Invert sugar, is a liquid form of sugar, used mainly in the production of processed food items. But, is it really healthy for consumption? Find out in this Buzzle post.
Did You Know?
Invert sugar is called so because of its ability to ‘invert’ light in a polarimeter, which is used to check the amount of sucrose broken down while boiling a sugar syrup.
Sugar is more than just being tiny white-colored granules. It is used in almost all kinds of food items, alcohols, juices, etc. However, looking at the health risks that it has, people are now shifting to its ‘healthier substitutes’, thanks to the advancement in food technology! One such substitute of sugar is the invert sugar.
Invert sugar is the liquid sugar composed of glucose and fructose which is obtained by breaking down sucrose into these two compounds. It is one of the most popular liquid sweeteners, and is extensively used in the food industry. It is sweeter than regular sugar and does not form crystals easily. This is the reason why it is so valued by bakers. But, is it really safe to consume? Let us try to find the answer in the following sections.
More About Invert Sugar
This liquid sugar has all the desirable properties that are needed in bakery products. It is slightly different in taste and is widely used as a preservative in storing food items. Food companies often use it because it is less prone to crystallization and helps retain the moisture, thereby preventing the growth of bacteria. This helps in preservation of food for longer periods of time. It is about 25% sweeter than regular white sugar. Therefore, you may require 25% less of it to substitute white sugar, and still achieve the same level of sweetness. The most popular use would be in squashes, lemonades, and other drinks that provide instant energy and taste because of the glucose and fructose present in it.
This liquid sugar is mostly used in cooking or preparing food items that require smaller crystals of sugar. Using it will give smoother and less crystallized product, thereby increasing the shelf life. Many people buy the commercially made syrups from the store, or prepare it themselves at home by combining acids like lemon juice.
Is Invert Sugar Safe?
As far as health is concerned, it poses the same risks as regular sugar does when used in excessive quantities. Since sugar has become an integral part of our diet, any product containing any form of sugar must be used in moderation. According to USDA’s 2010 DGAC, the consumption of foods containing invert sugar must be limited as they contain excess calories and less of other essential nutrients. One tablespoon of invert sugar contains 58 calories and 14.6 grams of carbohydrates, and its excess consumption may have the following effects on health.
It can damage your heart
When consumed in high quantities, it acts as a fuel in increasing the risks of heart diseases or other problems that lead to heart attacks.
It promotes obesity and belly fat
The intake of excess fructose encourages the maturing of visceral fat cells, which leads to the storage of fats around the belly. This in turn increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
It leads to decaying of teeth
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that produce acids, which damages the tooth. The bacteria that combine to form plaque use sugar as a source of energy to grow and stick to the surface of the tooth. So, if you don’t want your teeth to get decayed, then cut down on sugar or any kind of sweets, chocolates, drinks, etc.
It may be linked to cancer
When you eat sugar, there may be a sudden increase in the hormone insulin that might increase the risk of certain types of cancers such as breast, colon, or uterine cancer.
Although invert sugar adds flavor and texture to food, it is simply sugar in disguise. Hence, its excessive consumption should be avoided, especially by those with heart problems. So, always eat healthy, stay healthy!