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A Study Measuring the Effects of Replacing Sugar with Splenda in Pumpkin Cookies

by Noey Siler and Aimee Clem

The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of replacing sugar with Splenda in pumpkin cookies. 

Three variations of the recipe were used:  1) the control (CTL) in which no modifications were made to the original recipe; 2) half the sugar replaced with Splenda (HSP); 3) 100% of the sugar replaced with Splenda (SPA).  Thirty-two untrained judges were recruited from Central Washington University to complete the sensory tests which were:  two duo-trio tests, and tests for preference, sweetness, and tenderness using nine-point scales. 

Objective tests included penetration and compression force using a Universal Texture Analyzer, TA.XT2, (Texture Technologies Corp., Scarsdale, NY), and height using Vernier Calipers.  Analysis of variance and Tukey's least significant difference (LSD) were executed to determine significant difference at the 5% (P<0.05) level.  Duo-trio tests exhibited no significant difference between HSP and CTL, and a significant difference between SPA and CTL. 

A significant difference was found between SPA and HSP for sweetness but not between CTL and the other two treatments.  CTL was found to be significantly more tender than HSP.  SPA was found to be significantly less preferred than CTL and HSP.  Height measurements yielded significant difference between all variations. 

No significant texture difference was found between treatments using the cone probe; however, the texture measurements of SPA were found to be significantly different from CTL and HSP.  Replacing 100% of the sugar with Splenda was not preferred.  However, replacing half the sugar with Splenda produced acceptable pumpkin cookies.

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