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Innovations for healthier sweets
Date Published：10/5/2017 10:10:22 AM
CHOCOLATE and confectionery are among leading products in wealthier countries in the Middle East region. While consumer awareness on health and nutrition grows, the hunger for sweets always remains. But who says you can’t have healthy sweets?
The startup company Fitmeals proves that you can have a vegan and sugar-free protein chocolate. This product was one of the winners of the Middle East Innovation Award at the recently concluded yummex 2017.
Innovations are actually leading to better sweets as well as snacks, thanks to new ingredients and processing technologies.
Barry Callebaut has made it easier for professionals to work with chocolate and fruit fillings with low water activity, when it released to the market a range of fat- and preservative-free fillings for confectionery and bakery products.
Because of the low water activity values, microorganisms can’t grow on the product, so there is no need for preservatives. Moreover, there is less migration of moisture to dough, resulting in a well-maintained crunchiness for those inclusions where you need it.
The Swiss chocolate filling contains 40% less calories than fat-based fillings. All fillings are made without added vegetable fats or preservatives. The fruit fillings use a fruit puree base and offer a refreshing fruity taste, and exciting smooth texture.
The confectionery range comes in chocolate, raspberry, apple and apricot versions and has a water activity of < 0.6. The bakery range comes in raspberry, apple, apricot and has a water activity of < 0.5. Both offer great bake stability.
“At Barry Callebaut we are constantly reimagining the world of chocolate. Every day we want to create new products that trigger the imagination of consumers worldwide,” says Bas Smit, Global and EMEA Marketing Director of Barry Callebaut. “With awesome fillings, we have crafted an exciting new range that continues to do just that. The fillings add an unexpected taste and texture to any chocolate experience.”
Swiss chocolate filling has no added fat, and is preservative-free (Photo: Barry Callebaut)
Reducing sugar a top priority
Sugar reduction is a major trend in the industry. According to DuPont Nutrition & Health this trend is the top health priority in a survey of consumer attitudes towards sweet baked goods in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. The survey revealed that biscuits, cookies, cakes and croissants are popular snacks in the three countries and widely consumed at all times of day.
“Women are the main decision-makers who choose which sweet bakery products to buy. They are also the consumers who are most concerned about health, especially the health of children and family members with a diet-related condition, such as type two diabetes. Sugar reduction is a key element in that,” says Lena Hamann, bakery marketing manager at DuPont Nutrition & Health.
The DuPont bakery application team’s sweet bakery concepts for the Middle East and Africa include a chocolate muffin with caramel filling, chocolate chip cookie and chewy chocolate peanut cake – all with 30-40% less added sugar than a standard recipe and a fiber claim.
A soft croissant concept has also been developed with a new all-in-one tailored blend –GRINDSTED® POWERBake 401 – that ensures at least 28 days of just-baked freshness on the shelf. The croissant recipe is suitable for a sweet or savory filling.
“Consumer preferences vary a lot from market to market. One of our strengths is our ability to adjust recipes to local market tastes. The feedback from our survey has given us important insights for future, market-specific concept development,” says Jan Charles Hansen, principal bakery application specialist at DuPont Nutrition & Health.
In food, shades of violet bring to mind antioxidants. HERZA’s new range of chocolates have been enhanced with concentrated violet fruit and vegetable powders
Violet equals antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables in shades of violet are known to be rich in antioxidants, and HERZA Schokolade has carried over the perception of violet as healthy to ingredients for bakery products. Its new purple range consists of white chocolate enhanced with concentrated fruit and vegetable powders. The resulting chocolate pieces in six different shades of purple are highlights in cereal mixtures, muesli bars or ice cream. They are available as big leaves, prisms or chopped pieces, but customers can request other shapes.
The fruit powder are obtained from elderberries, aronia berries and wild blueberries, as well as vegetable powder extracted from beetroot and black carrots. Hibiscus extract is another source of coloring and nutrients. All of these fruits and vegetables are rich in various vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances.
Elderberries with their high content of provitamin A and B vitamins are used, for instance, as a medicinal plant to treat colds and flu. They strengthen the immune system and are anti-inflammatory. The antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying action of beetroot is based, among other things, on the high concentration of the vegetable colorants betanin and vulgaxanthin and the high levels of B vitamins and iron. Aronia berries are a real super food as they contain several vitamins, including A, C and E, along with numerous minerals and trace elements, for instance calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. They contain health-promoting flavonoids, too. The high concentration of nutrients support the cardiovascular system and immune defense. Anthocyanins rank among the most important antioxidants. These phyto colorants protect the body’s cells and vessels, and are anti-inflammatory. Black carrots, wild blueberries and hibiscus extract are rich in anthocyannins.