To make a good marshmallow, you need to get the air straight. With it, proper marshmallow manufacturing equipment and a few ingredients – categorized into sweeteners and emulsifying agents, like gelatin – help you achieve flavor. Popular around the world, the marshmallow market size reached $319.8 million in the US and Canada.
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The importance of air in marshmallow production
Air serves an important role in the quality and texture of the marshmallows, as they represent 40-60% of its content. The air creates bubbles that help form a standard product, giving it puffiness.
To produce marshmallow, you pump the air into the mixture. The more air pumped, the lighter the mixture will be. Be careful, though – when trapping too much air inside the marshmallow, it causes it to expand way more than the usual size, making it too light.
After forming the mixture, squeeze it through an extruder to produce the familiar pillow shape of regular marshmallows. Thereafter, send the marshmallow to a cooling drum where any excess starch may be removed, before packaging.
Creating good vegan marshmallows
Marshmallows are not vegan-friendly, as more conscious consumers tend to believe. The reason why is the use of gelatin, which is a binding agent in marshmallows. When combined with air, it gives it the fluffy foam texture we all like and also extends the product’s shelf life. But if you want to produce vegan marshmallows, then gelatin cannot be your choice, as it is a by-product from the animal industry. Try vegan substitutes instead. Some producers use carrageenan, a gel that originates from seaweed. Another option is the xanthan gum, a vegan gelatin which is fully plant-based.
Producers also need to mind the use of sugar when making vegan marshmallows. Sugar manufacturers often use bone char as a decolorizer in sugar processing. The bones are from cows, and they act as a filter to achieve the white sugar we know.
To create a truly vegan product, opt for other types of sugar, like the organic granulated one. Sugar that doesn’t go through filtration process is often vegan – which is true for demerara and muscovado types, for instance. You can also opt for beet sugar or for white sugar that has different filtration processes, such as with an ion-exchange system.
How to make sugar free marshmallows
Apart from vegan options, the market trends are also pointing out less or no-sugar products. This is true also for the confectionary industry, as people want to be healthier but still eat a snack from time to time. In North America, for instance, the sugar-free marshmallow market is expected to expand at over 8% CAGR through 2028.
You can still make fluffy and soft marshmallows without the use of regular sugar. You just need to substitute the sucrose using ingredients like maltitol and isomaltulose, a non-cariogenic sugar and unflavored gelatin powder. This is your main ingredient when creating the mixing that will go through the same process until it reaches consumers.