Healthy confectionery? Sweet!

A growing consumer trend for healthier foods is beginning to look at sectors of the food industry that are not traditionally considered to be healthy

Consumers eat chocolate products for the enjoyment, the taste, as a treat and for comfort. As such, healthier chocolate and low added sugar/no added sugar chocolate has typically comprised a very small portion of chocolate products.

Consumers, as they become more educated about health concerns and healthier options, are looking for alternatives to the existing products that offer a healthier alternative but still provide the taste and comfort they demand.

Sensus's range of inulin are viable products for use in reducing the amount of added sugar in manufactured chocolate.

They allow manufacturers to remove part of the sugar included in the manufacture of chocolate with a 1:1 replacement of inulin, which will still provide a pleasant-tasting finished product with no changes in the manufacturing process.

Inulin products, with the addition on polyols, which act as a bulking agent, and high intensity sweeteners, can be added to chocolate to both further reduce the amount of sugar included and also remove any added sugar from the process, enabling manufacturers to achieve claims of "Low Added Sugar" and "No Added Sugar."

Another area of development in the confectionery market, in the sweets/candy sector, with consumers continuing to seek exciting new taste experiences, is the growth of the sour sweets product range.

Fruity and exotic flavours that are coupled with quality sour effects are currently leading the way in product development, driven by consumer demand.

Perhaps some of the most important criteria for a buying decision is the visual appeal of confectionery, coupled with quality flavour. In soft panned sweets, Purac MA can be added to either the soft sweet centre, which will allow for a slow release sourness during the chewing cycle, or it can be added during the initial panned layer to create a more instant sourness during the bite whilst building up the additional coated layers to build the smooth and visually appealing surface.

Acid coated sour sweets will benefit from the use of specialist encapsulated malic acid. The improved sourness is accompanied by a clean taste and mouthfeel, caused by not using fat for the encapsulation process, which is typical of other encapsulated malic acids.

Natural or synthetic flavour combinations will help to meet the demand for both new and innovative flavour concepts as well as a continuation of existing flavour trends for a wide range of end-product applications.

Companies