The company has designed the SFX Depositing System for sugar-free hard candies, functional and medicated confectionery and sugar-free sweets incorporating the sweetener xylitol. Xylitol is frequently used by confectionery manufacturers as an alternative to sugar. The sweetener has a third of the calories of sugar, fights cavity-causing bacteria and can pass through the human gut without involving insulin. It has a low GI rating and contains 40 per cent less calories than other carbohydrates making it particularly suitable for consumers concerned with weight management. Baker Perkins said: "Adding a xylitol component creates a more sophisticated product appealing to adult consumers and commanding a higher price. It goes a stage beyond sugar-free candy by adding a positive health benefit." Sweets incorporating xylitol are made from a mixture of crystallised xylitol and a sugar-free syrup derived from either isomalt or maltitol. The ingredients are commonly layered or placed side by side. Baker Perkins' SFX depositor includes a turbofilm plate pack model for hard sweets and a crystallisation process for xylitol. A twin-headed version of the depositor can be used to produce layers of the sweetener and sugar-free syrup. According to the company, the depositor can also be used to target consumers seeking sugar-free options with natural flavours and colours as well as producing confectionery in the functional niche of the market. "Marketeers will welcome the possibility of positioning a product that tastes great and does you good. There is also virtually limitless scope for colour and flavour combinations to maximise the natural sensation," said Baker Perkins in a statement. Vitamins or breath fresheners can be added to the candy and the process can even be used to make medicated sweets such as decongestants or throat soothers.
Processing manufacturer Baker Perkins has developed a new depositing system specifically for sweet-makers targeting the healthier end of the market.