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Making sugar-free sorbet?


henris42
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Hi,

 

I've been trying to figure out a sugar-free sorbet.

 

I started from this nice sugary recipe:

- 4dl sugar, mix with 1 teaspoon of neutrose

- 5dl water

make suryp, cool

- add juice from 3-4 lemons

- add 1.5dl limoncello

- mill in ice cream machine until nice texture (It will be under -6 centigrade to be ok)

 

However, I thought how can I make this to have way less sugar?

 

My first idea was to just replace the sugar with erythritol, and add few drops of stevia to compensate.

This looked OK in the ice cream machine, but after overnight in the freezer I ended up with a brick of ice...

 

So any ideas on what went wrong, and how I could make it work? If I can get this work, next step is to reduce sugar even more.

 

Cheers,

//HS

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Erythritol isn't really a valid sugar substitute.  At least, not on it's own- and not in something that requires the texture or the chemical properties of sugar.  

The alcohol in the limoncello gives you some freezing point depression, so that helps, but, you're going to need some sugary bulk.

If you were in the U.S., I'd tell you to buy allulose.  I'm not head over heals in love with allulose, but, it's the closest thing you'll find to sugar without having any obvious down sides- at least, not as of today.

Are you making this for yourself or serving it to others?  Inulin can be laxating, but, then, so is erythritol (for some).  As long as you keep the serving size small, though, the inulin should be tolerable- and actually adds some health benefits in the form of a prebiotic.

If I were making this, I might start with 2.5DL inulin, .5DL erythritol, .5DL xylitol for the sugar component. For 5DL water, that's about as much erythritol and xylitol as you're going to be able to work with while avoiding issues with crystallization. I would make the mix, chill it in the fridge overnight- maybe even 2 nights, and see if the sweeteners start to crystallize.  If they do, you'll want to back down on the erythritol and xylitol even more. Inulin is pretty powdery, so 2.5DL isn't much, so you can definitely increase the inulin for better texture, but, remember it's propensity for laxation.

 

If you have dogs, forget the xylitol, though.


That's the textural aspects of sugar.  As far as sweetness goes... Lemon requires a load of sweetening- and stevia isn't up the task- at all.  You're going to need at least one other high intensity sweetener in the mix.  Sucralose will help considerably, but I don't think even sucralose and stevia can rise to the task of countering the sourness of the lemon.  Maybe add aspartame as well.
 

Edited by scott123 (log)
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@scott123 covered everything i'd say, as usual. i like allulose a lot - for other people, i can't eat it, personally - so if you can acquire it, or don't mind finding a source for it, it's a great option. although like with other sweeteners, you'd still need to add a super sweetener like the aforementioned sucralose, say.

 

depending on what's easy to find for you, you might also consider playing around with polydextrose / poly-D instead of, or in addition to, inulin. but again, that's a personal thing as inulin is difficult for me to eat beyond one or two grams.

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2 hours ago, jimb0 said:

depending on what's easy to find for you, you might also consider playing around with polydextrose / poly-D instead of, or in addition to, inulin. but again, that's a personal thing as inulin is difficult for me to eat beyond one or two grams.


Polydextrose and I go way back.  I was the first online advocate for baking with polydextrose at home.  I bought a 50 lb. bag in 2004 and am still baking with that same bag today (it's clumped into a single mass that's hard as a rock, but I can break pieces off with a hammer). I've had inulin in my pantry all this time as well, but, I'd never betray my beloved polyd.  This being said, polydextrose would most likely be impossible to find in Finland, while here's a link for inulin:
 

https://iconfit.fi/toode/iconfit-inulin-400g-kasulik-kiudaine/

As far as tolerability goes, inulin and polyd are very close molecular cousins.  Polyd is polymerized glucose, while inulin is polymerized fructose.  Long chain sugars shouldn't really cause dramatically more or less issues than other long chain sugars.  Not that I'm discounting your experience.  I think, though, that if you look at most people, all things being equal, polyd and inulin should digest somewhat similarly- ie, they should be fine up to a certain dose.  

Is it possible that you might have built up a tolerance to polyd since you eat it more frequently, but, don't eat inulin as frequently?

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Well the use case is to make for myself/small parties at this point - unless I actually crack it with a tolerable and nontoxic recipe.. ;)

 

Indeed allulose and polydextrose are banned as food additives in the EU, so those are not too promising. I guess I can test inulin, but with that I'm worried about tolerance. I don't want to make a sorbet that gives "the runs"..

 

Eryrithol and Stevia combined gave a very nice taste though, only problem is the texture. Could there some completely different substance (non-sugar) that would just give the texture and keep it scoopable - with near-zero taste?

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2021 at 10:59 AM, henris42 said:

Eryrithol and Stevia combined gave a very nice taste though, only problem is the texture. Could there some completely different substance (non-sugar) that would just give the texture and keep it scoopable - with near-zero taste?


When it comes to achieving the textural qualities of sugar, there is no free lunch.  Either the product digests, and raises blood sugar, or it doesn't and it causes digestive issues.  As I said, erythritol is already laxating, so inulin is not that dramatic of an addition- and is certainly not anything bordering on toxic.  If you eat legumes/artichokes, you're eating inulin.  Sugar free desserts involve a certain amount of personal responsibility.  You need to inform your guests and/or customers what ingredients you're using, but it's up to them to make the decision as to whether or not to consume it.  It's like serving lentil  soup to guests.  It's up to you to tell them it's lentil soup, but it's up to your guests to forgo it if they typically have issues digesting legumes.

Hydrocolloid gums like acacia are sometimes used to mimic the texture of sugar, but those are laxating as well.  

Edited by scott123 (log)
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Posted (edited)

I know the difference between the two, but i'll just say it - while both can cause issues, one is really another level. i refuse to eat jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) for this reason.

 

it's too bad that erythritol, for several reasons, fares so poorly in frozen desserts in quantity because i find it the best tolerated in terms of something that is bulking. it's just not that useful in cold stuff or baking anything with a lower water content.

 

"banned ingredients" in this case, imo, are only a pain insomuch as acquiring them can be expensive, really, we're not talking about anything with health risks. selling is a different story, i guess, but even then, i don't think polydextrose is banned in the EU as a food additive, unless this was done, like, extremely recently:

 

https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/novel_food/catalogue/search/public/?event=home&seqfce=784&ascii=P#

 

also, i'd keep an eye out for allulose. it's not banned, either, rather it hasn't yet been allowed. multiple companies are pushing for approval as we speak 

 

too bad that really the sorbet is the issue, here, since it's a lot easier with something like an ice cream full of fat. 

Edited by jimb0 (log)
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On 5/30/2021 at 11:13 PM, jimb0 said:

it's too bad that erythritol, for several reasons, fares so poorly in frozen desserts in quantity because i find it the best tolerated in terms of something that is bulking.


I think, because granular erythritol looks so much like sugar, it's easy to fall under the misconception that it provides bulk.  It doesn't.  The molecular weight for sugar is 342 g/mol, while erythritol is 122.  You might be tempted to think that erythritol provides 1/3 the bulk, but, it's way worse than that, since the relationship isn't linear. At room temp, 370g of erythritol is soluble in 1 liter water (1/5th the solubility of sugar). If you were to dissolve 370g sugar in 1 liter of water, it wouldn't be super viscous, but it would clearly not be pure water.  370g of erythritol, on the other hand, would be indistinguishable from pure water.  That's how little bulk erythritol is bringing to the table.  

Erythritol has only one purpose in desserts- in small enough quantities to keep it from being crystallized (crystallization = no sweetness + offputting endothermic/cooling effect) it's invaluable for bumping up the synergy with other sweeteners and elevating the overall quality of sweetness.  Fats, protein and starches all impact erythritol's crystallization, so there aren't any hard and fast rules.  Keeping my erythritol in proportion to the polyd has worked pretty well for me.  7 parts polyd to 1 part erythritol, in solution, tends to keep the erythritol from misbehaving.

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On 6/1/2021 at 4:42 PM, scott123 said:


I think, because granular erythritol looks so much like sugar, it's easy to fall under the misconception that it provides bulk.  It doesn't.  The molecular weight for sugar is 342 g/mol, while erythritol is 122.  You might be tempted to think that erythritol provides 1/3 the bulk, but, it's way worse than that, since the relationship isn't linear. At room temp, 370g of erythritol is soluble in 1 liter water (1/5th the solubility of sugar). If you were to dissolve 370g sugar in 1 liter of water, it wouldn't be super viscous, but it would clearly not be pure water.  370g of erythritol, on the other hand, would be indistinguishable from pure water.  That's how little bulk erythritol is bringing to the table.  

Erythritol has only one purpose in desserts- in small enough quantities to keep it from being crystallized (crystallization = no sweetness + offputting endothermic/cooling effect) it's invaluable for bumping up the synergy with other sweeteners and elevating the overall quality of sweetness.  Fats, protein and starches all impact erythritol's crystallization, so there aren't any hard and fast rules.  Keeping my erythritol in proportion to the polyd has worked pretty well for me.  7 parts polyd to 1 part erythritol, in solution, tends to keep the erythritol from misbehaving.

 

i think you’re using bulk differently than i am, perhaps. industrially erythritol is considered a bulking agent. 

 

as for use in desserts unless i’m explicitly seeking out its crystallization (in some cookies it’s actually interesting as it adds a fudgy texture) i generally restrict its use to something very wet like a pie or warm custard - a lot of pies can use erythritol on 1:1 basis for sugar or even higher to overcome its lower sweetness (though as you say i tend to use it synergistically with some blend of super sweeteners). 

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22 hours ago, btbyrd said:

Isn't the problem not with what non-sugar is being used and rather with ice crystal growth? Add some stabilizers. Gelatin, pectin, locust bean gum, carrageenan, guar... 

 

yes, although some specifically tend to be just bad for frozen desserts especially imo

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I was thinking first that stabilizers would help - as they do improve the texture when using just sugar.

 

I've been using Louis François Super Neutrose. I gather it has most of the ingredients suggested above...

 

Anycase with that and erythritol I ended up with a brick of ice... 😁

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16 hours ago, henris42 said:

I was thinking first that stabilizers would help - as they do improve the texture when using just sugar.

 

I've been using Louis François Super Neutrose. I gather it has most of the ingredients suggested above...

 

Anycase with that and erythritol I ended up with a brick of ice... 😁

 

As I said before, hydrocolloid gums (like Super Neutrose) can be used to replace sugar- not just augment sugar based recipes.  But you need considerably more- but, not too much since they can be laxating.  And I wouldn't just ramp up the Super Neutrose, either, since, although it's hydrocolloid gums, the first ingredient is sugar, which works against your sugar free goal.

Gelatin is not a bad idea- for some of the lifting.  To it's credit, it's not laxating, but if you go too heavy with it, it will become chewy.  

When it comes to gums, much like sweeteners, the more the merrier.  Acacia, guar, carob, xanthan, locust bean, alginate.  carageenan.  Agar can get a little complicated, but maybe even some agar as well.

With enough gelatin and the right amount of a wide variety of gums, you might be able to cut the inulin in half.  Half as much inulin should be more tolerable. 

The other thing I'd play around with would be allowing the sorbet to warm up a bit before serving it.  The warm up only works with the additional ingredients, though. since it will require some structure as it thaws.

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