Keeping up with confectionery demand: four ways to boost the flexibility of your processing line

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Keeping up with confectionery demand: four ways to boost the flexibility of your processing line

posted on 29 March, 2023 by - Group Product Manager (Mogul)

The global confectionery industry is seeing stable growth in volumes and values after recovery in 2021. Beyond 2022, the market is forecast to grow by 6% year-on-year to 2026 in value terms. The volume growth is predicted to be limited to just below 2% as consumers are cutting back on non-essentials due to cost-of-living crisis. At the same time consumers are looking for better value for money and a wider range of product offerings to suit various budgets and tastes, according to GlobalData . Confectionery producers, therefore, need faster, smarter and more versatile processing technology that can cater to these demands.

The most flexible confectionery processing solution is undoubtedly starch moulding. It allows manufacturers to create jellies and gummies in all formats, sizes and shapes, as well as other confectionery products, such as liquorice, fondant cream, marshmallow foam, etc. Here, we outline four ways to boost the versatility of your confectionery line while keeping your productivity up.

1. Ensure your depositing process is up to the mark
Whether you are creating single colour, side-by-side colour, centre-filled or striped gummies, it is the depositing process that allows you to accommodate various products and colours. Look for depositing pumps with a range of piston diameters and configurations that are suitable for handling different recipe types, from lightly aerated to heavy syrup based. Working with an experienced equipment supplier like tna will shorten your time to market, providing you with the ability to create a wide array of product types, and excite your consumers with new confectionery options in 2023.

2. Get rid of the steam bath
Conventional techniques for the finishing step of confectionery processing – sugar coating – involve a steam bath followed by a curtain of sugar in a tumble drum. The latest innovations in the field show promising results using tacking agents, applied at a very specific rate via specialised coating equipment, which allow the coating of a gummy without steaming. The result is a shorter retention time with improved product quality. The process also gives manufacturers greater options in flavour application, since dry ingredients, or even flavoured tacking agents, can be added at a specific rate to cater for different consumer and regional preferences.

3. Appeal to health-conscious consumers with revamped oil polishing
As consumers continue to pay closer attention to their health and wellbeing, confectionery producers should offer recipes with a better nutritional profile. Oil polishing – an integral part of confectionery processing – is an important area for healthier confectionery products. Currently, oil application is often measured by eye, which can easily result in gummies being over- or under-coated. Accurate oil application and controlled spraying allows manufacturers to ensure reliable and repeatable gummy coating, while also maintaining overall product quality and appearance. Investing in technologies with strict ingredient and process control not only helps manufacturers to meet evolving consumer demands, but also saves costs.

4. Scale your production to match market demands
In the current economic climate, flexibility to scale production up or down as required to meet changing market trends is paramount. Starch moulding equipment has evolved to allow manufacturers to reach high throughput levels and stay competitive in an increasingly crowded market. The most innovative equipment designs offer the ultimate combination of productivity and versatility by fully integrating the feeder, starch buck, depositor, stacker and pallet transport to efficiently and seamlessly move product through the mogul line.

With so many varying and constantly changing consumer demands, manufacturers require confectionery processing equipment that offers the flexibility to cater to different tastes and product types while ensuring a consistent product finish, as well as maximising productivity and providing ease of line maintenance. Working with confectionery experts from tna, with over 60 years of industry experience and a proven track record, can help you achieve higher productivity, optimum uptime, flexibility and confidence to excel in 2023 and beyond.

Click here for more information on TNA’s cutting-edge confectionery processing solutions.