Sugar confections are food products rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Sugar confections include candies, chocolate fillings, chewing gum, marshmallows and other sweet items which are made mainly from sugar. In some cases, chocolate confections are considered a separate category, as they are made from chocolate and can be sugar-free.
Sugar and chocolate confectionery is a large and ever-changing industry. In order to meet the quality and demand, manufacturers need sophisticated technology and equipment to process the ingredients.
Sugar confections and chocolate fillings are produced by preparing a diluted mixture of the ingredients, and then concentrating the sugar content to the desired level by cooking and evaporating the water.
The ingredients used, as well as the cooking conditions are defined by the type of final product. For example, to produce caramel, sugar is dissolved in water to prepare a liquid syrup which is thickened in a cooker.
The K-Patents Sanitary Process Refractometer PR-43-A measures continuously the Brix level of the cooking solution and provides real-time information to determine the end-point of cooking and to ensure a consistent product quality. Typical concentration in this application ranges between 85-97 Brix, at a temperature of 100-130 ⁰C (210-266 ⁰F).
The K-Patents refractometer measurement is continuous and not affected by suspended particles or bubbles. The real-time information provided by the refractometer eliminates the need for sampling and reduces processing time. Continuous measurement is particularly important in cookers that work under vacuum. The refractometer prevents disrupting the process and saves valuable processing time.
Application Note ref. 2.21.00 Sugar Confectionery and Filling Cooking (PDF)