Starch-free depositing creates opportunities in healthcare markets

Baker Perkins’ new starch-free cooking and depositing line for 3D jellies delivers higher quality, consistency and efficiency, plus increased output in a more hygienic environment.

Installed by Indian company MALA’S, it has also created opportunities for the company in the high-value healthcare market.

MALA’S is a 60-year-old family owned company based near Pune in Maharashtra. It specialises in processed fruit products that include jam, crushes, mocktails, syrups, squashes, sauces and honey.  Its signature confectionery product is a strawberry shaped and flavoured soft pectin jelly, utilising local fruit and sugar.

Following increased demand for this product and additional enquiries for co-packing, MALA’S had reached a point at which expansion was imperative.

By switching to a single high-output line not only would MALA’S achieve the increase in output they needed, but they would also see improvements in product quality, production efficiency and line reliability that would take the business to a higher level.

The 850 kg/hour Microfilm cooking and ServoForm depositing line now commissioned at MALA’S has more capacity than the company’s two previous depositing lines combined and also provides greater product flexibility with the cooker and depositor able to produce a wider range of soft confectionery recipes. For example, carrageenan could be added to give a firmer texture, and fruit pastes can be readily handled. The moulds are easily changed, enabling the product range to be expanded and as well as 3D jellies, the line may also be used to produce 2D shapes simply by changing the moulds.

Quality of definition of the 3D strawberry product is markedly improved. This, and the reputation of the ServoForm depositor, led quickly to enquiries from potential new customers in the healthcare sector where jellies fortified with vitamins, Omega 3, minerals, fibre, protein and energy supplements is a niche growth sector.

The benefits of starch-free depositing in delivering consistency size, weight and appearance – crucially in a totally hygienic environment – have led to rapid expansion of jellies and gummies in the healthcare sector, where high quality supports high pricing and healthcare positioning.

3D jellies can be deposited in one or two colours; with stripes and layers; with solid or soft centre-fills; and with inclusions such as real fruit pieces. The process uses quick-setting jelly formulations, typically pectin- or carrageenan-based. Intricate 3D shapes are not possible with a starch moulding system such as a mogul, which can only handle 2-dimensional jellies with a flat top or base.

Depositing is increasingly the process of choice for confectioners wanting to develop original, high-quality jellies. It is suitable for starch, starch gelatin or pectin jellies in solid, striped, layered or centre-filled varieties. Depositing offers greater quality and production flexibility: simultaneous production of several different products is possible. Depositing offers substantially lower capital and operating costs than traditional methods such as starch moguls, die forming, or cut-and-wrap.

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Confectionery Production