Why chocolate shines

Weinheim, December 11, 2015. From chocolate balls and gold coins to Santas, chocolate treats are everywhere during Advent. According to the federation, about 1.1 million metric tons of chocolate are produced every year by the German confectionery industry. Excipients such as glazing agents and sealants are used to ensure that these candies have an appetizing shine as well as retaining their shape and flavor. To develop these coatings using natural and renewable raw materials, expert teams of developers, application engineers and product managers spend several weeks or even years working with customers to develop an innovative solution. 90 percent of these projects are implemented and the resulting products launched onto the market. Capol, a member of the Freudenberg Group, is the company behind their production.

"It all starts with an idea. From there, creativity and expertise are what is needed", explained Yassine Soufiane, who works as a developer at Capol. Discussions with customers provide important insights into the target of the development process. Are the raw materials for the glazing agent approved and available in large quantities? What will it cost to produce? Is the medium suitable for use in the organic sector? "Knowledge of raw materials and their interaction is as important as expertise in technological procedures and processes", Soufiane observed. The next stage is to run extensive experiments in the laboratory and technical center to optimize the glazing agents for the customers. Preparation and production are then tested.

The combination of ingredients is particularly important. "A finishing treatment protects the confectionery products against mechanical damage. It also prevents chocolate from becoming sticky or beginning to melt in the hand", explained Dr. Matthias Seemann, Managing Director of Capol. Natural ingredients like the sap of the African Acacia (gum Arabic) bring a shine to the surface of the candy. The surface is then coated with a sealant. This protects the gloss finish against humidity, keeps the candy from drying out and extends shelf life.

"All different types of chocolate balls and coins are treated with products manufactured especially for them", said Seemann. The tough demands of the food industry have to be met. For example, ingredients need to be odorless and tasteless so as not to affect the flavor of the food and all production steps must be documented. "Computer-controlled programs allow full traceability, from product to raw material", Seemann explained.

New and innovative chocolate coating agents are constantly being developed. They offer a better and more stable shine at high humidity levels and faster production processes with shorter times between order and action. Improved flow properties due to low viscosity ensure brilliant results in even irregularly shaped chocolate articles. At the same time, they can be used for all types of chocolate.