Changing properties: carbohydrates

Changing properties: carbohydrates

Carbohydrates - General Facts:

  • Carbohydrates are a key source of energy and are made up of sugar, starch, and fibre.
  • Various types of carbohydrates behave differently when cooked.

Starch in Cooking:

  • When starch is heated in a liquid, it absorbs water and swells. This is known as gelatinisation.
  • Example: This process is at work when thickening sauces or soups.

Sugar in Cooking:

  • When heated, sugar melts and turns from a white crystalline solid to a brown liquid. This is caramelisation.
  • Example: This process can be seen when making caramel or glazing a cake.

Fibre in Cooking:

  • Most fibre neither dissolves nor noticeably changes form when cooked.
  • Lengthy cooking can soften fibres.

Dextrinisation and Maillard Reaction:

  • Dextrinisation is the process that occurs when a starch is exposed to dry heat; the starch is broken down into dextrose resulting in a change of colour from white to brown.
  • The Maillard reaction, on the other hand, is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a carbohydrate resulting in browning.

Remember these keywords: gelatinisation, caramelisation, dextrinisation, and Maillard reaction.