Palatinit sees further growth in sugar-free candy

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Confectionery

Palatinit believes that its Isomalt sugar replacer is
well-positioned to tap the growing sugar-free functional
confectionery market.

At FiE show in Paris, the Germany-based ingedients supplier presented a range of samples designed to be interesting both visually and in terms of taste.

The samples were prepared in cooperation with equipment manufacturer APV and flavour house Firmenich, and demonstrate how confectioners can develop more sophisticated formulations.

Isomalt contains only half the calories of sugar, is tooth-friendly and has a low glycaemic effect. Because Isomalt is derived from pure sugar, Palatinit claims that it has a smooth sweetness profile similar to that of sugar but with more scope for flavour development.

Because Isomalt has no cooling effect, it is better suited for delicately-flavoured fruity sweets than other sugar replacers. Palatinit also claims that the ingredient has no after-taste.

Two-in-one sweets are a good example. The result is visually appealing and can deliver an unusual taste experience - both taste and texture change when the outer layer has been sucked away.

Palatinit suggests that 'Hard on the outside, soft on the inside' could also be a lucrative future candy trend. And what's more, the addition of Isomalt means that such confections can now be made sugar free.

This should interest food manufacturers, as there is every indication that global growth in the sugar-free sector of the candy market will continue in 2006. Since 1998, the total global candy market has grown by an average of 0.4 per cent per year, and while sugared candy fell by an average of 0.1 per cent, the market for sugar-free candy has grown by an average of 3.5 per cent per annum over the past seven years.

In Western Europe, average annual growth for sugar-free candy between 1998 and 2005 was 4.8 per cent, compared with 0.5 per cent for the sugared candy market.

Another interesting application is chewing gum coatings made with IsomaltGS, a highly soluble variation of the product. Palatinit claims that Isomalt GS provides a consistent and even coating, and that pigments can be easily applied.

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