Sugar Or Sweeteners, For Bakery Products?
Bakery Review|August-September 2020
Bakery industry contributes a great deal towards satiating one’s craving for sweets. With an array of cakes, chocolates and cookies, it definitely helps in satisfying your sweet tooth. However the health conscious millennial, and even the elderly, are become averse to consumption of refined sugar. So how does the bakery industry cope with this dilemma? Are the bakery chefs keen to shift from sugar to other forms of sweeteners? Ashok Malkani tries to find whether sugar is really harmful to health and how the bakery products can continue to spread sweetness around.
Ashok Malkani

Bakery industry, with over 2,000 industrial bakeries producing around 1.4 million tons of the bakery products and 1,000,000 small-scale bakeries producing 1.8 million tons of bakery products, is one of the biggest contributors to the country’s processed food industry.

According to Bizencyclopedia, the cake market is forecasted to reach US$ 882.24 million by 2024 growing at a CAGR of 12.5% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2024.

The bakery industry contributes a great deal towards spreading sweetness as it bakes goodies – ranging from cakes to cookies.

We are all born with a sweet tooth. The enjoyment one feels from eating something sweet is, according to scientists, facilitated by the same morphine-like biochemical systems in the brain that are thought to be the basis for all highly-rewarding activities. Sugar gives us druglike pleasures. However, some researchers suggest that sugars are toxins which cause obesity, diabetes, hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease. Sugar seems to have joined the list of dietary evils. Today, health experts are urging people to cut back their daily sugar intake.

The ancient Hindu preparation known as the five ambrosias, a dish fit for the gods, incorporated sugar along with milk, honey, yogurt and clarified butter. Its appeal knows no limits, as the medieval historian Albert of Aachen pointed out in his description of 11th-century European Crusaders when they first encountered sugar cane in the Holy Land: “They could scarcely get enough of it.” Sugar has been popular through the ages but recent studies have found that sugar is harmful to your health.

Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes. With people becoming more health conscious, curtailing intake of sugar seems to have become a trend with consumers today.

Dinesh Pai, Pastry Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, observes, “Just like the old saying goes – ‘Even nectar is poison if taken in excess’ similarly overdoing sugar as a part of one’s daily diet can indeed be harmful in the long run. Sugar has come under attack in recent times owing to the amount of processed, sugar-laden options one can find in the markets and how easily it is accessible to all. Sugar can be found in a variety of edibles ranging from pastries to sauces, energy drinks to granola bars and while processed sugars can be harmful to the body, a moderate intake of sugar can be an acceptable part of a healthy, balanced diet.

“Sugar has a bittersweet reputation when it comes to health. One of the first things that people tend to connect to sugar is diabetes. Hence people with lesser clarity on the subject tend to fear and avoid sugar in its entirety than understanding what kinds of sugars are good and bad for you. In the past, people with diabetes were told to avoid eating all foods containing sugar this was because it was believed the sugar would have a negative effect on their blood sugar levels. Sugar occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits, grains, and dairy. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay. Since the human body digests these foods slowly, the sugar in them offers a steady supply of energy to your cells. A high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains also has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

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Wrap it up!

Packaging has become an important factor during the pandemic. People prefer to buy big brand packaged food products as they believe that these are more hygienic with less usage of human hands. They believe that packed under hygienic conditions, untouched by human hands, these packaged bakery products are less likely to spread the dreaded disease. The manufacturers’ objective of packaging food products is to protect it from spoilage or deterioration due to physical or chemical damage. Packaging, thus, not only ensures hygiene, by preventing tampering, but also helps in keeping the food from decaying. Besides this, it also provides product information and makes it look more presentable and appetizing. Ashok Malkani takes a look at the different types of packaging material available for bakery products and how they aid in increasing the products’ shelf life. New technologies have been adopted to enable bakery products maintain their freshness. He also takes a look at the future of bakery packaging to enable those desirous of entering the bakery packaging field, or starting a new bakery, keep abreast of the new emerging trends.

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