I have often read that invert sugar reduces crystallization in ice creams. But why would that be? Wouldn't dextrose/glucose also offer the same benefits that invert sugar offers?

  • Dextrose is less sweet than invert sugar.
    – barbecue
    Mar 4 at 18:45
  • 1
    I cannot possibly turn this into an answer but en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_sugar_syrup seems to cover it
    – unlisted
    Mar 4 at 19:08
  • I don't understand how invert sugar would be better than the same quantity of glucose in reducing crystallization. I have assumed that adding invert sugar syrup to water is equivalent to adding the same quantity of dextrose + fructose into water. Mar 5 at 8:34

Simple crystals generally form when you have a lot of a particular chemical with the same shape, and a tendency to bind together. If you stack them as close as possible, you usually get a regular three dimensional array, a crystal. Invert sugar, glucose plus fructose, does not look like or pack like sucrose (glucose-fructose). It does however Hydrogen bond to sucrose. If that sucrose happens to be part of a crystal, that binding introduces a flaw into the crystal structure. This flaw impedes binding of more sucrose to the crystal, hence, smaller crystals.

This phenomena is true not only in ice cream making, but in much of chemistry, where if you want nice big clean crystals, you have to start out with a pretty pure mother liquor i.e. crystallization solution.

  • Wouldn't addition of dextrose monohydrate in the solution also impede the crystallization in a similar way to invert sugar by bonding with sucrose? I had the assumption that when invert sugar is dissolved in water it is part free glucose and part free fructose. Mar 5 at 8:28

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