We will review the different types of chews, crystallized or not, their structure and how to produce them.
Today, we can see two types of chewy candies on the market: the crystallized ones and the long texture ones (not crystallized). Although the first category represents the majority, the second one provides a longer chewing experience and a shinier surface. The crystallized chews usually are not sticky and are paler, and the shape remains stable during shelf life.
Typical crystallized chews
The internal structure of the chew is very important to design the recipe and the process
For crystallized chews, it is necessary to have a greater quantity of crystalline agent (sucrose or SweetPearl® maltitol or mannitol for the sugar-free version) and to ensure its crystallization in thin particle size during the process.
For the non-crystallized chews (long texture), the continuous phase needs to be aerated in order to limit the stickiness and to bring some chewiness (bounciness).
Today, consumers are looking for gelatin-free chews. At Roquette, we developed solutions with starch (PREGEFLO®) and fiber (NUTRIOSE®) to achieve the right functionality for gelatin replacement in a chew. In some cases, GLUCIDEX® maltodextrin can be used as well.
Typical production of crystallized chews:
The process starts with the mix of the ingredients in a tank before pumping into the cooker. Sugar, glucose syrup, fat, and emulsifier are the main components.
In the sugar-free version, LYCASIN® maltitol syrup, SweetPearl® maltitol powder and mannitol are the alternatives to sugar.
During the cooking stage, the syrup is concentrated thanks to evaporation, and the crystalline phase needs to dissolve totally. This is critical to have, later in the process, the control on the crystal size and crystallization speed.
This change of state can be achieved thanks to mixers that provide a high shear rate and controlled temperature or puller (conversion of non-crystallized chew line) working at higher temperature (limited mixing/crystallizing time).
Source: Winkworth Machinery Ltd
Source: Drouven GmbH
This step is critical for the final texture: the more numerous and finer the crystals are, the smoother and less sticky will be the chew.
We developed Roquette sugar-free versions equivalent to sugar-based crystallized chews thanks to our expertise in polyol crystallization.
Cooling and forming:
Depending on the type of shape and packaging, multiple forming materialscan be used and a combination of them:
Extrusion: helps finalize the crystallization and refines it on top of forming a regular rope. It is used as well to center fill the chews.
Rope sizers plus rotary or chain die: sizes down the rope to the final diameter, forms and cuts the units in between punches. At Roquette, we have a mini rotary die to mimic and evaluate the feasibility.
Batch roller: they are vertical or horizontal and shape the dough into a rope.
Cut and wrap machines: they are equipped with rope sizers to obtain the final shape/section; the rope is then cut and pushed into the wrapper at the same time.
Ball former: this can be used to create units on a length of rope. They are often used for center-filled products.