Making chewy sweets without all the sugar


What was your favourite chewy sweet as a kid?

Chewy sweets

Many of us have fond memories of those fruity, tangy and perhaps even sour chewy sweets bought with pocket money or from the school tuck shop. They remain a firm favourite with young people (and adults!) today. The chews themselves have evolved, with confectioners having a far wider range of ingredients in their toolkits to make them that bit healthier to meet company sugar-reduction targets.

Sanjiv Avashia, Tate & Lyle Principal Scientist at our Customer Collaboration and Innovation Centre in Hoffman Estates, Chicago, US, explains how:

“When making a fruit chew, we have a very long list of considerations when helping a confectioner customer to adapt a recipe,” he says. “Some apply in most reformulation projects, such as water activity and the impact on shelf-life, whereas others are specific to the product type, such as ’glass transition temperature’ i.e., the stage at which the chew mix transitions from soft paste into a solid material and back again when we’re eating it. From a process perspective, we also need to understand the impact of any ingredient changes we make, for instance on cooking efficiency or stability to avoid stickiness or clumping in the finished product.”

“Recently, we’ve worked on customer products where we’ve used our DOLCIA PRIMA® Allulose and PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre to replace the sugar and corn syrup in the recipe and create a no added sugar* alternative chew with fewer calories,” Sanjiv continued. “We also use our heat and process stable TASTEVA M Stevia Sweetener to provide a clean, sweet taste.”

Leveraging Tate & Lyle’s confectionery expertise and testing equipment, our food scientists trial recipe adjustments to see how an adapted recipe performs in a production environment. “Cooked candy mass is pulled or stretched for between 20 and 30 minutes in batches, depending on the target level of air incorporation we’re looking for,” Sanjiv added. “Candy pulling achieves aeration, opacity and mild crystallisation to deliver smooth, cuttable and chewy texture without stickiness.”

The end result? An enhanced recipe and process to deliver a delicious, non-sticky chewy candy with the sweet profile and flavour release consumers love but with a significant sugar reduction and a prebiotic fibre benefit. Sweet!

*Labelling and claims may vary by country. Consumer product manufacturers are advised to consult their own regulatory experts to determine appropriate labelling and claims for their products in the countries where they are marketed/sold.

Related links:

Discover our Sweetener expertise

Discover our Confectionery expertise

Sugar reduction as a global consumer trend