The Secret of Sugar Substitutes

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WTF Sugar Substitutes – Sweet Enough Without Sucrose

Empower your pantry with the ultimate guide to table sugar alternatives… on this week’s WTF

Product Links:
Glucose Powder
Dextrose Powder
Fructose Powder
Sorbitol Powder
Xylitol Powder
Mannitol Powder
Maltitol Powder

Recipe Links:
One Minute DIY Honeycomb
SouthernMint Julep Gummies
Parmesan Savory Dessert Trio

Episodes and Links Referenced that you Might Like!
WTF – Isomalt
Ask A Chef – Flavor Release


  Relative Sweetness Source Color Appearance Suggested Usage
Isomalt 50% Sugar beet White medium sized spheres Candies, toffee, lollipops, fudge, wafers, cough drops, throat lozenges.
Description Isomalt is a natural sweetener, and an excellent sugar substitute. It has sugar-like physical properties, can be used in a 1:1 ratio for granulated sugar, and provides the taste, texture and half the calories of sugar. Isomalt is a low digestible carbohydrate made from beet sugar. It may be suitable for individuals needing to control their blood glucose and insulin levels, or for lower calorie, healthier recipe alternatives. Isomalt is perfect for sugar pulling and casting of all your sweet decorations (flowers, leaves, ribbons, etc…). It offers a higher resistance to humidity and stays flexible longer than regular sugar. There is no need for stabilizing acids. Isomalt creates a superior shine and will not crystallize like sugar. Isomalt does not get any coloration until reaching 190°C / 375°F. Isomalt can be colored like any usual sugar.
Dextrose 70% Corn White Powder Can be added to or in place of sucrose, prevents crystallization.
Description Dextrose aka grape sugar is a naturally occurring form of glucose. 70% as sweet as sugar and very hygroscopic. It inhibits crystallization in ice creams and sorbets and also provides flexibility to rolled fondant.
Glucose 70% Corn White Powder Can be added to or in place of sucrose, prevents crystallization.
Description Glucose a sugar sourced from corn and used to increase the sugar content of many products, stabilize ice creams / sorbets, make syrup and jam, and increase the shelf life of baked goods. In sugar work, glucose prevents recrystallisation and makes the sugar more elastic.
Fructose 117% Corn White Fine Crystalline Can be added to or in place of sucrose, prevents crystallization.
Description Fructose is the sweetest of all naturally occurring sugars. It is a major constituent of many fruits, berries, vegetables, honey, sucrose, and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It may be used alone, or in combination with other sweeteners, in a variety of food products. Fructose and sucrose are synergistically sweet; a 50/50 blend achieves a relative sweetness of 128. This allows for a reduction in sweetener and calories without a reduction in sweetness perception.
Lactose 20% Dairy White Fine Crystalline Unfermentable sugar used for brewing beers such as stouts.
Description Lactose Powder is derived from milk. Lactose is a sugar found naturally in milk, consisting of glucose and galactose molecules. It is 20% as sweet as sugar.
Mannitol 90% Dextrose White Fine Powder Hard candies, chewing gum, chocolates, baked goods and ice cream.
Description Maltitol is corn derived sugar alcohol that is used in many sugar free, low calorie and diabetic products. It will not brown or caramelize like sucrose.
Sorbitol 60% Dextrose White Fine Crystalline Sugar-free candies, chewing gums, frozen desserts and baked goods.
Description Sorbitol is a corn derived sugar alcohol that is 60% as sweet as sugar. It is used in many sugar free, low calorie and diabetic products. Sorbitol will not brown or caramelize like sucrose.
Xylitol 100% Sugar alcohol White Fine Crystalline General sweetening and flavoring
Description Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used for sweetening confections and other food products. It has no calories, making it a useful sweetener for diet foods. Xylitol has little to no effect on blood sugar and insulin and does not influence blood sugar levels.

About ‘We Transform Food’
We Transform Food is a weekly series from Modernist Pantry exploring cool ingredients and gadgets that can help any chef transform food into more memorable experiences.



  • Lorraine Parente
    April 10, 2019 1:42 pm

    Just yesterday, I made sugar free biscotti for the first time. I used Erythritol/Swerve. They were horrible….for all the reasons you would expect. I am trying to learn a little about cooking/baking. I think that it happened because the substitute is missing the hydroscopic and browning properties that come with using real sugar. So then I went on Amazon and ordered 2 different sweeteners to experiment with next, pyure and splenda. I am kicking myself that I didn’t wait one more day to see your video…lol. Anyway, what should I use to replace sugars when baking? Any other suggestions or advice would be great too.

  • Just looking for the chart you mentioned in the video. I don’t see it anywhere. How do I find it?

  • […] and Other Links you Might Like! WTF – Sugar Substitues WTF – Glucose DE42 Powder WTF – Isomalt Ask A Chef – Sugar Glass: How Too Use […]

  • […] Click Here to watch the full episode and learn more! […]

  • Susan Patella
    July 2, 2021 1:53 pm

    Have some icecream recipes that specify glucose powder. til i can get some can i sub with liquid 1:1? Recipe never calls for making powder into liquid: do u think that’s to reduce moisture/crystallization?

    • Cole Whitney
      July 6, 2021 11:39 am

      You can replace it 1-1 for syrup for the time being. It may increase the hydration but it should not be that noticeable.

  • How can I make sugar free syrup using
    In baklava thanks

    • Scott Guerin
      April 14, 2022 4:50 pm

      You could use a mixture of xylitol, sorbitol, and water to create a simple syrup for your baklava.

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