Changing Phase Of Confectionary Industry

Amol expertise lies in product development, frozen foods, ethnic Indian cuisine, and fusion food. He has been working as Corporate Chef at Haldiram for over seven years, and prior to that, he was the NPD Chef at Global Gourmet and Jindal Agro Processing.

Confectionary items are eaten for indulgence rather than their health benefits. Indian sweet which is locally known as ‘Mithai' by Indians, is a form of confectionary item usually made with milk, ghee, cottage cheese, sugar and various other ingredients. The ingredients might differ from one region to another, but every bite of it makes one go weak on their knees.

The confectionary items have a short shelf life. So, they need to be preserved with the help of some food preservation technology to reach wide variety of consumers all across the globe. So, in order to preserve these confectionary items without the addition of additives, freezing and high temperature processing are the two widely used technologies by the food industry. These preservation techniques increase the shelf life of the product and at the same time, maintain its sensory attributes. The frozen and heat processed products have a shelf life of around 18 months or more.

Since mithai is mostly made from milk and sugar, its preservation with the help of heat processing technology leads to excess caramelization or browning of the product which is not desirable in case of some products. But in case of freezing, no such issues are faced. Freezing on the other hand helps to tackle the issue of caramelization faced during heat processing but product damage due to large ice crystal formation while freezing is an issue. In order to avoid large ice crystal formation, the industry uses rapid freezing equipment like blast freezers and spiral freezers to freeze the food product as fast as possible in order to avoid physical damage of the product, as rapid freezing leads to small ice crystal formation.

In today's time, frozen food is a boon, as it ensures that your favorite food is available with its original taste and texture at any place and time. Frozen foods are well excepted and consumed in countries like U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, Europe, Middle-East Africa and more. The large market of frozen foods is outside India, since Indians are still in the process of accepting the concept of frozen foods.

These days, consumers are trending more towards traditional sweet
products made from natural sugars like jaggery and the ones which are less sugary. Sweets made from natural sweeteners like stevia are also popular these days, since a large number of populations are suffering from various health issues like diabeties and obesity. Consumption of energy bars made of dry fruits, nuts, cereals and jaggery is also trending amongst youngsters these days, as it serves as a quick source of energy for them in their busy lifestyle.
Amol Savle, Corporate Chef (NPD), Haldiram Foods International
Chocolate occupies a huge market share of the confectionary industry and its market share is continuously increasing. Nuts and dry fruits coated chocolates have been really popular since a very long time, and it continues to capture its market share. Hence, companies have started creating a fusion blend of mithai and chocolate such as coconut burfee or orange burfee coated with chocolate to attract the consumers. People are quiet open to try new cuisines and are really appreciating the Gastronomy fusion of western items with the Indian desserts. Certain products like gajjar halwa spring rolls, apple layered lasagna, Mango Risotto kheer, Rasmalai cake, Gulab jamoon pastries, Chocolate jamoon sandwich, kaju katli penacotta, are becoming popular dessert options in the various high end restaurants.

The increasing global focus on nutrition means that more and more consumers are searching for guiltfree indulgence

In order to fight with the issue of micronutrient deficiency in developing countries amongst young children aged 4-6 years, candy fortification is practiced these days, as candies are popular amongst children and affordable at the same time. Fortification of sugar candies is done with the help of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, A, iron and folic acid.

The increasing global focus on nutrition means that more and more consumers are searching for guiltfree indulgence. However, market research has shown that for many this still remains a challenge: consumers, most of the time, feel guilty when they are snacking. Many people believe that there are not enough healthy sweets option available in the market. For such consumers, a team of scientists have created a healthier toffee variety by replacing 30 percent of the high glycemic sugars contained in a standard toffee recipe by a functional carbohydrate Palamitinose, supporting a lower blood glucose response as an alternative to existing toffee products available in the market, which can contain upto 65 percent of high glycemic sugars. While consuming these toffees, consumers can enjoy the same taste of toffee and feel less guilty at the same time.

In the current era, consumers are becoming health conscious. This has created a challenge for the confectionary industry to innovate healthy sweet options which can satisfy the sweet tooth of the consumers without compromising with the taste.