ProSweets Cologne: tailored for the requirements of the sweets and snacks sector
Raw ingredients: consumers like natural ingredients
Careful processing retains aroma and nutrients
Parallel to the ISM – the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair – ProSweets Cologne will take place once again from 1-4 February 2015, thereby offering sweets and snacks producers a unique opportunity to focus on meeting the supply sectors important to them, including many leading companies both from Germany and abroad. Raw ingredients and the careful processing of those ingredients is an important topic. Aromas, dried fruits or fruit granulates which are processed in sweets and snacks are among some of the things in focus. ProSweets Cologne will broach the subject of the trend towards natural ingredients with the special show, ‚Power Fruits‘. Here and around this special show are companies such as Bolasco, Cargill, GNT, Ocean Spray and Döhler, among others.
Whether hard caramels, chocolate, fillings or fruity chews, chips, flips, cookies and other snacks, the desire for sweets and snacks is strong in Germany, where over 32 kilograms are eaten per person. However, purchasing decisions are no longer based on price, taste and appearance. Every third person takes a critical look at the list of ingredients before the sweets end up in their shopping trolley. Consumers are particularly keen on natural ingredients derived from fruits and plants. ProSweets Cologne reflects this desire for more natural ingredients. There is also another trend emerging at the Cologne Fair: innovative sweetening. Will this be an increasing characteristic of quality and an image factor for sweets?
Clean Label in our sights
A whole range of products can be found in the sweets aisle which are implementing the trend towards more natural products with fruit concentrates which contain the natural sugar spectrum of fruits. They demonstrate a lower glycemic index than sucrose or glucose. The lower the glycemic index, the more positive the effect of the carbohydrates on the blood sugar level. The sweeteners are derived from apples, pears, grapes, oranges and lemons in a purely physical process without the use of enzymes or chemical additives. Whether as elder with mint or bitter orange with spices – the concentrates ensure taste variety as a filling in hard caramels and chocolate bars. The heralding of fruit concentrates in the list of ingredients follows the current trend towards Clean Label. The term stands for products which have avoided using ingredients with E numbers and replaced these with natural colours and aromas.
Coloured by nature
A study commissioned by the GNT group proves how highly sensitive consumers are to Clean Label products. According to the study, every third person pays attention to whether there are artificial ingredients in sweets. 64 per cent wanted food products to only be coloured using highly coloured fruit and vegetable concentrates. No wonder then that the market research institutes such as Markets and Markets predict growth rate in double figures for colours from natural origins. These are used in hard caramels, chewy sweets, fruity chews, coated tablets and also in concentrates and extruded sugar confectionary. However, the temperature and Brix section in the manufacture of sweets put the natural ingredients to a hard test. The colours must be heat-resistant and light-stable to prevent fading.
In the meantime, the demands of many consumers have gone even further: „It is not only the natural quality of the colour that counts but also from what the colouring substance was obtained,“ explains Christian Benetka Uher, Head of Business Unit Colours at Döhler. Colouring concentrates, that is juice-like products from fruits, vegetables or plants enable stable colouring and ensure a Clean Label. Using only plant-based raw materials means the colours are also suitable for vegetarian and vegan products. The use of the colouring foodstuffs presents the producers with challenges. For example, crimson cannot be readily replaced due to good technological properties. Equally, they open new market opportunities. Thus trends from other segments of the foodstuffs industry increasingly deliver stimuli to the sweets sector. Clear lemonade, chai-orange, ginger ale chili or even Hugo: natural aromas and colours, fruit juice concentrates and tea extracts originally developed for non-alcoholic beverages are now providing refreshment in the sweets aisle.
Alternatives to sugar
A natural alternative to sugar can be found in Stevia. The south American plant is 300 times as sweet, does not damage teeth and has zero calories – since EU approval the Steviol glycoside extracted from the plants‘ leaves means we can dispense of artificial sweeteners. Over 200 products sweetened with Stevia are now available in Germany. Kalfany Süße was one of the first in Germany to switch to sugar-free Pulmoll sweets. The new recipe with fruit juice concentrate and Stevia does not require any aspartame and acesulfame K. Haribo brought the first Stevia liquorice to the market for figure conscious consumers. It has 40 per cent less calories than normal liquorice and is rich in fibre. However, developing new products is not always easy. Stevia has a slightly bitter taste which is not a problem in throat sweets or liquorice but is in chocolate. A masking system is required which covers the undesirable aftertaste and ensures harmonious sweetness. This is why the sweets industry will not be able to avoid sugar processing in the future.
There is also more information for visitors to the ProSweets Cologne in the scope of ‚Speakers‘ Corner‘, a lecture space in the centre of the fair hall. Every day, industry experts will broach important topics in the sections of production, processing and packaging. For example, on Monday afternoon (02.02.2015, 03:00 p.m.) experts will reference natural ingredients. All presentations will be held in English and are free of charge for the visitors.
In conjunction with ISM, the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair Cologne, ProSweets Cologne covers the entire value chain in confectionery production – an internationally unique constellation. ProSweets Cologne is conceptually sponsored by the Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI), Sweets Global Network e.V. (SG), the German Agricultural Society (DLG e.V.) and the Central College of the German Confectionery Industry (ZDS).
Information about the ISM: www.ism-cologne.com