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The conditioning of confectionery products

Nicholas, Melanie (2010)
M.Res. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The objective of this project was to investigate the conditioning stage of the manufacture of confectionery, using both wine gums and sports mix as model systems. During conditioning the finished confectionery are left to stand for a period of between 12 and 72 hours before reaching a suitable state to be packed. The conditions are ambient and so the actual temperature and relative humidity vary significantly with both daily and seasonal changes. The three primary aims of conditioning are to reduce stickiness which causes packing problems, allow the samples to strengthen so that they can resist mechanical handling without deformation, and to prevent the sweating of the confectionery after packing. Although conditioning appears to reduce these problems, it does not eliminate them completely and this is felt to be as a result of the variable conditions under which conditioning occurs. For example stickiness is a particular problem during the summer months. At the moment the physical processes which occur during conditioning are not understood and so the conditions cannot be optimised. Therefore the fundamental aim of the project was to investigate what is happening in this period with the final target of either removing the conditioning stage or reducing it. In order to achieve this, each of the three problems were to be considered separately and the reasons why conditioning currently solves them investigated. Once the physical changes which are occurring had been understood it may have been possible to develop alternative methods of producing conditioned wine gums which are quicker and more cost effective than actually conditioning. However, due to time restrictions, only the initial stages of this project were completed. Characterisation of four week old sports mixture was undertaken, using texture analysis, light microscopy and DSC. The collection of this data could be used to ensure that any changes to the process do not result in a change to the product. The changes in texture, stickiness and mass of products were monitored as they conditioned in varying temperature and relative humidity environments. This began to quantify the changes which occur during conditioning. The results appear useful but the trials would need to be repeated to ensure reproducibility, and the range of temperature and relative humidity conditions being tested would need to be extended. The diffusion coefficient was calculated using DVS which would enable some basic modelling of moisture movement within sweets to be undertaken. Phase diagrams were also produced at varying sugar levels. The thesis concludes with a further work section which considers areas of research which could follow on from the results.

Type of Work:M.Res. thesis.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Chemical Engineering
Subjects:TP Chemical technology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1057
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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