Clubbing together

The confectionery industry is once again uniting in the battle towards sugar and fat reduction, this time with the launch of a research group dubbed the ‘chocolate and confectionery club.’

Campden BRI is inviting ingredient suppliers, chocolate manufacturers and equipment providers to join the research institute in its evaluation of viable routes for sugar and fat reduction in chocolate and related products. As part of the project, which is scheduled to begin next year, companies are also encouraged to explore new techniques for the assessment and potential mitigation of moisture and fat migration.

The research is expected to “provide a better understanding of the factors that influence quality and help to prevent or delay quality defects such as bloom development.” It will also provide evaluation of the ways to reduce sugar and fat in chocolate-based confectionery to help companies in reformulation.

The project will explore:

  • the factors and mechanisms that influence fat and moisture migration
  • the effect that ingredients and processing can have during production and shelf life
  • the interactions between ingredients (milk powders, cocoa solids, sugars, fats, emulsifiers and inclusions) and the influence of processing conditions
  • sugar and fat replacement – alternative ingredients and reduction routes
  • a quantitative way of measuring how moisture and fat migrates within multi-component chocolate systems
  • the regulatory and labelling considerations when using alternative ingredients to replace sugar and fat.

Over the last few months, various companies have responded to calls for there to be less sugar and fat in products. Dawn Foods has added reduced sugar and fat alternatives to its range of dry mixes, while Nestlé UK and Ireland has released two new versions of its Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Rowntree’s Randoms with 30% less sugar, in addition to its pledge to remove 10% of sugar from its KitKat, Aero, Smarties, Munchies and Rolo branded products by next year.

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