Tag Archives: Sweeteners

Darkness

Darkness I said. But you may say light only acquires meaning thanks to darkness. Contrary to my expectations, it has turned out to be the opposite. The things which shone from afar turned out to be dark. Darkness was hidden behind the light, lies sugar coated with sweet talk were forced down my gullet.From the great distance, things looked prettier like they say that grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. I don’t blame the ones who gave me wrong impressions. what was the need to do that? Guided by this wrong impression, I came.

From the time of setting my first foot in this place, reality began to unfold. Coverings began to lift and fade away to reveal the dark truths. For some time I thought that it may be my false doubts but as the time went by, everything begun to become clear like water in a pool which became turbid after a stone was thrown begins to again become clearer. I have been shown the flip side, or the underbelly of everything. My hopes soured. I became even more distanced sitting nearer. When I was physically miles away, I was more closer than when I am closer physically I am miles away mentally.

Advertisements

Chemistry behind Caramelization

Caramel is used in many recipes. It is prepared by heating the sugar and sugar becomes syrupy and turns brown and a mouth watering aroma is released. Most people think that during heating the sugar, it melts and goes into a liquid state. But this is not true. There is chemistry behind this although no reactions really take place but there are phase changes. So physical chemistry is behind all this process.

Melting point of a substance is defined as that temperature at which the solid begins turning liquid. For pure substances consisting of single compounds this temperature is well defined and constant at atmospheric pressure. The one condition for the melting point definition is that the substance should not not breakdown during the melting. If there are impurities in the form of other substances and contaminants the melting point is not sharp and there is a range in which the whole process of melting takes place.

When sugar is heated to 160 degree centigrade, it turns into a colorless molten mass. In fact, the literature gives different melting points for the sugar. What happens is that during heating to 160 degree centigrade and further heat is supplied, temperature does not remain constant as should be the case. Near this temperature the sugar molecules also begin to disintegrate and some lower molecular weight compounds are formed. On further heating by 10 to 20 degrees, caramalization begins and it starts to turn brown emitting a mouth watering aroma.

It has also been proved that caramelization is a function of both time and temperature as many other chemical reactions are. For example, the theory for conversion of deposited organic matter to the hydrocarbons is a function of time and temperature. The effect of time is linear and that of temperature is exponential. This is known as famous Arrhenius equation. In simple words, the temperature increase is ten times more effective than time passage.

So when the sugar temperature is raised above 160 degrees, depending on the time and temperature control, different colored crystals can be obtained. and thus can be achieved to different colors by adjusting the temperature and time of heating. Following are the results from “curious cook” website.

Honey: A Food fit for Gods

Honey is thought to be very healthy sweetener. It is produced by bees as their food source and made from nectar sucked from the flowers with the help of enzymes. The final product is made of roughly 80% sugar, 17% water and a number of trace compounds. It is these trace compounds that are responsible for honey’s varied flavors and colors. The most abundant sugars in honey are fructose and glucose. Among the myriad minor complex sugars in the honey are maltose, sucrose, and other disaccharides, as well as trisaccharides such as erlose.

The nectar is mixed with enzymes, Invertase being the most critical, in their stomach-like honey sacs. Invertase splits the sucrose in the nectar into fructose and glucose and also produces some erlose. Back at the hive, the bees pass the digested material to house bees who reduce the moisture content of the mixture by ingesting and regurgitating it. They then deposit concentrated drops into honeycomb cells. Over the next few days, bees fan the fluid with their wings to further concentrate it, and finally, they cap the cells with wax. At the same time, enzyme-mediated changes produce a range of sugars and acids in the honey. Bee enzymes also show up in the finished product. Another enzyme, glucose oxidase, converts glucose to gluconolactone, which is then hydrolyzed to give gluconic acid, the principal acid in honey. Formic, acetic, butyric, and lactic acids are also found in honey, which explains why its pH typically measures 3.8-4.0 which is quite acidic and inhibits the growth of any bacteria in it.

Honey also contains small amounts of minerals and proteins. About 0.2% of honey is ash, probably originating in the flower nectar. Potassium accounts for about one-third of the ash. Other trace elements in honey include iron, manganese, copper, and silicon. The sweetener also contains up to 1% nitrogen, which comes principally from proteins. These proteins can cause honey to foam and form tiny air bubbles.

Of the more than 100 compounds found in honey, many are volatile organic compounds, such as phenylethyl alcohol, that contribute to flavor. The honey flavor is dependent on the flavor compounds and aroma compounds that come from a flower.

Because weather and geography affect flowers, each batch of honey can have a slightly different makeup of flavor chemicals.