“Organic” and “all-natural” remain the buzzwords amongst health conscious candy consumers. Many candy companies have responded to this demand by attempting to substitute the most vital ingredient in all confections: sugar. The function of sugar is two fold. Besides its obvious use as a sweetener, sugar also adds bulk to the candy. Developers must now find a way to match the perceived sweetness of their candy using healthier alternatives.
Whenever substituting an ingredient in sweets (especially one as essential as sugar) there is always a give and take. A couple of years ago, Haribo successfully substituted Stevia leaf extract in their cough jelly beans. The result was jelly beans with 40% less calories than the sugar version. In the past, Malitol syrup has been used as an alternative to sugar with similar sweetness and bulk. However, when consumed in large quantities, the syrup has a laxative effect.
Another common substitute, aspartame, has long been the center of controversy in the world of artificial sweeteners. However, according the American Cancer Society, “no health problems have been consistently linked to aspartame use.”
The race for the perfect sugar substitute continues. Another interesting topic that candy developers are working on is the development of organic dyes to stain their candy. Make sure to keep up with our blog for more candy news. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Facebook and Twitter!