WACKER is launching CANDY2GUM – a completely new confectionery manufacturing technology – onto the market. This makes it possible to produce chewy candy that turns into chewing gum in the mouth, opening up entirely new prospects for the sugar confectionery industry.
Since the basic ingredient of CANDY2GUM melts fully, manufacturers can make novel confectionery products using conventional candy boiling processes.
The chewing of gum-like substances appears to always have been a basic human need. Archeologists found the oldest specimen to date of a precursor to chewing gum when they excavated a 9,000-year-old settlement in southern Sweden. The ancient Greeks were also fond of similar substances. Some 2,000 years ago, they chewed on the resin of the mastic tree, which is still harvested on the Greek island of Chios. Nowadays, chewing gum is generally based on synthetically produced solid resins that serve as carriers for sugar, sweeteners and flavourings.
“The CANDY2GUM technology can be used to formulate unprecedented confectionery.”
Dr. Martin Seizl Business Development Manager at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS
The production of raw materials for the chewing gum industry is also a WACKER tradition. For over 60 years now, the company has been a leading supplier of food-grade polyvinyl acetate solid resins, which industry uses to make gum base. Together with finely ground sugar and concentrated flavourings, the gum base is kneaded into chewing gum at around 60 degrees Celsius. This gives the mixture a tough and tacky consistency, which is why it must be processed by powerful specialty machines. The choice of ingredients is limited. Water-based additives are not suitable, because they would dissolve the sugar out of the gum mixture. The disadvantage of fat-based ingredients is that they make the gum base extremely soft. This would cause the chewing gum to simply disintegrate in the mouth while being chewed instead of forming a homogeneous mass.
According to the Euromonitor market database, roughly 1,000 kilotons of chewing gum were sold worldwide in 2015 alone. The same period saw sales of gumdrops, jelly and chewy candy that were more than double that quantity. This also includes soft candy, as flexible sugar bars are known in the industry, which is available in every flavour variation – from all kinds of fruit to milk and even soft chocolate centres. These are based on a melted sugar solution, which is boiled with glucose syrup at approximately 100 to 130 degrees Celsius. Water- and fat-based ingredients such as milk, cream, honey, cocoa, nuts, vitamins and other flavourings, as well as colourings, can easily be added to the boiled sugar mixture. Chewy candy is produced in a continuous boiling process. Since sugar dissolves in water, it is also very easy to clean the equipment. Chewy candy thus has decisive advantages over chewing gum. However, it has a weak point: due to its sugar base, the calorie content is high.