Technological advancements in lollipop processing that allows for striking products that also meet the needs for medical and active ingredients with impressive depositing systems.
Lollipops appeal to a wide range of different consumers, from adults looking for a tactile treat to children attracted by novelty shapes. The confectionery sector is constantly developing and improving its processing with lollipops and meeting customer demand, recipe changes and technological advancements to offer the best solution in this sector.
As well as ball lollipops, Baker Perkins supplies high-capacity ServoForm systems for 3-Dimensional, double ball and flat lollipops in a variety of shapes. Flat lollipops are ideal carriers of character merchandising linked to television, films and video games. Depositing provides a very clear image on high-quality candy, allowing premium positioning.
Varying the colours, flavours, patterns, fillings and textures gives the potential for an almost unlimited product variety to stimulate and sustain the interest of consumers.
The one-shot depositing action of the ServoForm depositor can combine up to four colours and components in a single piece to produce a wide range of attractive products that have exciting taste and texture combinations. Multi-colours can be made in stripes, layers and random patterns. Hard or soft centre-fills can be incorporated, to add a range of textures with every possible colour and flavour.
With closer focus on sugar-free offerings, as Public Health England cracks down on sugar consumption in confectionery and baked goods, recipe formulation changes do have an impact on the production process. Keith Graham, Baker Perkins Business Development Manager says: “All products can be produced in sugar-free varieties, and there is also the ability to add medicinal or nutraceutical elements.”
“The one-shot depositing action of the ServoForm depositor can combine up to four colours and components in a single piece”
Compared with conventional techniques such as die forming and the starch mogul, starch-free depositing brings substantial quality and choice benefits for both lollipops and candies.
“Superior appearance, high clarity and rapid flavour release with a smooth ‘mouthfeel’ are some of the key quality advantages created by depositing compared with a starch mogul or die forming. There is also much greater flexibility,” says Graham.
The nature of the depositing process creates complete control throughout the system, leading to extremely high dimensional, shape and weight accuracy, negligible scrap rates and efficient wrapping, plus maximum hygiene with low maintenance.
Baker Perkins supplies complete, automated confectionery cooking and depositing plants, used extensively for hard candies, lollipops, toffees, caramels, fudge and fondant. High output and high efficiency with greater quality and production flexibility, low production costs and hygienic operation are the main benefits that depositing brings to these sectors compared to conventional methods such as die forming, starch mogul or cut-and-wrap.
Functional and medical confectionery
The rapid expansion of the market for confectionery-based supplements and over-the-counter medication is being driven by consumers looking for easier and more palatable delivery methods than pills or capsules. With the rise of more consumers using functional confectionery, there is a market for medicated confectionery in the form of lollipops, like CBD and other active ingredients. These delivery methods include new gummy formats for vitamins, minerals and supplements, as well as established hard candy applications such as remedies for coughs, colds and sore throats.
Functional gummies and jellies can be fortified with a variety of healthy ingredients, including fruit juices and real fruit pieces. Medicated products include ingredients such as antiseptics, menthol and eucalyptus oil. The use of hard candy for medicated products – such as cough sweets and throat pastilles – is well established: the smooth mouth-feel and slow, continuous release of the active ingredient from hard candy maximises the therapeutic benefit.
Functional confectionery extends from boosting the intake of essential nutrients – such as vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein – to adding beneficial supplements such as folic acid and Omega-3 to the diet. The sector also extends to sports nutrition, where candy is ideally suited to portable and convenient energy and recovery products.
Baker Perkins provide lower output and laboratory-scale ServoForm Mini depositing systems ideal for functional confectionery, short runs of confectionery, and batches for research, product development and test marketing purposes. Both batch and continuous cooking and depositing lower output systems are available. Based on Baker Perkins’ high-output depositing technology, ServoForm Mini depositors have the same specifications as the full-size equivalent for precise scale-up. The small scale candy depositors handle the same range of products that can be made on a full-size depositor, including hard candies, lollipops, toffee, caramel, fudges, jellies and fondant.
Graham adds: “Baker Perkins customers appreciate the capability to supply complete automated lines from ingredient feeding to cooling. Since their acquisition by Schenck Process Group this now extends to sugar mills and sifters plus a range of ingredient weighing and feeding machines. Crucially, the service includes access to the Innovation Centre at Peterborough in the UK, with facilities to develop new products and processes, produce samples for test marketing, and conduct feasibility trials.
“Companies from every part of the world find that thorough trials, often using their own local raw materials, provide a reliable basis for trouble-free commissioning of a new plant or launch of a new line. The Innovation Centre contains a wide range of production and laboratory scale equipment dedicated to the confectionery industry.”
Forming and wrapping in one machine
GEA offers its Aquarius ball lollipop equipment for forming and wrapping of ball lollipops in one single machine. This solution offers compact footprint and capacity speeds of up to 1000 lollipops per minute.
The GEA Aquarius BunchWrapper: Over 20 years our GEA Aquarius BunchWrapper series ensures hermetically sealed lollipop wrapping with optimal productivity and fast changeovers for the confectionery market. Offering flexibility in further continuous packaging in bags or containers or tools for marketing purposes.
“The nature of the depositing process creates complete control throughout the system, leading to extremely high dimensional, shape and weight accuracy”
GEA Aquarius FlexFormer: A perfectly formed lollipop with an excellent taste and mouthfeel are the ingredients to success. These benefits are within reach when forming with a GEA Aquarius FlexFormer. Whatever shape you would like to make, whether ball, flat or three-dimensional, GEA Aquarius has with the FlexFormer range the right machine for the job.
GEA Aquarius FlexFormer Start Up: A perfectly formed lollipop with an excellent taste and mouthfeel are the ingredients to success, GEA says. These benefits are within reach when forming with a GEA Aquarius FlexFormer. They say whatever shape you would like to make, whether ball, flat or three-dimensional, GEA Aquarius has with the FlexFormer range the right machine for the job. Configured to appeal to young companies and smaller operations we developed our mid range capacity forming machine the FlexFormer Start Up.
GEA Aquarius FlexFormer XHC: Boost your productivity with the world’s fastest lollipop forming machine. If you want to produce flavorful lollipops faster, the FlexFormer XHC (Extra High Capacity) is ready and waiting to meet your highest standards. This cutting edge flexible forming machine produces lollipop diameters from 20 mm to 35 mm, with up to an amazing 2770 lollipops per minute – offering delicious gum, chewy candy, powder and paste fillings and shapes.
GEA Aquarius FlexFormWrap: A perfectly formed three dimensional lollipop with an excellent taste and mouthfeel are the ingredients to success. These benefits are within reach when forming with a GEA Aquarius FlexFormWrapper. GEA Aquarius has with the FlexFormer range the right machine for the job. After forming, the lollipops will be immediately wrapped in a beautiful sandwich wrap style.
GEA Aquarius PopCooler B: The GEA Aquarius PopCooler B is a continuous lollipop cooling machine to allow ball and cylindrical lollipops to be cooled without deformation. Lollipop quality and shape are therefore perfectly retained. There are two models available; ensuring that the cooling machine you choose exactly meets your requirements.
GEA Aquarius TwistWrapper: The GEA Aquarius TwistWrapper machine is a wrapping machine that ensures that your lollipops are wrapped at the highest speeds in the world. This wrapping machine ensures good looking, easy to open as well as high quality wrappings. The wrapping style differentiates your products and therefore will make sure your product will be recognised and stands out on the shelf.
Lollipop and hard candy forming and processing is able to meet the needs of market and societal changes. With technological advancements allowing for precise accurate lollipop forming, in all shapes and sizes, as well as allowing for reduced sugar and active healthy ingredients, this is a sector that is well-placed to take advantage of the growing demand from consumers to offer better-for-you confectionery across the industry.
Keith Graham, Baker Perkins Business Development Manager says:
“Baker Perkins is supplying a cooking and depositing line to an Asian customer to make both ball lollipops and hard candies simply by changing the mould set. This project is technically complex and there is almost no other company that could meet the demanding requirements for flexibility, product quality and high output.
Production flexibility is always welcome, and for confectioners operating in markets where it is difficult to justify large-scale plant for a single product range, Baker Perkins has developed the ServoForm Duo starch-free depositing system, which may be configured for any combination of hard candies, ball lollipops or flat lollipops.
Automatic lollipop stick feeding, placing and detection are provided on this contract and there are separate ejector sections for the two products. Both high specification product ranges can be multi- coloured, with stripes, layers and centre-fills. For this customer, Baker Perkins has also included the capability to make milk candies, a specialist product with specific challenges in cooking.
The additional cost of a dual-purpose line is low. An automatic stick placing system, which can be by-passed, is needed for lollipops, and the cooling system must be long enough to enable lollipop cooling. But the same chain circuit can hold either lollipop or hard candy moulds, and rapid mould removal allows easy changeover between hard candy and lollipops.
A servo controlled stick feeder places the stick in the moulds after the candy has been deposited. It ensures that the sticks are held upright until the candy has set to ensure a high quality appearance.”
Candy recycling services from Hänsel Processing GmbH
Hanover-based Hänsel Processing GmbH with almost 150 employees has been developing, producing and installing multifunctional production facilities for the confectionery industry for more than 100 years.
As a guiding principle of “sweet competence”, the company not only conducts its own research and product development as a full-service provider, but is also a globally recognised innovator for the confectionery industry with its deep processing knowledge.
The company maintains an international customer service, with highly qualified service technicians who are committed to the demand of maximum machine availability and preventive maintenance.
By belonging to the POSSEHL Group, Lübeck, Hänsel Processing has a solid base and a powerful network of industrial service providers since 2018. As a leading investor in the field of German-speaking SMEs, future-oriented technology approaches are being tested with the help of the own incubator PMB and new business areas are being developed.
With our subsidiary company, we have specialised in the production of systems for the processing of confectionery rework. In this aspect, we are benefitting from our extensive experience in the processing of sugar and glucose.
Every confectionery production process generates certain amounts of production waste: during start-up, shut-down, plant malfunctions or even so-called sugar dust. This waste (rework) can be further processed after removing colouring and flavouring agents. It can even be used as a neutral solution that can be added as a recipe component.
We will support you in responsibly using valuable raw materials such as sugar and glucose and thus contribute to the optimal use of resources while taking economic and ecological aspects into account.
The candy recycling process
Confectionery production waste is dissolved with water and can be reprocessed (e.g. sugar/ sugar-free hard candies, lollipops, jelly and fruit gum products, soft caramels, chocolate coated products, fondant products, chewy candies and marshmallows). As a result of the recycling process, a completely transparent and neutral sugar-glucose syrup-water solution of 40 – 45 % dry matter is produced. From this solution, 5 – 15 % can be further processed in the slurry. Separation of packaging materials is usually not necessary excepting flowpack products which need to be crushed by a crushing machine beforehand.
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Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922