• Candy Confections Offering a Little Extra Nutrition

    By Shannon Koski October 21, 2016


    The growing amount of candy popping up in pantries and store aisles is a sign the holidays are nearing. This is an exciting sight for kids, but many parents fear over-indulgence. With the changes within the food and beverage industry, this holiday behavior is an opportunity for formulators to serve parents better-for-you confections with the taste and flavors kids know and love.

    U.S. dairy ingredients can help make seasonal indulgences less frightening by increasing the nutritional value of offerings. Dairy products and ingredients, such as whey protein, milk powders, and lactose help products strike a balance between indulgent taste and nutritional bonus, even in confectionary items like candy.  

    The range of textures in confections is diverse, spanning from hard like a sucker, soft like a marshmallow, snappy like chocolate or chewy like caramel. The major ingredients that contribute to these characteristics are sugars (including sucrose, invert and glucose syrups), fats and proteins. Dairy ingredients play a functional role in candy formulations, while adding cost-effective value with vitamins, minerals and potentially protein too.  

    Dairy proteins add aeration, flavor, foaming, protein fortification, standup qualities and whipping. Milk powders can add color, emulsification, flavor, protein fortification, solubility and textural properties.  Milk ingredient functional benefits include flavor, foaming, gelation, structural support, texture and water binding. But largely what makes dairy ingredients a match for candy is its ability to add or complement flavors to give confections the expected sweet, savory taste profiles. 

    Ingredients with a neutral flavor are well-suited for creating products with fruit and other favorite fall flavors. For example, the Gummi Drops Candy prototype uses whey protein concentrate 80 to help prevent moisture loss, provide a neutral base for the kiwi flavor and enhance the overall nutritional profile.

    The nutritional and functional benefits of using whey in confections is extremely valuable. Beyond the characteristics above, whey has a good solubility rate over a wide range of pH levels, gelation properties, ability to emulsify fats, enhances foaming performance, improves viscosity and texture and is an economical source of lactose. Whey also adds a recognizable ingredient enhancing the desirability of the candy bowl.

    Dairy ingredients can help chocolate, coatings and caramel have an improved nutritional profile while maintaining the indulgent taste consumers love. In preparation for creating more nutritious holiday options in trendy flavors, download this guide on formulating whey products and lactose in confectionary applications, and explore our database of confectionary formula sheets on ThinkUSADairy.org.

    Dairy Ingredients Consumer Insights Milk Powder Global Dairy Proteins Milk Protein Whey Protein Consumer Trends
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