Humectant syrup is a hygroscopic or water-pulling substance that is included in the food for enhancing the retention of moisture. Humectants act as moisture-retention agents and anti-dusting agents. Sorbitol is a popular humactant which is incorporated in many of the baked goods and fillings to extent their shelf life. Sobitol in powdered form is used for replacing sucrose in products like biscuits. Sorbitol and sorbitol syrup are hydrogenated carbohydrates or sugar alcohols. They are commonly known as sugar replacers or sugar-free sweeteners. In nature, Sorbitol is found in many fruits.
Food applications: Sorbitol syrup is used in a large variety of foodstuffs. Humectant sorbitol syrup is used in bakery and pastry applications as a stabiliser. Its major function is maintaining moisture content of foodstuff and thereby, extending shelf-life.
In Confectionery: Sorbitol has been used as replacement for sugar in various confectionery products. Being an efficient humectant and plasticiser, it is used as substitute for glycerine or invert. When used in cream paste at an addition of 0.5%, it brings a softer texture. When a 5 to 10% addition is there, the process of drying out of fondants and fudge gets reduced. It helps in controlling water activity as well as crystallisation. Humectant sorbitol syrup improves freshness and quality of candid fruits and same kinds of products by reducing moisture loss from them.
Cosmetics applications: As a humectant and as a flavouring and skin conditioning agent sorbitol is commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products. For personal care applications like mouthwash and toothpaste, it proves to be an ideal base. The humectant functionality of sorbitol restores the moisture content of toothpaste, prevents it from drying out and provides the required viscosity.
Humectant corn syrup: High fructose corn syrup is widely used syrup which is also used as a sweetener. Humectant corn syrup is made from corn and is a popular choice for sweetening many foods. Apart from its sweetening properties, it has various other properties. It is an excellent humectant and improves the quality of many foods. The Humectant corn syrup keeps the moisture content of an item intact and helps in keeping it moist. It is hygroscopic in nature. The humectant syrup ingredients present in it attract moisture from the atmosphere. As a food additive Humectant corn syrup acts at a humectant in intermediate and low moisture foods like bakes food items. It helps to maintain moist consistency of such foods and at the same time prevents it from getting crystallised. This improves the shelf life of foods.
Humectant glycerol: Glycerol or glycerine is a good humactant and this is why it is often used in the skin creams and moisturising lotions. Some of these humectants are vegetable oil based and work for smoothing or moisturising the skin.
Humectants as moisture gatherer: Certain humectants when added to the root level of plants help in gathering more moisture from the ambience, thus, they give a more life-like appearance to the plants. Using humectants, many gardeners conserve water.
The maximum use of humectant syrup is found in foods and cosmetic products for the purpose of retaining water.