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Food Science and Nutrition Alumni

Nonnutritive Sweeteners Stevia and Splenda are Acceptable Sugar Replacements in Reduced Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies

by Jeffrey Davis, Jennifer Reeves, Brooke Wolsky

Jeffrey Davis, Jennifer Reeves, Brooke Wolsky

The goal of this study was to develop an acceptable reduced-sugar snickerdoodle cookie to provide a healthier alternative for diabetics or the calorie conscious. Diabetes is of particular interest because of its increasing prevalence. Our purpose was to find out if replacing 25% of the sugar with stevia or Splenda would affect the maintenance of a desirable flavor, texture, and appearance.

Fifty judges were recruited from introductory nutrition courses to complete six sensory evaluations (two triangle tests, intensity tests for sweetness, tenderness, and brownness, and one preference test). Objective tests of the cookies measured four attributes. The compression and penetration force of cookies from each variation was measured using the TA.XT2. Diameter and height differences were measured using digital calipers. Significant differences between the samples were determined using an ANOVA two-factor without replication test. Tukey’s LSD was calculated for tests with a significant P-value.

While sensory testing revealed significant differences in sweetness, tenderness, and browning, there were no significant differences in preference ratings between the three cookie variations. Significant differences were found in all four objective tests. Stevia and Splenda were found to have smaller diameters and required less compression force than the control. Splenda was found to be significantly taller than stevia and the control. All samples had significantly different penetration forces. The control cookie required the most force and stevia the least. The reduced-sugar cookies did not lose attributes that sugar contributes to baked products. Therefore, stevia and Splenda are acceptable replacements when creating a reduced-sugar cookie.

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