Sucrose esters are obtained by esterifying sucrose with edible fatty acids from palm oil. This enables them to be used as emulsifiers in virtually all food products. All sucrose esters can be declared as ‘emulsifier E473’ or ‘sucrose esters’.
Sucrose esters are used in many food categories such as bakery, confectionery, cereals, dairy, ice cream and sauces. Manufacturers have multiple reasons to work with sucrose esters, for example it can improve the production process by reducing mixing time or keeping viscosities low. Sucrose esters are also more and more used in low fat alternatives. In these products the mouth feel provided by fat has to be maximized, an emulsifier makes the fat globules much smaller and therefore provides good eating properties. A bakery product will have a finer crumb structure and a softer texture, the stability of dairy or sauces will be improved, the texture of a mousse finer and ice cream a better flavor.
Although sucrose esters are categorized as emulsifiers their function is not only emulsification. Functions such as aeration, texturization, protein protection or starch interaction and fat or sugar crystallization are often used. Sucrose esters are unique in a way that they can boost other emulsifiers and improve the air bubble structure or prevent proteins from browning or keep starches from early staling. The effect on sugar and fat crystallization is primarily used in confections to prevent fat bloom in chocolate and to accelerate crystallization in fine grained sugar confection.