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Old 01-21-2005, 01:49 PM   #1
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Polydextrose

Besides centralizing the recipes, I thought it might be a good idea to centralize the polydextrose (PDX) info/specs as well. A lot of the information on PDX was preliminary/outdated. This is the updated info.

For those unfamiliar with polydextrose, it is a white sugary powder that has little to no sweetness. It provides sugary texture (sticky, chewy, gooey) to baked goods. It also makes ice cream more scoopable. And, like sugar, it helps cakes/baked goods retain moisture. Sugar alcohols perform a very similar role, except for many people, non-erythritol sugar alcohols cause digestive issues and stalling. For this group, polydextrose is a feasible alternative.

Compactability

Polydextrose, like flour, is compactable. If you scoop out a cup, jiggle it, tap it on the counter, add more, repeat, you can get 8 oz. in a cup (just like sugar).

If, on the other hand, you scoop the PDX and level it... that comes out to about 5.5 oz. per cup.

Carb Count

According to the manufacturer (Tate & Lyle),

Sta-Lite III Polydextrose (the kind most of the people here are using) has the following specs:

Polydextrose (8.1 net carbs/100g)

More than 90% fiber
8.1% net carbs, including:
4% glucose
0-2% sorbitol
0-4% levoglucosan

I don't know for certain if levoglucosan is a carb. I am looking into it. Some people count sorbitol, others don't. Just to be on the safe side, I count 8.1 net carbs per 100g.

Using the scoop/level measuring method, a cup is 5.5 ounces which is 156 g. = 12.6 net carbs/cup.

So... depending on whether or not you count sorbitol or levoglucosan, polydextrose is 6-12 net carbs per cup using the scoop/level method.

Lastly, PDX is quoted by many sources as having 1 cal/g. As far as I can tell, it's a physical impossibility for it to have 1 cal/g AND be 90% fiber. The fiber claim seems to be backed up with more research, whereas the 1 cal/g seems to be more of a regulatory kind of thing. That's why I go with the 90% fiber numbers.

Glycemic Index

Research to date is revealing PDX to be non-glycemic.

Digestive Issues

Polydextrose is almost all fiber (90%). Each person reacts differently to fiber. When adding any fiber to the diet, it's important to do it gradually, so your body can adjust to it.

Polydextrose's digestive issues are discussed here.

So far, the most common complaint is gas.

All in all, it's in an entirely different class than the non-erythritol sugar alcohols, both from a perspective of severity of effects as well as the low percentages of people that have trouble tolerating it.

Assimilation Issue

When adding PDX to liquid ingredients, it has a tendency to form rock like clumps. Here are the workarounds to date:

1. If the recipe has sufficient dry ingredients, add the PDX to those, mix, and then add to wet ingredients. So far, this has been giving good results for the few people that have tried it.

2. Utilize PDX in a recipe with hot liquids:

Gelatin
Pudding
Mousse
Ganache
Simple syrup based beverages

If your recipe contains a cold liquid (such as Davinci syrup) that can be heated with the PD, then cooled/added, that works well too.

3. Add PDX to eggs, whip with a hand blender (or regular blender). A couple of days ago I conjectured that a vigorous whisking while sprinkling into eggs works - I tried it, it doesn't. For recipes where the PD goes directly into the eggs - it has to be blended.

Polydextrose will NOT cream with butter. This could be a little tricky when it comes time to make icing. Time should hopefully present a solution to this issue.

How to add PDX to a sweetening mix

Polydextrose is not for sweetness; it's for sugary texture. Erythritol/SAs add texture as well, so when combining PDX with SAs, the total of everything should equal the total for the sugar you're replacing. In other words, you want to match the bulk coming from sugar with the bulk from the PDX and the SAs.

Once you've got the texture component hammered out, then add your high intensity sweeteners (liquid splenda, stevia, ace K) to reach the desired level of sweetness. For the best quality/bang for buck, use more than one. Don't forget to compensate for synergy!

In previous threads, I've conjectured at some sweetening formulations. Rather than repeat those, I'd rather people post mixes that they know work to this thread.

Known Shortcomings

Crispy Meringue

Confirmed Applications

Ice Cream
Brownies
Cookies
Pudding
Quick Breads
Key Lime Pie
Glaze for Ham
Simple Syrup for frozen beverages
Corn Syrup
Pancake Syrup
Jam
Bread (moisture retention agent)

Potential Applications

Marshmallows
Fudge
Pecan Pie
Cake
Cinnamon Rolls/Danishes
BBQ Sauce
Jell-O
Buttercream Icing?
Nut Brittle/Candy?

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Although PDX can't replace the texture of sugar in every instance, for the vast majority of sugar based foods, it works wonderfully.

Happy baking!

Last edited by scott123; 01-21-2005 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:10 PM   #2
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Can you use Polydextrose without erythritol (sp?) but with liquid splenda type sweeteners? tia


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Old 01-21-2005, 04:11 PM   #3
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Awesome! Thanks for posting this, Scott!



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Old 01-21-2005, 07:13 PM   #4
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Wow Scott! You've been a busy man tonight, between this thread and the polydextrose recipe one! A big and thank you for organizing all the information!
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:06 PM   #5
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CandidCam and Cap57, you're very welcome, I'm glad you like it. I'm hoping that this is just the beginning of the accumulated PDX knowledge.

Kelly, yes, polyD will work with liquid splenda and other high intensity sweeteners.

How is your tolerance for sugar alcohols? The reason why erythritol is so popular, is that, for those avoiding laxating/stalling sugar alcohols like maltitol, sorbitol and xylitol, erythritol is one of the few remaining options for additional sweeteners. Once you cross the non-erythritol SAs off the list, it's pretty slim pickens. Saccharin is not all that popular. I, personally, find it to be bitter when baked. Aspartame (Nutrasweet) loses sweetness when exposed to heat. Other than those, what have you got? You've got splenda, stevia, ace K and erythritol. Splenda is a given. If you stick with just splenda, though, the quality of your desserts will suffer, as well as your bank account. So, what can you add to splenda? Of the three remaining options, E tastes the best and is the most reliable.

Splenda by itself - so so
Splenda plus E - pretty good
Splend, E and a tiny amount of ace k or stevia - watch out

If you're really h*ll bent on working only with liquid splenda, then, yes, polyD can be used in conjunction with it. You're baked goods will certainly have a superior texture than with splenda alone.

Now, if you're okay with sugar alcohols... well... that changes the playing field dramatically. Then you can back off the erythritol and bump up the maltitol or the sorbitol to your hearts content. Polydextrose works out to be a bit cheaper than the non-erythritol SAs, but at the same time there are a couple of specific applications that work best with maltitol and/or isomalt (such as hard candy, crispy meringues, etc.).

Regardless of your tolerance, PDX, because of it's low cost and many sugarlike qualities, is positioned to play a key role in any baking arsenal.
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Old 01-22-2005, 01:56 PM   #6
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Does Netrition sell Polydextrose and/or Hi Maze starch. Does Polydextrose, or the starch, have a brand name. If netrition does not have these products, is it likely they will get them in???
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:36 PM   #7
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So, it's best to use liquid splenda, erythritol and polydextrose? Where do you get the erythritol and polydextrose? tia for any info


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Old 01-22-2005, 10:22 PM   #8
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Sososo, the last I heard, Netrition is considering carrying polydextrose. I haven't heard anything about hi maize starch, though. The brand of polydextrose most people are using is sta-lite from tate & lyle (the makers of splenda).

Kelly, liquid splenda, erythritol and polydextrose are really good, but liquid splenda, erythritol, polyd and a tiny amount of ace k, is 'best.' At least from my perspective.

Erythritol is available here (click on market place above).
Forum rules preclude me from giving you a link for polydextrose. Googling it should give you something. Ace K goes by the brand names sunnett and sweet one. One of your local supermarkets might carry it.
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:35 PM   #9
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The only thing I found was a 50lb bag of PD. Too much I would think and also what is the ace-K? tia


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Old 01-22-2005, 11:22 PM   #10
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Kelly, it comes in 50 lb. and 5 lb. bags.

Ace-K, short for acesulfame potassium, is another high intensity sweetener. You find it in a lot of commercial products (most splenda sweetened sodas are a splenda/ace k combo). It's sold in packets under the brand names Sunett and SweetOne. Some supermarkets carry it, but from what I can tell, there are none in Massachusetts. You can get sweet one online for $2.75 for 50 packets (shipping included), but again, you'll have to google it.

Sweet one has the same type of bulking agent that granular splenda has, which kind of stinks, but at the amounts you'll be using (1, maybe 1.5 packets per cup of sweetener), the carbs should be mininal. It would be nice if ace k eventually came in a liquid form.
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:08 AM   #11
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is acek a aspartame? or different product. or derivitive?sp
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:47 AM   #12
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Griffin, ace K is a different product. Along with splenda, it is one of the more recent high intensity artificial sweeteners to be made available to the public. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar, non-caloric and non-glycemic. It's used in a great number of commercial products. Just off the top of my head:

Carbsmart ice cream
Russel Stovers
Carb countdown (juice, milk, and yogurt)
Diet Rite
Waist Watchers

A lot of people have tried ace k and hated it. This stems, in large part, to the fact that they used it either alone or combined with isomalt in diabetisweet. Used by itself, or as a large percentage of a sweetening mix it's aftertaste is vile. But when combined with splenda in very small amounts (10% or less), it's synergy really shines. For low carb bakers avoiding non erythritol sugar alcohols, the third sweetener option, after splenda and erythritol, is either ace k or stevia. If I could find a brand of stevia I was head over heels with, I'd go with that. Until then, I use and recommend ace K.
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:51 AM   #13
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but its not a sugar alcohol, as in tummy distress, but just a sweetener, sorry if im being thick
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:00 AM   #14
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Right, not a sugar alcohol. I have used it, like it. Had actually forgotten about it. But I do have a package or two of packets, guess I should get them out and use them.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:00 AM   #15
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Okay, I'll try looking for the 5lb. bags, didn't see them on the sites I visited. ugh

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Quote:
Originally posted by scott123
Kelly, it comes in 50 lb. and 5 lb. bags.

Ace-K, short for acesulfame potassium, is another high intensity sweetener. You find it in a lot of commercial products (most splenda sweetened sodas are a splenda/ace k combo). It's sold in packets under the brand names Sunett and SweetOne. Some supermarkets carry it, but from what I can tell, there are none in Massachusetts. You can get sweet one online for $2.75 for 50 packets (shipping included), but again, you'll have to google it.

Sweet one has the same type of bulking agent that granular splenda has, which kind of stinks, but at the amounts you'll be using (1, maybe 1.5 packets per cup of sweetener), the carbs should be mininal. It would be nice if ace k eventually came in a liquid form.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:19 AM   #16
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Kelly, the place that sells it in 50 lb. bags sells it in 5 lb. bags. You just have to keep looking. You'll find it
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:34 AM   #17
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You're AWESOME
THANKS
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:42 PM   #18
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Bumping to subscribe to this informative thread!

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Old 01-24-2005, 09:31 PM   #19
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As am I, but also to thank Scott123 for doing all this research and sharing it in such an organized and well-written post.

I will contribute when I'm back on sweets, but for now I'm reading with great interest!
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Old 01-28-2005, 01:12 PM   #20
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Thanks, Scott! I'm running out to buy some of these items!
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:10 AM   #21
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Scott,
I'm thinking about trying peanut brittle, using your corn syrup sub. I know you have the more concentrated liquid Splenda, while I have TrishZ's. Can you give me an equivalent sweetness of your 5 drops? Any other hints for me?
Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:28 AM   #22
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Cap57, assuming that Scott is using sweetz free, here's a chart of equivalents:

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Old 01-30-2005, 08:50 AM   #23
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Thanks Linda Sue! So, it looks like Scott's 5 drops would be equal to a scant 1/4 cup sugar. I would have thought corn syrup was sweeter, but then, I never tried it straight.
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:28 AM   #24
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Scott, along with the others, I can't thank you enough for all your hard work on the polyd subject. You're SUPER!!!
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:00 AM   #25
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Ditto!!
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:35 AM   #26
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Thanks Linda Sue for posting the conversion chart! That chart is a lifesaver for me.

In another thread Binki came up with another workaround for the assimilation issue. If your batter is liquid enough to go through a sieve, the sieve will strain out any PDX clumps. Although this will change the amound of PDX in the recipe, it beats having clumps. In the few instances where a PDX clump was still undissolved in my finished product, it was like biting into a piece of hard candy - not pleasant.

Cathy, peanut brittle is a bit of a question mark for polyd.

I've taken it up to a hard ball stage quite successfully, but past that, I don't know. Polyd is basically a mirror for corn syrup. Although you find many candy recipes where corn syrup is an ingredient, you don't find many that are made with just corn syrup. Not that it can't be done, it's just that at this point, I'm not sure. I do know, for a fact, that were you able to make something like brittle with PDX, it might get sticky if you try to store it, due to it's hygroscopicity.

And, thanks, everyone, for your very kind words
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Old 01-30-2005, 02:22 PM   #27
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scott i appreciate all your hard work too!
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:17 PM   #28
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I'm expecting a shipment of sweetz free any day so I may update that chart if I find that it's not accurate. Over50Mom uses it and she said she's had to adjust the quantity sometimes from what they recommend on the bottle. I'd also like to add Fiberfit to the chart so if anyone has experience with it and can send me some equivalents, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:07 PM   #29
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Lindasue, I just got some sweetzfree and it is the same as stated on your chart.
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:22 PM   #30
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mahyde, what I meant was do you find that you're getting the proper sweetness from what it says on the bottle? In other words, do you think that you get 1 cup's worth of sweetness from a 1/4 teaspoon of Sweetz Free or is it not quite enough or is it too sweet? I suppose it's best to use the label as a guideline anyway since everyone likes to sweeten things a little differently.

As far as Fiberfit goes, all I have to go by is what it says at Netrition:

"I suggest you use 3-4 Tb. of Fiberfit in place of each cup of sugar or Splenda granular called for, to begin with, and then adjust that measurement as needed to allow for differences in personal tastes."

That's a little too vague to work with. If the general consensus is that it takes a full 4 tablespoons to get 1 cup of sweetness, I can work with that and come up with the remaining equivalents, but if it only takes 3 tablespoons, the numbers would work out completely different.
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