By Martin J. Bond - Chief Engineer, Confectionery Products and Tony Prange - Senior Application Engineer, Baker Perkins Ltd
Hard candy depositing is a process that has developed and grown rapidly over the last 20 years. Deposited hard candies and lollipops are now produced in every major confectionery market around the world by manufacturers ranging from regional specialists to major multi-nationals. First introduced over 50 years ago, depositing remained a niche technology until confectioners recognised its potential to meet increasing market demand for premium, high-quality, innovative products. Since then it has, time and again, been the technology that has enabled them to push back the boundaries of innovation by developing hard candies and lollipops that would be inconceivable with traditional processes. Today, it continues to progress, offering manufacturers an ever widening range of opportunities to blend visual appeal with exciting taste and texture combinations.
This paper will review the basic principles of depositing and discuss the fundamental aspects of design that should be considered when engineering a complete depositing solution. A study will also be made of each of the main candy types frequently produced today; solid, striped, centrefilled, short and long layered, and lollipops with the important process and engineering criteria highlighted. The paper will also examine many of the changes and improvements seen over the last 50 years, and speculate about the developments that will shape the future of depositing.