Sweet makers are gearing up for the coming year by targeting trends for healthy, natural and sugar-free ingredients as well as the demand for innovation in growth sectors such as gum.

In preparation for the ProSweets trade fair held at the end of the month, manufacturers are focussing on the major areas of health and functional products and attempting to
predict how consumer tastes will change in these areas.

Flavourings giant Symrise is starting the new year by introducing three concepts: Lighten Up, Be Natural and Get Active to target “global trends such as health, naturalness
and enjoyment.”

Lighten Up promises flavours with less added sugar, salt and fat and includes SymLife Sweet – flavourings which the company claim enhance the sweetness of saccharose and sugar alcohols and can
lower the saccharose content of a finished product by up to 30 per cent.

In addition, Symrise will be displaying its functional ingredients range at ProSweets with fruit gums suitable for fortification with omega-3, minerals or antioxidants.

According to the company: “The new series of microcandies and microsweets also provides inspiration for new product ideas.”

UK machinery supplier Baker Perkins will also be addressing the move towards healthy, sugar-free confectionery with products designed to incorporate the sugar alternative xylitol.

According to the company, the range can produce hard candies suitable as sweets or functional products such as breath fresheners or throat lozenges.

Baker Perkins will also be demonstrating its depositing technology to capture innovation in the expanding gum market by allowing gum to be deposited in lollipops and candies.

The company said: “Depositing is a new technology for producing gum base, providing wider end product possibilities than conventional extrusion. Gum is the fastest growing sector of the
candy market, and depositing allows both gum and confectionery manufacturers to benefit from this trend.”

The ProSweets trade fair takes place in Cologne, 29 January – 1 February 2007.

by Catherine Boal