How Does the Use of Natural Sugar Alternatives in Soft Candy Manufacturing Affect Product Properties?
Keywords:gelatin, natural, chewable, purchase intention
Soft candy products are known as popular that can be preferred by consumers of all ages, especially children, due to their attractive appearance, pleasant taste and texture. In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of studies proving that confectionery products, which are known to contain high-energy and low-nutrient additives, can be turned into healthier and more functional products. In order to produce these products with the desired properties, it is necessary to optimize the process parameters such as product formulation and ingredients, etc. In this study, it was aimed to investigate the effect of the use of alternative sugar sources (fruit concentrates and honey) on the product properties of soft sugars. It was also examined whether the aroma coming from the natural sugar sources used in the production of soft candy was liked by the panelists. Some chemical, sensory and textural properties of soft candies produced according to the optimized formulations were analyzed. According to the findings, , it was found that plain soft sugar (evaluated as control group in this study, which was produced from granulated sugar, had an extremely elastic, sticky and soft structure and required more energy to chew before swallowing, while soft candies produced from alternative sugar sources had a harder and less elastic structure than plain soft candy. On the other hand, although there was no statistically significant difference between the analyzed samples in terms of appearance (color) and aroma (P>0.05), it was observed that the aroma of the plain soft candy (2±1) was not liked by the panelists and negatively affected the purchase intention (2±1). The findings of this study show that parameters of production processes can affect the quality and consumer appreciation of the final product.