The ingredients house said that its candy innovation matrix, which it showcased at the recent trade show Food Ingredients Europe in Frankfurt, uses sugar replacer Isomalt to derive new types of tastes, textures, shapes, packaging and functionality for sweet makers keen to tap into the growing health and wellness trend.
Isomalt, which is made from pure beet sugar, contains half the calories of sugar and has a low-glycaemic effect.
According to Beneo-Palatinit, it is claimed to be the "most used" sugar replacement for sugar-free hard-boiled sweets, featured in around 1800 products worldwide.
A spokesperson for the company told ConfectioneryNews.com that the design versatility the matrix system can offer sweet manufacturers is a result of the sugar replacer’s technological and physiological properties including its low hygroscopicity, which helps reduce packaging as the final product rendered is not sticky and does not request extra wrapping.
“Analysing current market trends and consumer requests, we develop new ideas and support our customers in terms of product packaging,” she continued.
The company works with confectionery manufacturers on the marketing, nutritional and regulatory aspects of their new product developments in addition to the technical side of sweet production, said the spokesperson.
She said Isomalt also enhances the taste experience due to low solubility, with innovative future confectionery concepts using the new matrix system including its Pick’n’Mix model that allows the consumer to compose their own flavour from many in one container:
“Included are classic fruity and milky flavours, but also unusual ones such as chilli, wasabi or cinnamon as well as flavours from other categories such as pina colada.”
She added that seasonal candy concepts are part of the matrix such as a hard-boiled sweet that is two-coloured with one dark-red and one bright-red side: “With flavours such as cinnamon and hot wine punch it tastes very Christmas-like.”
Sugar-free and reduced sugar products are gaining in popularity. In the chewing gum market alone, the penetration of sugar-free products has reached 90 per cent in many European countries.
The market share of sugar-free sweets (hard boiled and cough) has been growing over the past years resulting in a current market size of about 80,000 tonnes in Western Europe, according to Euromonitor.
And countries with a high amount of sugar-free confectionery market penetration are Spain, Italy, Germany and Norway.