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During the Middle Ages, sugar sweets were a delicacy only for the rich due to the high cost of sugar. Thankfully, the discovery that sugar could be extracted from sugar beets made sweets affordable for everyone. The sweet category is broad, covering chocolates, chewing gums, sugar candies, and candied/glazed products with sugar. To make these confections, sugar manufacturing equipment needs to cover different steps within the production line such as sugar dissolution, syrup cooking and cooling.

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When selecting production equipment for a production plant, it is important to talk to someone with experience in your field. Our industry experts have experience with various industrial applications. We’d love to help you!
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Boiled sweet manufacturing equipment and process

Boiled sweets, also known as hard candy, are primarily made by boiling sugar syrups mixed with water and flavorings of your choice. Boiled sweet making equipment must involve ingredient preparation, mixing, cooking, cooling/forming, and packaging.

The main ingredient in boiled sweets is sugar (almost 100%). The process begins by combining sugar and water and boiling them together. Sweet makers may add glucose, fructose or another type of sugar. The mixture is heated to 160 °C. After cooking, manufacturers pour the homogeneous mixture into a cooling table and when it is cool enough, it can be molded as in the shape you want.

Jelly sweets for soft treats

What makes jelly sweets different from candies? Unlike the latter which only has sugar as their source of structure, jelly sweets have additional ingredients: hydrocolloids. These functional ingredients make your jelly sweets obtain the elasticity you are looking for. Three hydrocolloids are used for jelly candies: gelatin, pectin and carrageenan.

Although both products use the same sweet manufacturing equipment, jellies differ specifically in the addition of the gelatin solution. You will have to prepare and cook the gelatin separately at 80 – 90 °C, allowing its protein strands to rearrange and help form the jelly structure. Mix these with the cooked sugar solution at temperatures of 70 °C to stabilize the jelly structure. Feed your mixture to the candy depositor for molding. Finally, your molded sweets are cooled at 5 – 10 °C through a cooling tunnel and dried for 8 to 12 hours before packing.

Sweets for immunity and longevity

Considering the recent COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world, producers are challenged to manufacture products with better nutritional value as consumers are demanding more of these. Currently, sweets are already being used as health supplements. A survey conducted by Innova Market Insights last 2020 indicated that 6 out of 10 global consumers are leaning into consuming food that boosts their immune health. Food naturally high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants was the top choice, with a notable increase in botanical ingredients and organic raw materials.

This is an opportunity for the international confectionery industry, specifically for chocolates since these are rich in flavanols. The addition of botanical ingredients, such as orange, elderberry, and turmeric, can further improve your products and position these at the top of consumer preferences.

On the other hand, chocolates can also be used as vehicles for nutritional supplementation. Avida Health from Singapore launched chocolate balls which act as functional foods aiming to improve kids’ immunity. These sweets contain mushroom-derived beta-glucan, a soluble fiber essential for insulin resistance, hypertension, and obesity prevention.

Regulations and laws for sweets

Before distributing to your target market, it is best to check what regulations your product needs to comply with. An example of this is the regulation by Codex Alimentarius (CODEX STAN 192-1995) listing allowable limits and additives permissible for sweets. If you are exporting in the US, take note of the lead content of your candy. The US FDA has established a limit of not more than 0.1 ppm as the maximum level for lead in candies. In the UK, as part of their drive to reduce childhood obesity, confectioneries are one of the target products that must be reformulated to reduce sugar quantity by 20%.

It is imperative to check all applicable regulations for your product, including food safety controls, labeling, and recall systems since these can result in legal actions if not complied with. In Europe, sweets must be labeled containing the name of the food, any allergenic ingredients or intolerances that may be present in the finished product and the net quantity of the food.

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