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Two major uses of fondant are as a graining agent and as an ingredient base in fudges and certain cast creams. In addition, fondant is also widely used as a base for many popular confections such as creams, cordials and mints. This article will investigate fondant-based and grained confections, looking specifically at their definitions, various types, ingredients used, manufacturing techniques and applications.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the past year unlike any other year for all of us personally and professionally. We began 2020 with ambitious plans for the year’s slate of regulatory issues, but were quickly diverted to COVID-19 protocols and communications. As we have ushered in 2021, many governments and non-governmental organizations have regrouped from COVID-19. That regrouping, coupled with the change in U.S. administration to a more regulatory-oriented Biden administration, has created a tremendously challenging first quarter of 2021 for regulatory affairs.
Food manufacturers are seeing enhanced requirements toward ensuring products remain safe for consumers. Regulators are strengthening food safety guidelines within the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, launched by the FDA in 2020, the Safe Food for Canadians Act, stricter regulations within the EU and Safe Food Australia. The common denominator throughout these regulations is a preventive risk management approach to food safety.
One of the biggest challenges for the sugar confection category is increased priority and focus on consumer health. Confections traditionally contain higher levels of sugar, which means consumers may eat less of their favorite candy products in order to meet individual lifestyle goals or better manage their weight. Reducing sugar in these products can play a role in providing healthier options for consumers while helping combat public health issues such as obesity and Type II diabetes.
It is clear that clean-label and natural products are the path forward for innovative product development, including within the confectionery category. The chocolate sector is well-primed to address ever-growing consumer demand for "natural" and "clean" products. More and more, manufacturers are expanding the definition of these terms to include the addition of relevant functional nutritional and health benefits. As manufacturers look to strike a balance between health and nutrition -- and simple indulgence -- texture is emerging as a promising way to craft unique experiences using novel techniques and ingredients to pique consumers’ interest.