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.