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Ramana Sundara - Articles and news items

Enrobing in the confectionery industry

Issue 1 2014  •  5 March 2014  •  Ramana Sundara, Ángel Máñez and Josélio Vieira, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

Enrobing is a process that involves covering a confection or snack with chocolate or chocolate coatings. Traditionally, this process was slow and involved manually dipping the pieces into melted chocolate by hand. As demand for chocolate-coated sweets increased, it became impractical or impossible to employ enough people to dip sweets into melted chocolate to keep up with production demand. Enrobing can be carried out with chocolate or compound coatings (compound coating is a replacement product made from a combination of cocoa, vegetable fat, and sweeteners). An advantage of compound coatings is that they may set faster and no tempering (the process in which chocolate masses are thermally treated to produce a small fraction of homogeneously dispersed, highly stable fat crystals of the correct type and size) is needed. Some typical examples of enrobed products are shown in Figure 1. They include wafer bars, fondant centres, jellies, nuts, biscuits and ice cream…

Quality sentries: Some trends in chocolate manufacturing

Issue 6 2012  •  11 January 2013  •  Ramana Sundara, John Rasburn and Josélio Vieira, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

In-line control elements are an increasing development in the pursuit of efficient processes in a wide range of manufacturing sectors. Advances in sensor technology and computing power are now providing instruments which can greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of manufacturing, and at a cost which is moderate in comparison with other costs, such as raw material prices and fuel costs. In the food sector, there are two clear incentives for pursuing in-line monitoring capabilities. Firstly, they raise the quality of the foods produced and secondly, they reduce the waste of valuable raw materials. Increasing commodity prices in regard to food ingredients give particular importance to this aspect.

Confectionery manufacture is a case in point. In chocolate confectionery, the quality of the product is paramount for ensuring an enjoyable eating experience for the consumer. Consumer preference tests are used to determine to what extent the target consumers like each sample and why (Figure 1). Careful processing and selection of ingredients are therefore necessary to produce desirable sensory attributes1 (Figure 1).


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