Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago

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Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago

As Sweets & Snacks Expo continues in Chicago, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) predicts the leading new products trends:

Chocolate-Covered Everything – Manufacturers look for more and more treats to cover with chocolate. While local gourmands may seek out chocolate-covered bacon and mushrooms at their hometown confectioners, mainstream America will look for more classic items such as the crunchy, salted centre of m&m’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies from Mars Chocolate North America. Chocolate-Covered Pumpkin Peeps from Just Born are available in both milk and dark chocolate.

Up in the Air – Snacking practically takes flight as these light or aerated confections hit the shelves. The 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp Bar from Mars Chocolate North America is a truffle on a airy crisp layer of meringue enrobed in chocolate. From the Wonka brand of Nestle Confections & Snack Divisions comes Whipped Wingers, an aerated gummy in flavours like watermelon and pineapple. Skinny Mini’s, the lightweight vegetable and potato stick snacks from Cornfields are about 30 per cent lower in fat than similar snacks.

Real Good – Natural and wholesome ingredients have not gone unnoticed by the confectionery and snack industry. Honey as an ingredient and as a flavour harkens back to the origins of sweetened confections, but seems as fresh and new as any innovation with Honey Bean, a Jelly Belly jelly bean infused with wildflower honey and new Honey Lovers, colourful heart-shaped fruit chews made with real honey offered by Gimbal’s Fine Candies. Wholesome, simple ingredients make up Get Movin’ snack crackers by Partners, a Tasty Choice Company. Nutorious nut confections are available in five different varieties and are all natural, low sodium, and GMO-free, and contain no trans fats or preservatives. Vegan Chocolate Truffles from Native Gardens boast a medley of benefits and are dairy-free, gluten-free, low sugar, low calorie and handcrafted.

The Galloping Gourmet – Asher’s Chocolates proves that the combination of sweet and salty is as popular as ever with its Vanilla Caramels with Sea Salt. Jelly Belly toasts many flavours of cocktails with Jelly Belly Cocktail Classics – mojito, peach bellini and more. Double-filled truffles from Madelaine Chocolate, Duets, fill milk chocolate truffles with flavour pairings including peanut butter and caramel and milk truffle and white truffle. Candy maker Wonka has introduced a line of whimsical confections called Wonka Exceptionals that includes the Domed Dark Chocolate Bar, a bed of dark chocolate topped with milk chocolate medallions; the Chocolate Waterfall Bar with a blend of white and milk chocolates and the Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar, featuring pieces of toffee and peanuts.

Fresh-N-Fruity – Bursting on the scene with fresh and powerful flavours are candies and gums such as American Licorice Company’s Grapevines and Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Chews from The Hershey Company that combine two flavours with two unique textures in each bite-size piece featuring watermelon surrounded by green apple and cherry filled with orange. Wrigley has brought out Extra Fruit Sensations Sweet Tropical gum, as well as Starburst Summer Fun Fruits in kiwi-banana, lemon-limeade, cherry splash and watermelon; and Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits in flavours like wild cherry and melon berry. Straight out of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” comes Stride Shift from Cadbury North America – a flavour-changing gum that starts off tasting like citrus or melon and shifts into mint.

Dark and Dreamy – Dark chocolate has been increasing in popularity for years and new product introductions have played a big part in the expansion of the category. This year look for Kit Kat Dark from The Hershey Company and Necco’s new Clark Bar Dark. Cote d’Or is showcasing a Pistache Noir dark chocolate bar and Dark Chocolate Cherry Raisinets are made from whole dried cherries,drenched in Nestlé dark chocolate.

Source:  Confectionery Production

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Third millenary cakes world wide

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milano2015From Milano to the world. The big cultural show of the world to see and taste. The Widest panorama of the cultural modern DESSERT event ever realized in the world.

During the UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION in MILANO on 2015, Each Country will present the creations of the newest chocolate cakes, ice creams, wine aperitifs and cocktails 5% created by Pastry Chefs, Barmen and Sommeliers of their cities and branded with city’s name.

Springle it around in your towns and countries. Let your favourite Pastry Chefs and barmen and Sommeliers participate to this unique event.

THE FIRST desserts and cocktails Branded with city’s name

World wide cultural event The branded new chocolate cakes and cocktails of The world. The Pastry Chefs are requested to create The first chocolate cakes of the THIRD CENTURY.

Branded with city’s name This event will take place from now till the UNIVERSAL FAIR in MILANO on 2015. Each Country’s Pavillon will present their exclusive pastry Master’s creations , and the new cocktails .

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Antimicrobial extends shelf life of cakes by 30 per cent, says Kemin

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Kemin-Food-Ingredients-CP-logoA new antimicrobial, based on sorbic acid and potassium sorbate, will provide between 10 and 30 per cent more shelf life for muffins and cakes in comparison to existing offerings, due to the adoption of new development technology, claims Kemin.

K. Ganapathy, marketing manager for Kemin Food Technologies India, told  that bakery manufacturers do not have to make any modifications or invest in new equipment to use Amplifresh as, she explained, it is a readily dispersible paste for use in conventional cake and muffin processing.

“It is available in an easy-to-use paste form which can be directly added to the batter during the mixing stage,” he said.

The antimicrobial, said Kemin, is manufactured in a HACCP & ISO 9001:2008 certified facility in Gummidipoondi, near Chennai in India, which is a division of Kemin Food Technologies based in Des Moines, Iowa.

The company claims the antimicrobial will allow bakers to manage inventory more efficiently, reduce product waste, as well as address aftertaste challenges associated with conventional options.

A wide range of micro-organisms – bacteria, yeasts and moulds – can cause spoilage and food safety issues with baked products. However, the level of food poisoning associated with baked foods is low compared to many other types of food.

But, according to a recent review published in the journal Food Control, economic losses related to the presence of moulds in bread are estimated to be more than €200m per year in Europe.

Ganapathy said that existing antimicrobials have a tendancy to oxidize, which can undermine the original taste profile of the cakes and muffins upon storage. However, with the firm’s propriety manufacturing process behind Amplifresh, he claims “the active molecules are delivered with enhanced stability.”

The antimicrobial has been developed with the Indian cake market in mind but a company spokesperson said a plan to release in onto the European maket is currently under review.

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Study finds adding fibres to bake-off breads increases hardness

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The inclusion of resistant starch (RS) and fibre blend in bake-off bread formulation induces a reduction in the specific volume of the bread and an increase of hardness while pectin negatively impacted on crumb structure, according to research from Spain published in the Journal of Food Engineering.

The researchers examined the technological functionality of different fibres such as high methylated ester pectin, resistant starch and insoluble-soluble fibre blend in partially baked breads stored either under sub-zero or low temperatures, in order to assess their possible role as bread-making ingredients in bake-off technologies (BOT).

The researchers maintain that, in recent years, BOT or interrupted technologies are becoming a common practice for big bakeries, as they allow manufacturers to meet increasing consumer demand for convenience orientated products, and enable all day availability regarding baked goods.

The authors, based at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology in Valencia, report considerable scientific research backing the beneficial role of dietary fibre in reduction of cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer and constipation, and they note, as a result, the increasing growth in fibre-enriched cereal based products.

And the researchers said they sought to determine the effect of various biopolymeric ingredients such as high methylated ester pectin, resistant starch, and insoluble-soluble fibre blends on specific volume, texture, crumb structure and crust flaking of bread obtained from the BOT process.

The study

The authors said breads were produced using formulations containing different fibres with conventional and partially baked bread processes evaluated.

They added that water levels were modified in the dough with added fibres to maintain the same consistency as the control dough. For conventional processes dough consistency was kept at 420 Brabender Units (BU) as measured by a Farinograph, and for partially baked bread process dough consistency was 580 BU.

In terms of method, doughs were prepared by mixing ingredients in a spiral mixer for nine minutes. After 10 min resting, dough was divided into 70 g pieces and hand moulded. Fermentation was carried out in a proofing cabinet at 35° C and 95 per cent relative humidity for one hour.

For the conventional process, continued the authors, complete baking was carried out in a deck oven at 23°C for 20 minutes with steam injection at the beginning of the baking. Partial baking was carried out at 170°C for 16 minutes, and then loaves were cooled down at 25°C for 30 minutes, with the temperature of the bread core around 30°C.

Partially baked bread was stored at two different temperatures (4°C or -18°C) until its full baking. Partially baked bread stored at 4°C was packed in polypropylene (PP) pouches after cooling, while partially baked loaves stored at -18°C were placed directly in a blaster freezer at -30°C till the bread core reached -18°C and then packed in PP.

For storage studies, said the authors, partially baked frozen loaves were stored at -18°C for three months in a horizontal freezer, whereas partially baked refrigerated loaves were stored at 4°C for 10 days. Full baking was carried out at 23°C for 12 minutes. Frozen samples were previously thawed at 25°C for 10 minutes.

Partially baked loaves stored at low temperature were referred as PB and partially baked loaves stored at sub-zero temperature were referred as PBF, they explained.

Technological parameters were evaluated during the storage period with samples taken after one, two and three months in PBF or after three, seven and 10 days in PB, said the authors.

Results

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Pectin

The authors found that technological functionality of pectin was negatively affected by the BOT process.

The inclusion of resistant starch (RS) and fibre blend in the bread formulation induced a reduction in the specific volume of the bread and an increase of crumb hardness in conventional and BOT methods.

The researchers said that while pectin is a good breadmaking improver for the conventional breadmaking process, it seems pectin’s polymeric structure “is not strong enough to keep crumb structure when contractions after partial baking and cooling occur and final baking does not allow recovering volume.”

And they noted that par-baked bread is submitted to tensile stresses in response to the compression of gas phase during cooling, being very sensitive to stresses associated to final baking.

They authors explained that insoluble fibres prevent the free expansion of dough during fermentation, and also they can induce an early fixing of the structure due to their higher water content.

Source: Journal of Food Engineering

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Fazer considers expansion

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fazer-logoFinnish confectionery and bakery company Fazer is considering expanding in the Beltic region.

In Latvia, the company, which reported €24.6 million in consolidated sales last year, has a 23% market share. Fazer Maiznicas bakery is the second largest bread producer in Latvia.

CEO Karsten Slotte notes, “We will spend time this year mainly reinforcing the newly created business structure and current market position. This will be our launch pad for expansion in the region.”

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New campaign to introduce Cadbury Crunchie Rocks

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Cadbury's-CrunchieCadbury has launched Crunchie Rocks with an accompanying rock-themed media campaign.

The 145g share packs are already present in stores across the UK and are a combination of honeycomb pieces cornflakes tumbled in Cadbury milk chocolate.

The theme of the campaign encourages people to experience ‘that Friday Feeling’ – no matter what day of the week it is.

Kate Harding, trade communications manager at Cadbury UK says, “The launch of Cadbury Crunchie Rocks is a new addition to the Cadbury Bitesize portfolio, and an extension of the Crunchie brand.”

Also making a debut is a single 39g pack of CDM Caramel Nibbles and in June the company will be launching Wispa Duo. Both products will also be supported by media campaigns.

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New clean label starches target baked goods

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A new range of cold swelling starches are designed to deliver texture and stability to baked goods without the need to declare them on an ingredient label.

The flagship product in the range, developed by Ulrick & Short, is a starch derived from wheat, which can be declared on a product label as ‘wheat flour’.

“We’ve got the right level of proteins in there so you can call it a flour, but equally we’ve retained all the properties of starch,” explained Adrian Short of Ulrick & Short.

Friendly starch

The ingredients, part of the firm’s Synergie range, work like any other starch to deliver body, texture, stability and mouthfeel to a range of food products.

However, because they are ‘cold swelling’ they do not require heat in order to deliver their functionality. This in itself is not uncommon in starch ingredients, but Short said the ingredients are also “process-friendly” in that they do not require high-speed mixing or high water content.

“Many cold starches on the market require a lot of mixing as they get quite hungry for water, and this often results in lumping issues. The way we dry our starches means they are easily dispersed, so they can work just as well with varying water levels or mixing speeds,” Short told FoodNavigator.com.

The firm uses a combination of three drying methods: spray drying, extrusion and a process called ‘fluculation’, which is a gentle drying method on starch that has not been too finely milled.

Shelf-life extension

The company’s wheat-derived starch ingredient is particularly suited for breads and other bakery products made with wheat flour, as this would allow for a cleaner label, said Short. Usage levels would vary between 2-5 per cent.

As well as delivering desired texture and stability, the starch could also help extend shelf-life by up to 1.5 days on a loaf of bread, explained Short. Together with its clean label status, this results in a slight price premium over modified starches, but prices remain “very competitive” compared to other clean label products, he said.

Other cold-swelling starches in the range are derived from maize and tapioca, which can be declared on labels as ‘cornflour’ and ‘tapioca starch’ respectively. These ingredients can be used in applications such as dairy, condiments, dips and sweets.

The new range is being rolled out in the UK market.

Source:  Bakeryandsnacks

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New superfruit ingredient in the UK

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baobabFollowing EU Novel Foods approval, British food manufacturers and retailers can now obtain baobab, the exotic fruit from Southern Africa, as an ingredient for their products. Baobab has extremely high nutritional qualities including twice as much calcium as milk and more magnesium than spinach. The Organic Herb Trading Company (OHTC) has been appointed as the UK distributor for both the conventional and organic fruit pulp powder.

A number of products containing baobab are already starting to hit shelves across the UK. Early products include Baobar snack bars, Yozuna Fairtrade African Baobab Fruit Jam, Baobab and chocolate spread, Baobab and banana spread, Baobab lemonade and Baobab powder for use in home cooking.

The off white, powdery fruit pulp can be blended with anything though is better suited as an ingredient rather than eaten on its own. The fruit powder has a tangy taste described as ‘caramel pear with subtle tones of grapefruit’ and also acts as a flavour enhancer.

Baobab is supplied through a unique partnership between PhytoTrade Africa, the Southern African Natural Products Trade Association dedicated to helping low-income, rural communities by developing ethical and sustainable trade in natural products and Afriplex, a leading South African manufacturer of plant extracts.

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Changing chocolate tastes

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ChocolatesweetpearlChocolate sales in China reached Chinese Yuan 7.7 billion (€846m) in 2009 according to Euromonitor, after growing by a compound annual rate of 10 per cent since 2004. The market is still relatively undeveloped, with average per capita consumption a tiny 90 grams – well behind developed world rates, says the research firm, but this means that strong potential for growth remains.

Prior to the 1990s, few Chinese had ever tasted chocolate, except those who had contacts abroad, says Shao Feng, marketing director of the snack foods division at Chinese food conglomerate Cofco. Now, sales are being driven by rising incomes in the major cities and an increasing desire for Western products.

“Women now have higher salaries and can afford to buy themselves snacks,” says Shao. Cofco bought a registered Swiss brand – Le Conté – and imported Swiss manufacturing equipment and know-how to start the country’s first chocolate factory in the Shenzhen special economic zone near Hong Kong in 1991.

Yet it has struggled to compete with international confectionery heavyweight Mars. The company was one of the first foreign firms to enter China, setting up a manufacturing facility in 1993. Aggressive advertising and a wide distribution network has turned its Dove brand into China’s best-known chocolate, and also established the taste profile for chocolate in the market, explains Lawrence Allen, a former executive at Hershey’s and Nestlé, “This was virgin territory. There was a willing consumer who wanted to try a foreign, exotic product. And Dove was everywhere. It was classic mobile warfare.”

Dove had a 9.4 per cent share of the market in 2008, well ahead of Le Conté’s 5.7 per cent, according to Euromonitor. Dove is marketed as a ‘silky, smooth taste’, often accompanied by an image of a beautiful woman. Cofco is now trying to rival Dove’s position with a new slogan – ‘The richest, purest, and most beloved Le Conté’. “Their chocolate is sweeter, while we have a higher cocoa content. Our chocolate is more pure,” explains Shao.

But Allen, author of the China business book ‘Chocolate Fortunes’, doubts that Cofco can rival foreign brands, “The Chinese first tasted chocolate when they received it as a gift from abroad. It is still seen as a foreign indulgence.”

However, Shao claims that the Chinese consumer is more interested in quality than the origin of the brand. His view is perhaps supported by the surge in dark chocolate products entering the market. They accounted for a third of all new product launches in 2008, according to market research firm Mintel, although the trend slowed last year.

Cocoa percentage

Many brands highlight the percentage of cocoa clearly on their packaging. Mars launched a 66 per cent cocoa product last June (called ‘Chun hei qiao ke li’, which means pure dark chocolate), one of the highest on the Chinese market. Ferrero followed a few months later with the introduction of Ferrero Rondnoir in two test markets, Guangzhou and Nanjing. Meanwhile, Cadbury’s and Lotte offer 45% cocoa content products in China, while Lindt has introduced a 99% cocoa content bar and reports good demand from older women.

“The growth of dark chocolate is very noticeable,” said Kevin Zhu, analyst at Euromonitor. “These products are positioned as a premium and target females who care about their figure.”

Health concerns in China are creating some niche categories. Beijing Yili Food specialises in sugar-free chocolate. “Our target consumers are young girls who don’t want to gain weight and people with diabetes. There are more and more diabetics in China,” said spokeswoman Zhang Bin. Nestlé says it is adapting its successful Wafer range to meet growing needs for ‘healthy snacking’. A strawberry yoghurt wafer, launched this year, contains added calcium.

Bite-size packaging

china-flag-waveChocolate packaging is also evolving in China as consumers in major cities become chocolate lovers. Packs containing bite-sized chocolate pieces are popular, particularly among consumers still developing a chocolate-eating habit. “Many Chinese won’t eat a bar in one go. You often see an open chocolate bar sitting on an office desk, with the top folded over with a paper clip,” said Allen.

Hershey’s Kisses proved popular for this reason and their pouch packaging has been copied by others. Manufacturers are increasingly targeting upwardly mobile women with more handy packets, however. Lotte’s cocoa-rich Dreamy Chocolate comes in a plastic bottle, the kind more commonly known to contain chewing gum. Dove has recently launched Xin Sui, which consists of different flavours of chocolate drops sold in plastic containers even smaller than Lotte’s chewing gum bottle. Both packs are well-suited to carrying in handbags.

However, such products are rarely found beyond Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities. In those regions, gift-giving remains the major driver of chocolate sales. Boxed assortments made up about 40 per cent of total sales in China in 2009, according to Euromonitor, as wealthier consumers sought to show off their rising status by lavishing chocolates on business relations. Weddings, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day are increasingly important for chocolate makers too.

Ferrero has done well out of this trend, taking a number three position in the market thanks to its boxes of gold-wrapped Ferrero Rocher. “This is the perfect product for China,” says Allen, pointing to the traditional Chinese belief in gold as an auspicious colour.

Nonetheless, Shao claims that Le Conté is ahead of Ferrero in sales thanks to Cofco’s much wider distribution network. Unlike most foreign firms, its reach extends into the ‘second-tier’, or smaller, Chinese cities. Allen believes that Cofco’s chocolate brands will benefit as these cities develop, tapping into desires of the upwardly mobile population who no longer want to buy the cheap compound chocolate made by some of the domestic brands. “When the middle section of the market opens up, Le Conté will be there. You’ve still got a billion people out there who have never tasted chocolate.”

Meanwhile, in the top-tier cities, brands that nurture an image of exotic luxury will continue to win sales. One such name is Belgium-based Senz, which has recently introduced its Art of Expression range. “Chocolate produced in Belgium has a good image,” says Euromonitor’s Zhu. The product also contains macadamia nuts, another exotic ingredient. Indeed, chocolate with nuts is expected to be a growing trend in new chocolate launches in China, according to Helen Zhao, research manager at Mintel in Shanghai.

Source: Confectionery Production

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Bubbling Up

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Air inclusion is a wide-spread practice in the confectionery and bakery industry.Marshmallow_and_Nouga-Frappe_o_s_side

Aerated confectionery can be defined as an aerated gelled product containing a mixture of carbohydrates, mainly sugar and different types of glucose syrup, whipping and/or stabilizing agents, flavor and color.

Advantages of the process include an increase volume, together with a decrease in density, modification of the viscosity and fluidity of the aerated mass, leading to better stability and a modification of the texture and organoleptic characteristics of the finished products. In products, it also leads to a shorter texture, modification in the mouthfeel, reduction of stickiness and cold flow and a decrease in sweetness.

Sometimes, aeration is just one of a number of techniques available for improving appearance, texture and consistency. In other cases, aeration is essential for providing the food with its characteristics properties. Typical examples are baked goods, some desserts such as ice cream and certain confections, such as nougat and marshmallow.

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