The functional carbohydrate manufacturer said the new kneading, extruding, rolling and scoring machinery at its laboratory in Offstein will allow confectioners to undertake product trials in the development of new sugar-free gum products from coating to core.
Beneo stresses that small and medium sized entrerprises (SMEs) in the confectionery sector often do not have the facilities to try out different product avenues, which can restrict growth into new areas.
“Sugar-free chewing gum is a growing sector and with our expanded facilities, our customers will be able to work with us on innovative product development using Isomalt without having to invest in new facilities,” said Ingrid Willibald-Ettle, head of customer technical services at Beneo.
The company, which has production units in Belgium, Germany, Chile and Italy, said that rigorous trials with the new equipment at its German site have proved promising, showing that gum cores containing the sugar replacer provide excellent texture, coating and taste, due to its stability which leads to better shaping.
“Isomalt creates less of a sticky residue so it is expected that the rolling and scoring process will be improved and the equipment will be more easily cleaned, creating a more efficient production line,” states the company.
Resurgence in gum product innovation within the EU is likely given the approval recently by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for a health claim related to sugar-free chewing gum and a reduction in tooth decay.
This month saw Kraft opening a chewing gum and confectionery innovation centre in Switzerland, with a company spokesperson citing the growing consumer demand for gum that can deliver ingredients that aid oral healthcare and hygiene as well as interesting new flavour profiles as the primary triggers for the development of the Eysins-based facility.
Kraft said that the innovation will determine how to develop gum and confectionery products and packaging that adhere to taste and other preferences of Europe-wide consumers.