What is Trehalose?


Trehalose is a disaccharide used in foods for: sweetening and as a bulking agent. It is a natural ingredient extracted from tapioca starch. It is commonly used in the cuisine of Japan and other Asian countries.

In gastronomy, Trehalose is mainly used as a sweetener and texturising agent. Trehalose, selected by Sosa Ingredients, is able to replace common sugar, reducing the sweetness by half, providing more stability and extending the storage life of the preparations.

Although it is less sweet than sucrose (common sugar), Trehalose has the advantage of being more stable in acidic preparations and at high temperatures.

This makes it useful in the production of ice cream, candies, bakery products such as cakes and biscuits, sauces and other elaborations.

Properties of Trehalose

Trehalose has several properties that make it valuable in culinary applications. Firstly, it stands out for its remarkable water retention capacity, which makes it an ideal ingredient for improving the texture and juiciness of various preparations. In addition, its cryoprotective action is particularly useful in the preparation of ice cream, as it prevents the formation of crystals and the appearance of syneresis during the freezing process.

Another outstanding property of trehalose is its ability to enhance flavours while protecting against oxidation of fruits and vegetables. This allows it to be used in the dehydration of these foods, achieving a crunchy texture and effectively preserving their flavour and colour. On the other hand, in dry products such as candies, caramelised nuts, biscuits, sables and meringues, trehalose acts as a moisture repellent agent, helping to maintain their freshness and consistency for longer.

In addition to these qualities, Trehalose exhibits remarkable stability to both heat and acid, making it suitable for a wide range of culinary applications. Its versatility and multiple benefits make it a valued ingredient in gastronomy, where it is used both for its functional properties and its ability to improve food quality and preservation.

Applications of its properties

Trehalose’s versatile properties find numerous applications in cooking and pastry making, adapting to a wide variety of recipes with different levels of water content, and even those with high proportions of fat. Its stabilising capacity is evident in the production of whipped creams, mousses and meringues, where it helps to maintain the consistency and structure of these desserts.

Trehalose also offers significant benefits in the preparation of whipped doughs, such as biscuits, mochi and sushi, by delaying drying and increasing their volume. Its use in the preparation of candies is also key to achieving a crunchy texture, allowing temperatures of up to 120ºC to be reached. In recipes such as puff pastries, a maximum concentration of 2% trehalose can increase volume and improve crunchiness.

Another relevant aspect is its ability to prevent syneresis in products such as gummies and pâte à fruit, thanks to its action that prevents excessive sugar penetration. These various applications demonstrate how Trehalose not only improves the quality and texture of finished products, but also offers practical solutions to specific challenges in cooking and pastry making.

Modo de uso de la Trehalosa

In summary, Trehalose can be incorporated into a variety of culinary and pastry recipes with great flexibility. It is recommended for use in a range of 10% to 30% as a substitute for regular sugar, although in specific cases, such as in the elaboration of dry meringues, it can completely replace the sugar content.

It is important to take into account its characteristics, with a solids content of 95%, a POD (melting point) of 45% and a PAC (freezing point) of 100%, to ensure its correct application in each preparation. With these guidelines, Trehalose offers not only improvements in texture and taste, but also practical solutions for the creation of a wide variety of dishes and desserts.

Demo Top Trehalose Applications

Below you will see a demonstration of the top applications of Trehalose in pastry, hand by hand with our chef Jean Sivieude.

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