US ingredients company Cargill is to highlight the importance of texture in confectionery manufacturing at the annual PMCA meeting this year.
Company spokesperson Cindy Palermo told ConfectioneryNews.com that texturising ingredients are important not only because they provide a pleasant mouthfeel, but also because they contribute the stability and shelf-life of a product.
"We tend to think of appearance and flavour as the primary hallmarks of any given candy, but it can often be the textural qualities that influence initial liking and future purchases of a product," she said.
During the Cargill presentation at the PMCA this year, company scientist Firth Whitehouse will talk about how texture is measured in confections to create superior consumer products, the company said.
According to Palermo, confectionery manufacturers must measure which textual properties separate a desirable product from an undesirable product, especially since chocolate is "one of the most complicated systems in the food area."
Cargill is one of the leading manufacturers of ingredients for the confectionery industry, and its portfolio includes alginates, carrageenan, pectin, guar gum, locust bean gum, starch and xanthan gum.
Like many other companies, Cargill has strived to create a range of ingredients for low-fat or low-sugar confectionery over recent months.
Ingredients in this category include sobitol and isomalt - low calorie sweeteners designed for candy and gum, as well as Wilbur, a patented sugar-free chocolate alternative.
The company also makes a sweetener called Zerose which can be used in products advertised as being made from all natural ingredients.
Cargill also claims to recognize the consumer desire for luxury and indulgent products.
The company manufactures ingredients such as Topcithin, a lecithin used to give a creamy taste, Gerkens cocoa powders and a variety of special fats and oils needed in chocolate production.
The conference, organised by the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Confectioners Association, will be held 7 - 9 April in Pennsylvania, the US.