Christmas cake with cyclodextrin

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Bakerpedia is a central digital resource for the commercial baker industry worldwide. It is a free platform combining features of Google & Wikipedia and a leading source of knowledge concerning innovative baking solutions.

Alpha-cyclodextrin is enlisted among the commercial baking ingredients [1].

What is Alpha-cyclodextrin?

Alpha-cyclodextrin is a food additive that stabilizes flavors and emulsions, as well as eliminate undesirable compounds. In the food industry, alpha dextrins are used for:

  • Stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions
  • Controlling the solubility and dispersibility of un-mixable liquids
  • Masking odors and unwanted flavors
  • Stabilizing and protecting compounds from light, heat and oxidation
  • Encapsulation of oils, probiotics, food colors and flavors
  • Entrapment of cholesterol

Concerning its application in bakery the following practical advices are given:

  • Formulations containing amylase: alpha-amylase can hydrolyze α-1,4-glycosidic bonds of  alpha-cyclodextrin. Formulations that contain amylase for dough conditioning and crumb softening could impact the function of alpha-cyclodextrin.
  • Solubility in water: alpha-cyclodextrin has a solubility of 13 g/100 mL of water at 77°F (25°C). However, their water solubility increases to 66 g/100 mL when the temperature is raised to 140°F (60°C).2
  • Formulations rich in acids: a proper balance should be established between the total titratable acidity (TTA) and alpha-cyclodextrin to avoid hydrolysis. As a result, the cyclodextrin’s functionality could be hurt.
  • Emulsion preparation: for better results, alpha-cyclodextrin should be first dispersed in water. Then, fat or oil can be gradually added to the mixture to create a stable emulsion. Meanwhile, stirring the mixture to evenly disperse the discontinuous phase and surfactant.

It is not included in the bakerpedia post that alpha-cyclodextrin was recognized as dietary fiber by the EFSA. Since alpha-CD is essentially not digested in the small intestine,
it is by definition a soluble, fermentable dietary fiber. Dietary fiber means carbohydrate polymers, which are not hydrolyzed by the endogenous enzymes in the small intestine of humans.

In a scientific opinion of European Food Safety Administration (EFSA) a cause and effect relationship was established between the consumption of alpha-CD with starch-containing meals and reduction of postprandial glycemic responses that is the elevation of blood glucose concentrations after consumption of a food and/or meal. The health claim: “Consumption of alpha-cyclodextrin contributes to the reduction of the blood glucose rise after starch-containing meals” was accepted. The EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies considered that in order to obtain the claimed effect, at least 5 g of alpha-CD per 50 g of starch should be consumed [2].


[2] Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to alpha cyclodextrin and reduction of post prandial glycaemic responses (ID 2926, further assessment) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA J. 10:2713–2730.

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