Bakers Journal

3D printing layering technique increases sweetness of reduced-sugar chocolate: U of Alberta study

November 3, 2021
By Colleen Cross

Edmonton – Researchers at the University of Alberta are using a layering technique to 3D print low-sugar chocolate that makes it taste as sweet as chocolate made using regular sugar.

Sugar-reduced chocolates with desirable sensory qualities and sweetness can be created using a 3D printer by layering chocolates with different sugar concentrations, the study’s authors said in their abstract.

This study aimed to evaluate the temporal sensory profile, perceived sweetness intensity, and acceptance of prototype sugar-reduced and non-sugar-reduced 3D printed chocolates.

A consumer panel evaluated the sensory profiles of six-layered chocolates. Sensory profiles were determined by temporal dominance of sensations, overall sweetness by a five-point intensity scale, overall liking by the nine-point hedonic scale and differences among chocolates over time were visualized by principal component analysis.

Layering by 3D printing achieved a 19 per cent reduction in sugar without changes in the perceived overall sweetness and overall liking. Layering order of high and low sugar chocolate influenced the perceived overall sweetness and temporal sensory profiles of 3D printed chocolates with different total sugar concentrations.

Milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate

The dominance of attributes associated with milk chocolate was observed to increase sweetness perception while the dominance of attributes associated with dark chocolate was observed to decrease overall sweetness perception. Three-dimensional food printing technology is progressing rapidly, and further sugar reduction could be achieved with refined research methods, the authors found.

The study, entitled “Temporal Sensory Perceptions of Sugar-Reduced 3D Printed Chocolates,” has been published in the journal Foods.

Authors are Khemiga Khemacheevakul and John Wolodko of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta; Ha Nguyen and Wendy Wismer.

The full study is available here.

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