Confectionery Products are food items that are usually made with sugar. Usually, confectionery products are low in micronutrients and protein but high in calories. Many sugar confections contain very less nutritional value. They may be fat-free foods. But, some confections such as fried doughs and chocolate contain high fat.
Types of Confectionery Products:
Various confectionery products can be categorized in to sugar products, carbohydrates and chocolate products.
Sugar Confectionery Products:
As sugar has the ability to enhance other flavours, it is an important ingredient in most confectionery products. Various types of glucose syrup are used instead of direct sugar in some confectionery products to balance the sweetness and to control crystallization. Inverted sugar which consist of equal quantities of glucose and fructose can also be used in confectionery production to prevent crystallization. The proper texture and form of sugar confectionery products such as caramel fillings, toffee and dragees comes from the use of sugar because of the ability of sugar to control the crystallization process. As melted sugar can create a glassy and firm structure, it is important for hard toffee. Glucose syrup is at time used to prevent crystallization in certain products.
The presence of high sugar content and a low water content in most confectionery products ensure good storage qualities that can be stored for a long time. Another reason to use sugar in confectionery products is to add sweetness and enhances other flavours and aromas. As heating the sugar influence the color, it can provide a characteristic taste to certain products such as caramels and toffee after decomposition of products. The composition of sugar in confectionery products varies from product to product. Candy bars, chocolate, candies, lollipops and cotton candy are some of the examples of sugar confectionery products.
Chocolate Confectionery Products:
Chocolate confectionery products are mainly based on cocoa. Chocolate is made by grinding a mixture of ground cocoa and sugar in cocoa butter. The texture of the chocolate is enhanced by grinding all these ingredients. Sugar is added to neutralize the natural bitterness of the cocoa and adding volume to the chocolate. Sugar is generally added to chocolate confectionery products to add the sweetness and balances the slightly bitter taste of the cocoa. The sugar content is lower milk chocolate than in plain chocolate as the milk powder also add some sweetness. Sugar is used in chocolate confectionery products as it has a great impact on the viscosity of the chocolate. This helps in getting the proper texture and form of the chocolate product. As inverted sugar does not crystallize, it is used for chocolate fillings.
Carbohydrates Confectionery Products:
Carbohydrates confectionery products also known as baker's confectionery products are basically made with flour are considered different from chocolate confectionery products. These confectionery products are baked products such as cakes, pastries, petits fours, doughnuts, scones and cookies that are made primarily with sugar. However, these products can also include gum, candy, chocolates and candied nuts.
All these confections are sweetened by a variety of syrups made by hydrolysis of starch. These sweeteners include all types of corn syrup. However, it is possible to get sugar free candies also. All of these confections are used to offer hospitality to guests. These are used as dessert and can be a part of many events and occasions like wedding and birthday.
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