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luvchocolate

Everything you wanted to know about invert sugar

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Yes and no.  I like the visual of if there is mold, but the contradictory shelf life of 6 months v. 2 years is a big spread.  And one of my pet peeves is the idea of a time from purchase since we have no idea how long that stuff has been sitting in a warehouse.

That's true. In this case, the product I have does show a 'Best By' date. I was just surprised that invert sugar could go bad since I've never noticed one to get moldy or taste off.

It's not so much that the invert sugar will spoil but it will get contaminated just by breaking the seal on the bucket and using utensils that aren't perfectly clean. And of course, unless you are using a brand new spatula and you are working in a sterile environment, there is no such thing as perfectly clean.

During the summer months, I used to store my glazing fondant in the refrigerator because the kitchen was so warm and the fondant (which may have only been open for a month) would eventually foster a thin layer of mold. I have also seen maple syrup get moldy if it is left at room temperature for too long. So, it can happen. (But then again, most of the kitchens I have worked in average 78F or higher on a cool day.)

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Hi,

I'm no chemist and can't define invert sugar. My wife has experienced problems with Isomalt and Pastillage.

Isomalt definitely has a shelf life. After a year of careful, room temp., storage, it caramelizes below 300 degrees.

My wife has also experienced problems with pastillage which would not stay hard. The same problem was documented on that Food Channel Cake show by Duff?? Guess what, the same source, New York Cake.

Tim

Tim

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It certainly crystallizes over time, but as far as 'going bad' - it's no worse than honey.  I just scrape the crystals in with the liquid.

It doesn't have any crystals. I was concerned it may go rancid, because its been sitting on the shelf for a while. Thanks.

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funny story. i once had a trail ask me which part was the "good part", the white crystalline mass or the soupy liquid. i honestly had no informed answer so i told him to just mix it all up. turns out thats a pretty ominous task.

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After several years I had a 15-lb bucket of Trimoline that had sat unused both separate and turn coffee-colored. The task of recombining the two halves was quite a job. When recombined it seemed fine, taste was the same but it was coffee-colored. I had bought it for home use so I didn't need it that often.


Brian Ibbotson

Pastry Sous for Production and Menu Research & Development

Sous Chef for Food Safety and Quality Assurance

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According to good old Wikipedia:

"Crystalized invert sugar solutions may be restored to their liquid state by gently heating."

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It doesn't have any crystals. I was concerned it may go rancid, because its been sitting on the shelf for a while. Thanks.

There is no fat in it, so I don't think it can go rancid.


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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It doesn't have any crystals. I was concerned it may go rancid, because its been sitting on the shelf for a while. Thanks.

There is no fat in it, so I don't think it can go rancid.

You're correct it doesn't have any fat, so it can't go rancid. I guess rancid wasn't the word I should of used.

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After much fretting over absurd online prices, I gave in and made my own invert sugar. The "Chef Eddy" recipe below works very nicely, and remains liquid for at least a few weeks.

http://www.chefeddy.com/2009/11/invert-sugar/

I do, however, have a few questions:

1. Is it true that alcohol functions similar to invertase in its' capability to invert sugars? I've seen alcohol used in cordial cherry confections to invert the sugar, but was wondering if this was an unrelated effect. If so, a splash of everclear may be useful to prevent crystallization and sustain the usability of the product.

2. How much invert can or should I use in baking? And where might I use it? I made it for ganache centers and ice cream, but as long as I'm keeping it in the fridge, I'd like to try improving my pastry.

3. How much invert is recommended for ice creams and sorbet? A complete replacement keeps the result from sometimes freezing at all.

PS:

Go make some invert sugar. It's handy!

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I stopped using invert for my ganaches about a year ago. I use a "natural, pure" form of invert--Honey.

The stuff will start to get weepy/watery and separate after about 6-9 mths, depending on how old it was when you got it.

For sorbets, I used to sub 10% of the sugar for invert, and one of the caveats about using invert was not to heat it above 80 Celcius--if memory serves me, I think I got that from one of Wybauw's books

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To bring this discussion to a dedicated thread:

I just melt it enough to liquefy it and go ahead and use it.

Bear in mind that if you raise the temperature of invert sugar too high (I think it's 70 or 80C) it loses all the properties that you are using it for in the first place.

Pat, looking great!

Chris

Chris, I not trying to challenge what your saying at all, in fact I feel like I barley understand invert sugar, I have many questions. But if what you say is true, about raising the temp too high, what would be the point of Greweling specifying invert sugar in his marshmallows or fudge, both things that are boiled to 240f or so. I've made chef Eddy's recipe for invert sugar, it seems to be keeping fine in the fridge, but I feel like it shouldn't be refrigerated, from a confectionery point if view, nothing really seems to be in the first place. I feel, like Greweling says in his book, that a reliable invert sugar can be made with invertase, but have get to find a recipe that uses it, only cream if tartar and citric acid. Anyways, thanks for reading my jumbled questions and thoughts!

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2

Bear in mind that if you raise the temperature of invert sugar too high (I think it's 70 or 80C) it loses all the properties that you are using it for in the first place.

Chris

Chris,

On the heating invert sugar issue, there was a thread about this previously.

From Kerry Beal:

We have had this discussion before about overheating invert sugar - which seems to have originated with something Wybauw said. Is there any evidence that overheating invert sugar really does change it's chemical structure in a way that negatively impacts shelf life and taste?

Answer from lironp:

I asked him about that in the course I took with him-

He said that he found that to be true only for one type of inverted sugar he had worked with that had been inverted with some sort of chemical, (that is not really available to purchase), instead of the traditional way (which is what confectioners usually buy). I don't remember the details of the whole explanation, or the differences between the sugars, but at the end he explained that there is no problem boiling the invert sugar that we usually buy, and the one we used in the course.

I merely parrot what we were told in class on this issue - I don't know enough about it to know the technical details. But our instructor said they had been told by three separate chefs, two MOF's and another from the Chocolate Academy in Chicago, that this was an issue... so I'm going to trust them!

Why some formulas say to just boil it and others don't? I have no idea :D

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In researching how to invert sugar using invertase, most sources say after the sitting period, to further reduce the syrup. This, of course, entails cooking. When making ganache I didn't used to heat the invert sugar over 70C, but now, after researching how it is made, I don't adhere to that.

Here's what Minifie says about making invert sugar in Chocolate, Cocoa, and
Confectionery: Science and Technology:

50% concentration of syrup. Bring to 140F. Adjust pH to 5. Add invertase at 0.15% of the syrup. At these conditions, inversion should be
complete after 8 hours. Can now further reduce concentration to 75% for storage.

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My experiments so far - took 80 grams of dark chocolate, added 44 grams of heavy cream heated to 40 C, or 44 grams of heavy cream with 15 grams of invert sugar heated to about 40 C, or 44 grams grams of heavy cream with 15 grams of invert sugar and boiled the crap out of it.

Heavy cream alone - aW 0.74 or so

cool invert - aW about 0.74 as well

hot invert aW 0.64

So flying in the face of everything - looks like boiling the crap out of it is the way to go! Perhaps the invert sugar that I made just yesterday hasn't fully inverted yet and boiling it caused further inversion.

I will repeat this experiment in a couple of weeks when the invert sugar has aged a little further.

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To add to this discussion (probably without adding any clarity): I was not happy with the completely solidified condition of invert sugar I had made (using Eddy van Damme's recipe) and yesterday ordered some from L'Epicerie. In the product description are these words:

=========

Trimoline is an uncrystallizable sugar that allow freshness and softness to remain for longer period of time. This product should not be submit[ted] to important temperature variations or kept near sunlight.

=========

Now I don't know whether the warning is referring merely to storage or to use, but may know more when the product arrives.

I did come across another mention of this topic in a thread from 2006 in which Kerry described a demonstration by J.P. Wybauw. She reported that he stated: "Invert sugar should not be heated above 70 C, it will remove its water sequestering effects." So he has said this more than once.

Jim

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My experiments so far - took 80 grams of dark chocolate, added 44 grams of heavy cream heated to 40 C, or 44 grams of heavy cream with 15 grams of invert sugar heated to about 40 C, or 44 grams grams of heavy cream with 15 grams of invert sugar and boiled the crap out of it.

Heavy cream alone - aW 0.74 or so

cool invert - aW about 0.74 as well

hot invert aW 0.64

So flying in the face of everything - looks like boiling the crap out of it is the way to go! Perhaps the invert sugar that I made just yesterday hasn't fully inverted yet and boiling it caused further inversion.

I will repeat this experiment in a couple of weeks when the invert sugar has aged a little further.

Kerry, did you replace any evaporated liquid? That might account for the reduced aW.


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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My experiments so far - took 80 grams of dark chocolate, added 44 grams of heavy cream heated to 40 C, or 44 grams of heavy cream with 15 grams of invert sugar heated to about 40 C, or 44 grams grams of heavy cream with 15 grams of invert sugar and boiled the crap out of it.

Heavy cream alone - aW 0.74 or so

cool invert - aW about 0.74 as well

hot invert aW 0.64

So flying in the face of everything - looks like boiling the crap out of it is the way to go! Perhaps the invert sugar that I made just yesterday hasn't fully inverted yet and boiling it caused further inversion.

I will repeat this experiment in a couple of weeks when the invert sugar has aged a little further.

Kerry, did you replace any evaporated liquid? That might account for the reduced aW.

Nope - didn't. Will do on the next go round.

K

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It will separate into its two components on standing.  Just stir it and it is fine.


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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Little bits of it sometimes crystalize. If I see a lot of crystallization I'll reheat the batch until the crystals disolve. I always make my own invert syrup, and assume I end up with something that's less pure and consistent than the manufactured product. It's possible that a small portion of the sugar doesn't invert ... this could leave the batch less stable. It doesn't seem to effect the quality of anything I make with it.


Notes from the underbelly

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