The current challenge for sweets producers is developing more balanced and more natural products or product variants with natural ingredients which at the same time offer multi-sensory experiences. At ProSweets Cologne, the international supplier trade fair for the sweets and snacks industry, product developments can find tailor-made ingredients and support for every application. The cross-target group concepts that will be presented in Cologne from 2 to 5 February 2020 are aligned to satisfy the needs of the consumers and the demands of the trade and industry.
There are increased demands in the area of sweet enjoyment. Whether filled chocolate, fruity chews or creamy bonbons: In addition to a fantastic appearance and excellent taste, the consumers are increasingly expecting functional added value when tucking in to sweets. To this end, the exhibitors of ProSweets Cologne are presenting a host of diversified and innovative solutions based on ingredients that are of natural origin – from aromas, to colouring foodstuffs, through to sweetening solutions that bring the taste, appearance and texture into harmony with each other and address all of the senses.
It is above all the extraordinary combinations that are opening up new taste experiences at the point of sale through food pairing. The slightly bitter components of matcha and the fruity, sour aroma of cranberries for instance go together perfectly with chocolate. Or a sweet vanilla coating that on chewing gives way to a sour rhubarb taste inside a fruit gum. Multi-sensory taste experiences with authentic plant-based aromas and colors such as kiwi and celery gums for instance are presently popular particularly among young consumers. For the first time there is going to be a “Tasting Zone” at ProSweets Cologne in Hall 10.1. Here, the TV food expert and culinary entertainer, Sebastian Lege, will present recipes of reformulated products for tasting.
Healthy snacks and taste united
The trend is moving towards more naturalness and a short list of ingredients. Consumers are paying attention to reduced sugar content and more fibre. Here, the latest generation of high-quality fiber fulfils two functions – because it not only promotes the digestion. With their natural sweetness they reduce the sugar content in biscuit dough or chocolate cream and at the same time optimize the texture and feeling in the mouth.
Examples of these are muesli bars enriched with a mixture between raspberry, baobab and acerola powder. Already eating an approx. 50 gramme portion completely covers the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for an adult. By adding rice crisps enriched with vegetable proteins gained from beans or peas, they turn into a delicious snack which supports an active and healthy lifestyle. Manufacturers use this way to process in addition to classic ingredients such as nuts, almonds or hazelnuts also more unusual ingredients such as hemp, sesame, biscuit crumbs or diced ginger.
Added value through alternative ingredients
At the same time, the muesli bars are a good example for what is currently the rage: Products for individual consumer needs and those following the “better for you” concept. The sweets producers are reacting to this with fat and salt-reduced recipes, vegan or vegetarian alternatives and gluten-free as well as lactose-free products.
However, needs-based foodstuffs for every situation in life demand technological know-how and well-thought out product concepts. And this is not seldom made more difficult by the fact that an upscaling of the laboratory is not readily possible. The implementation of new technologies in combination with alternative recipes is thus a central theme at ProSweets Cologne. The “Ingredients – Reformulation for Sweets and Snacks” special event, which Koelnmesse is presenting in collaboration with the DLG, is an important source of inspiration for product developers. This is also where the guided tours start. They guide the trade visitors to the exhibitors who are offering solutions on the theme.
Unique textures for sweet and sour
According to a current survey by Innova Market Insights, 68 percent of the consumers in the USA and Great Britain are of the opinion that the texture contributes towards an interesting taste experience. So, it is not surprising that the texture is becoming more and more relevant when looking for innovative products. This applies for both chews and chewing-gum as well as for mogul products such as fruit gums or jelly products. Vegetable hydrocolloids such as gum arabic or pectin, guar gum and locust bean gum offer a unique multi-functionality for a wide spectrum here for the developers of vegan marshmallows, fruit pastilles, wine gums or licorice specialities.
However, the Cologne fair grounds also offer creative space for innovations that go beyond the mere list of ingredients – since the exhibiting machine builders are working intensely on equipping their sweets machines with numerous new functions. Mogul plants are still state-of-the-art for the production of fruit gums. Innovative processes that allow the powder-less pouring and moulding into reusable silicon moulds are a further facet. Since the drying phase in the starch bed becomes superfluous, it becomes easier to incorporate ingredients such as secondary plant substances, Omega 3 fatty acids, fibres, vitamins or minerals. Simultaneously, the production time is reduced from 24 hours down to just 40 minutes.
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