GCSE Food Technology - Functions of Ingredients

These cards explain the fuctions of various ingredients including flour, sugar, eggs and fats and oils.

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Wheat flour is the most important ingredient in home baking. There are many different types of flour such as:

  • Stone Ground
  • Wholemeal
  • Cookie flour

Flour as an ingredient has many different functions:

  • Provides fibre (especially if wholemeal!)
  • Makes mixtures rise(especially if self-raising!)
  • Thickens sauces
  • Forms the bulk of bread, cake and pastry mixtures
  • Provides colour and texture to food (if wholemeal!)
  • The gluten in the flour produces a stretchy dough
  • Also provides carbohydrate, fibre, Vitamin B, calcium and iron (all important nutrients!)
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Ever tasted a sugar-free biscuit? Not nice. Although sugars are used to make food products taste sweet, this is not the only function they have!

  • Provides sweetness
  • If brown sugar, it provides colour and texture
  • Large amounts can prevent microorganism growth on foods
  • Caramelises to produce a brown colour
  • Retains moisture
  • Helps to trap air in cake mixtures!
  • Also provides carbohydrates!
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You can use eggs for almost anything.. from egg Mcmuffins to meringue pies!

  • Hold air when beaten
  • Coagulate(sets) when heated
  • Add colour to mixtures
  • Helps to thicken sauces/custards etc.
  • Glazes bread, scones and pastries
  • Bind(sticks) ingredients together
  • Provides protein, fat, iron and vitamins A, B and D
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Fats and Oils

You may think that fats and oils aren't good for you, but they are an essential ingredient in most dishes!

  • Provide flavour for the food
  • Keeps the products moist
  • Extends the shelf life of the product!
  • Adds colour to the foods!
  • Hold air when creamed with sugar
  • Oil forms and emulsion with liquids (e.g mayonnaise)
  • Provides energy and vitamins A and D!
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