Plant-based confectionery

Transforming potatoes into candy bestsellers – how is it done?

Have you ever wondered how plant-based gummy bears and candy get the right mouthfeel? Potato is often the answer. Let our R&D Director guide you through the process of how the Danish tuber is turned into delicious confectionery.

Written by KMC

Making the perfect piece of candy is hardcore science. It’s all about finding the right balance between taste, texture, ingredients, and packaging – at the right price. The multipurpose potato starch is often used as a budget-friendly gelatin substitute. In this article, KMC’s R&D Director, Line Bach Christensen, guides you through the process of creating tiny, tasty bites in a cost-efficient way.

Step 1: The preliminary phase
First things first. When a customer reaches out to KMC to start production or improve an existing product a matching of expectations is essential.

— We always start by showcasing our range of demo samples based on potato starch – from rock-hard gummies to soft and sticky bites. This is to make sure we are on the same page when it comes to needs, demands, and expectations, Line Bach Christensen explains.

Step 2: The adjustable phase
When the way forward is determined it is time to adjust the product to perfection. Most of KMC’s sugar confectionary customers are well-established brands within the industry and every recipe is tailor-made to their specific wishes.

— Our various Gelamyl series are adjustable, so we can modify, tweak, and adapt the recipe to match the customer’s desired products, says Line Bach Christensen.

This phase is normally driven by the customer’s product developer alongside KMC’s application specialist.

Step 3: The testing phase
Then the fun part begins: testing the new recipe! To many, KMC is a valued ally in this process due to our extensive in-house facilities in Brande, Denmark.

— A lot of testing is made at our pilot production setup. Here, it is possible to do smaller batches of 40 kilos. This is an advantage because many of our customers only have large-scale facilities that force them to make four tons at a time, the R&D Director tells and continues:

— Timing is also an issue in regular production. You must break the production lines to run tests, affecting both the regular flow and logistics. At our facilities, the customer can easily test and develop without hard deadlines.

The testing phase is crucial. This is where the potato starch shows off its qualities. But it is also where the viscosity of the mass becomes visible, and the importance of the perfect drying facilities is highlighted.

Step 4: The assessment phase
The recipe is made, the testing is done, and now it’s time to bring the sweets home for internal rating. This important step can take quite some time.

— It usually calls for a few internal evaluation rounds when the R&D team brings home a new product. Marketing has an opinion, production as well, maybe also legal. It is a process that often ends up with a few tweaks to color and flavor, says Line Bach Christensen.

Step 5: The final phase
The last step before launch is a jumble of packaging, marketing, distribution, and so on. And when the candy hits the stores the ongoing evaluation starts – based on customer feedback.

Want to know how you can use KMC products in your confectionery production?


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