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Soft, hard, sticky, chewy: An introduction to plant-based sugar confectionery

Finding the right recipe for plant-based sugar confectionery requires advanced understanding and deep know-how. Here, we guide you through 3 different types of sweets made with potato starch.

Written by KMC

Plant-based gummies, chewy candy and other confectionery products have steadily gained traction with consumers, and both confectionery companies and food manufacturers are busy supplying consumers with the best plant-based alternatives to traditional gummies and chewy candy made with animal gelatin.

But what characterizes the development of the various plant-based gummies and sweets? And what do the different types of candy require in terms of production setup, resources, and ambitions?

We have asked our very own R&D Director at KMC, Line Bach Christensen, to give a brief introduction to 3 typical candy types made with potato starch.

1. Soft gummies and jellies
Soft gummies and jellies made with KMC’s Gelamyl 100 series provide a soft and elastic texture with a short bite. This type of confectionery is ideal for partial replacement of gelatin for cost-saving purposes, replacing e.g., half of the gelatin with potato starch.

If you want to replace all of the gelatin with this type of modified potato starch, you will obtain a rather sticky and elastic result - in the end, the right result depends on your wants and needs.

When choosing the 100 series, you will have a liquid sugar mass resembling a traditional gelatin mass. Even though a sugar mass with potato starch will always provide an increased viscosity, in this case, it will not put high pressure on your equipment and gelatin production facilities.

2. Gummies tailored to your specific needs

Some confectionery manufacturers consider gelatin as the obvious choice for their products because gelatin has a well-known and characteristic bite and texture that is difficult to imitate using starch alternatives.

However, we at KMC would venture to say that it pays off to replace the gelatin in favor of potato starch.

With gelatin, you are relatively limited by a few gummy textures, whereas potato starch offers a broad range of textures, which makes it possible to develop a unique type of wine gum that is tailored to your exact needs.

Today, many consumers prefer other types of gummies to the classic gummy bear. Some prefer them soft, hard, sticky or elastic. The potato starch can be modified to match all kinds of properties.

3. Confectionery for the general population

Food manufacturers who make gummies and candies exclusively with gelatin automatically cut off several different types of consumers.

Here, we are talking consumers who are religiously restricted from eating gelatin from pork but also the increasing proportion of the world's population who are either vegetarians or vegans and who therefore do not consume foods containing animal ingredients.

Confectionery with potato starch can be eaten by all population groups – regardless of religion and diet. In addition, potato starch from KMC is both non-GMO and non-allergenic, and confectionery with potato starch must therefore be said to be the optimum choice for supplying the general population.

Want to know more about our plant-based gummies?
Explore our different types of applications here.

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