Highlight of the Baker Perkins booth 10223 at Pack Expo was a focus on the application of candy depositing technology to meet the growing demand for fortified functional and medicated hard candy and jellies carrying over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements.
Functional, and especially medicated, candy is not new but the accuracy and hygiene of modern cooking and depositing techniques has broadened the range of potential applications.
The functional sector ranges from boosting the intake of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein to adding beneficial supplements such as folic acid and Omega-3 to the diet. This sector also extends to sports nutrition where candy is ideally suited to portable and convenient energy and recovery products. Medicated products include ingredients such as antiseptics, menthol and eucalyptus oil to alleviate the symptoms of minor ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throats and nasal congestion.
As well as being more palatable than the alternatives of tablets or capsules, candy also overcomes a psychological barrier caused by the association of these delivery systems with illness and medical intervention.
The smooth mouth-feel and slow release of deposited hard candy is ideal for medicated products, while jelly and fruit products are more suited to functional applications. Both product types can be made with sugar or be sugar-free, and are of consistently high quality to support high pricing and healthcare positioning.
Of the technologies available to the medicated and functional candy sectors, depositing is undoubtedly the most appropriate because of the hygiene, accuracy and product quality it offers. Additionally, the process adheres to the principles of GMP and is readily capable of validation to FDA standards.
The principal characteristics of depositing are central to the successful production of medicated and functional candy. The depositing process does not degrade expensive active ingredients, and there is high accuracy throughout the mixing, cooking and depositing processes. Exactly the right proportion of active ingredients is added, and every deposited piece is precisely the same weight.
Depositing can add different forms of active ingredients at various stages. Heat stable ingredients can be incorporated at the start of the weighing and mixing process, while low-volume liquid additions can be mixed in after cooking using the high-accuracy color/flavor incorporation system. Viscous ingredients can be deposited as a centre filling, which may be encapsulated within either a jelly or hard candy outer.
Volatile ingredients are added just before the depositor hopper, which has a low retention time that minimizes evaporation; it is also possible to place solid pieces directly into the moulds before the candy is deposited.
Baker Perkins is the acknowledged market leader in cooking and starchless depositing systems for candy, making a wide selection, including hard candy, lollipops, toffees, caramels, fudge, fondant, and jellies.
At Pack Expo, a full array of candy made on Baker Perkins equipment was on show.
Full detail of the exhibition can be found at http://www.packexpointernational.com