A major part of the upcoming trade fair ProSweets Cologne at the end of this month will be about the supply industry’s solutions for the sweets and snacks industry, from 28-31 January 2024.
Changed buying behaviour, themes such as sustainability and shorter innovation cycles will be some of the topics discussed at the trade fair. Sweets with active ingredients that offer more are another trend that will be explored, as the latest innovations for this include hygienic systems for starchless depositing to accommodate for growing demand for functional products.
Whether fortified with vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids or minerals – the offer of nutraceutical sweets has grown rapidly over the past years. In the year 2022, the turnover for OTC (over the counter) products available without a prescription increased by approximately 10% up to over EU€10 billion in Germany alone. This corresponds to around a fifth of the overall European turnover. Fruit gums and boiled sweets will represent an even more significant market share in the pharmaceutical section in future, because with their popular texture and diversified shapes they are increasingly replacing the classic chewable tablets.
This trend that will be reflected by a new generation of systems for powderless production showcased at ProSweets, a number of which are not only suitable for the production of chocolate or jelly items, but also available as a production system for OTC sweets based on pectin, gelatine, starch, carrageenan or agar-agar.
As well as these machines being used for the production of masses with a high dry substance content and viscosities, the modern lines enable moulding in reusable moulds, whilst at the same time complying with the highest hygiene standards. The focus lies on the precise dosing of functional additives to ensure the right active ingredients content per individual product. The demands in process reliability for the production of OTC products are particularly high when pharmacologically active ingredients such as acetylsalicylic acid or paracetamol are processed.
Not only the manufacturers of OTC products have to observe the highest standards regarding hygiene. Regardless of whether fruit gum and jelly items, toffees, caramels or fondant are being processed: the lower the contamination risk the safer the production is and the higher the product quality. How clean a plant is after the cleaning process depends above all on the condition of the surfaces. Stainless steel is generally considered to be ‘the’ hygienic material per se.
The layout of the modern production and packaging systems that will be presented at the trade fair is based on an established principle: The more open the design, the easier the cleaning is. The processing of products that like chocolate cause heavy soiling, is not a problem because all surfaces of the machinery are easily accessible and suitable for wet cleaning.
For the processing of products that contain allergens, such as nuts or bakery products that contain gluten, the sweets and snacks producers also have the opportunity to install special hygiene belts that allow the usage of mobile belt cleaning devices.
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