Functional carbohydrate manufacturer BENEO has expanded its expertise and product capabilities in the chewing gum sector by installing a kneading, extruding, rolling and scoring machine at its laboratory in Offstein, Germany. The new machine will be used to test and research multiple possibilities of the sugar replacer ISOMALT in chewing gum cores. It will also enable BENEO to provide its customers with comprehensive support in the development of new sugar-free gum products – from coating to core.

With the sugar-free chewing gum sector showing a steady growth throughout world confectionery markets, which is set to continue growing at a rate of 7.2% in the next two years*, BENEO’s new testing equipment will not only allow the company to perform product tests and trials, but will give sweets manufacturers the chance to further explore the chewing gum market with ISOMALT.

Companies known in the candy sector are now increasingly entering the gum market. Ingrid Willibald-Ettle, head of customer technical services, BENEO, explains that this is not always possible for some: “Small and medium sized manufacturers may not have the facilities to try out different product avenues, which can restrict growth into new areas. Sugar-free chewing gum is a growing sector and with our expanded facilities, our customers will be able to work with us on innovative product development using ISOMALT without having to invest in new facilities.”

“At BENEO we have a good, long-standing reputation for our expertise in chewing gum and we’re delighted to have been able to expand on this,” Willibald-Ettle continues. “Having the opportunity to try different combinations and being able to offer different variants for specific applications guarantees the best solutions. The new facility will be a valuable contribution to the already comprehensive service we offer and will enable us to strengthen our customer partnerships by offering them even more.”

Rigorous lab tests with the new chewing gum equipment at BENEO have proved promising, showing that gum cores containing ISOMALT provide excellent texture, coating and taste. Using ISOMALT, the quality of the gum’s texture and chewability are maintained during its shelf life ensuring that it experiences less hardening over time while ISOMALT in the core also provides better stability enabling easy shaping and therefore easy coating. Furthermore, coated gum with ISOMALT centres tend to become crunchier over time. The coating also sticks more easily and the end product is therefore more stable in storage.

ISOMALT creates less of a sticky residue so it is expected that the rolling and scoring process will be improved and the equipment will be more easily cleaned, creating a more efficient production line.

ISOMALT is the only sugar replacer derived from pure sugar beet that provides a well-balanced sugar-like sweetness profile and extended flavour release. It has already proved successful in creating well-balanced crunch and vibrant colours in gum coatings worldwide; using BENEO’s sugar replacer means that shorter coating times and using less colour will still ensure high-quality results. And due to its storage strength, which includes its resistance to chipping and cracking, ISOMALT also helps manufacturers to create a product that exceeds consumer expectations.

*Source: Euromonitor