Vegan solutions for confectionery surface treatment

Consumer interest in vegan sweets is growing. How can you respond to the trend without compromising the quality and appearance of your confectionery? Plant-based formulations for confectionery anti-sticking, polishing and glazing agents make it possible.

Vegan solutions for confectionery surface treatment

'Plant-based’ and ‘vegan’ are on the rise

Vegan products are extending their reach. Once associated with health-freaks, veganism has nowadays left the niche and gone ‘mainstream’. Increasing consumer awareness for the environment, health and animal welfare helped the vegan movement definitely gain momentum over the last years. As a consequence, products claimed ‘plant-based’ or ‘vegan’ tend to be very positively received by consumers.

Market research institute Innova Market Insights ranks the “plant based revolution” among its most important trends for 2020, stating that plant-based eating is moving from trend to food revolution status. Numerous new developments in confectionery industry are signs of this trend, like a growth in non-dairy milk chocolate or alternatives to gelatine in gum products.

While moving away from animal-derived ingredients, confectionery manufacturers still need to preserve the texture of their products and make sure they look as good as their non-vegan equivalents. Plant-based anti-sticking, glazing and polishing solutions play their part. “We see an increasing number of requests for vegan surface treatment solutions, especially in middle and western European countries”, says Thomas Mücklich, Regional Sales Manager at CAPOL.

The impact of vegan choices for the finishing of confectionery

What does it mean to develop a vegan solution for the finishing of confectionery? Although a major part of the ingredients used for surface treatment are plant-sourced, the exclusion of ingredients produced from animal brings some challenges for product developers. Commonly used functional ingredients for surface treatment agents like beeswax or shellac cannot be included for vegan products. Still, anti-sticking for vegan gummies, polishing agents for vegan sugar dragées or glazings for vegan (non-dairy) chocolate dragées need to provide the same functionality as with ‘traditional’ products. No doubt that there is no room for compromise on quality, taste or appearance of the finished product.

How to finish confectionery with vegan solutions

Vegan anti-stickings for gums & jellies

Anti-sticking agents for gums and jellies are traditionally based on a combination of vegetable oils and waxes. Especially for gummies with a firmer texture, bees wax is a common ingredient to create shine on the surface and protect the gummies from sticking together. Beeswax is a natural wax that is secreted by bees as they build their hives and as such a product sourced from animal. Vegan anti-sticking solutions need to provide comparable functionalities and ease of use as their ‘traditional’ counterparts, without the use of bees wax. For vegan applications, CAPOL vegan anti-sticking agents therefore rely on proven recipes with carnauba wax, which is a plant-derived wax with perfect gloss and protection properties. In addition, vegan dipping-baths for extruded liquorice or fruit leather can be provided.

Vegan polishing for sugar confectionery

For panned sugar confectionery, polishing agents in form of liquid dispersions or pastes containing a mixture of waxes, whereof beeswax is often a part, can be changed to solutions with carnauba wax micronized powder, pasty or liquid solutions on a carnauba wax basis to achieve a vegan solution. To overcome challenges in the changeover phase and make the right adjustments in the production process, CAPOL application technicians are ready to help with sample testing and technical advice.

Shellac-free solutions

For a maximum of protection, sugar dragées and chocolate dragées are often treated with a shellac-solution after glazing. Shellac is a natural resin, which is secreted by female insects of the Kerria lacca species (lac bug). Following the harvest, the raw material is refined into shellac in a gentle extraction process. The ingredient is purely natural and proven for application in the food industry for decades, but due to its animal source, manufacturers of vegan confectionery understandably stipulate shellac-free requirements for their glazing and polishing agents. The protective functionalities of shellac, which has excellent sealing properties to protect an established gloss from damages through fluctuations in environmental conditions, should not be disregarded. Vegan glazing and polishing agents for sugar and chocolate dragées need to cope with these restrictions.
To overcome the challenges, CAPOL developed two-in-one glazing solutions which do not need additional shellac sealing. They impress with a quick drying time and less stickiness. Achieving good results with these products also depends on the production environments and the right adjustment of parameters to make the finishing a success. Product and application know-how need to go hand-in-hand. This is why at CAPOL we offer you our consultancy from the beginning to the finish.

Get ready for vegan consumers

Get in touch with your local CAPOL contact to discuss vegan and plant-based solutions for your moulded gums or jellies, extruded products and panned confectionery.