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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jul 9;56(13):5138-47. doi: 10.1021/jf703791e. Epub 2008 Jun 13.

Impact of caramelization on the glass transition temperature of several caramelized sugars. Part I: Chemical analyses.

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Food Science & Technology Programme, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543.


This study aims to investigate the relationship between caramelization of several sugars including fructose, glucose, and sucrose and their glass transition temperature (Tg). Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used for creating caramelized sugar samples as well as determining their glass transition temperature, which was found to decrease first and then increase as the holding time at the highest temperature increased. The extent of caramelization was quantified by UV-vis absorbance measurement and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Results showed that the amount of small molecules from the degradation of sugar increased very fast at the beginning of heating, and this increase slowed down in the later stage of caramelization. On the other hand, there was a lag phase in the formation of large molecules from the degradation of sugar at the beginning of heating, followed by a fast increase in the later stage of caramelization. The obtained results clearly indicate the impact of melting condition on the T g of sugars through formation of intermediates and end products of caramelization. Generally, when the heating condition is relatively mild, small molecules are formed first by decomposition of the sugar, which leads to a decrease of the overall Tg, and as the heating time becomes longer and/or the heating condition becomes more severe, polymerization takes over and more large molecules are formed, which results in an increase of the overall Tg. Mathematical modeling of the relationship will be presented as part II of the study in a separate paper.

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