition (0, 1 and 2%) and the use of different particle size of sugar (200, 400 and 600 μm) were investigated through a Box-Behnken design. Physical attributes were negatively affected by spatial distribution due to the substantial role of sucrose in the expansion of muffins. Indeed, maximum height of homogeneous muffins was of 37.8 ± 3.9 mm, while in inhomogeneous samples reached values of ≈ 30 mm. The low expansion of inhomogeneous muffins was also attested by porosity fraction which notably decreased from 68.2% in 1-layer muffin to 58.4% and 65.6% in 3-layers and 5-layers muffins, respectively. The perception of sweetness was improved for the inhomogeneous muffins and with a mass fraction of added vanillin at 1% confirming its great potential as taste enhancer, especially when using particle size of sugar less than 400 μm. Based on sensorial and physical data, stratified muffins with 3 layers, a mass fraction of added vanillin at 1% and sugar particle size in the range between 200 and 600 μm, showed excellent results. The proposed strategy could be used to design and develop innovative muffins designed for children contributing in the reduction of sugar intake in the daily diet.