Chewing Gum Consultant

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New coating process patented by Perfetti 11/12/2014

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 9:06 AM
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As coating the gum is always one of the most critical, and at the same time, one of the most important, steps of the production process, I thought this news appeared yesterday would be of your interest.

The new patent, filed by Perfetti, claims that there is no use of the usual wax or shellac at the final stage of the coating. Instead, this patent, describes the use of powder at the final stage of the coating. By doing so they obtain what they call “satin effect”. Here you have the link to the article published by Confectionery news.

If we review the usual coating process, carried out inside a coating pan which turns continuously, we find three main steps:

1- Initial stage /Gumming. When we add a layer of gumming agent (gum arabic) on the surface of the gum. The reason for this is to fill the holes on the rough surface of the gum and to help the next layer to adhere to the gum center.

2- Engrossing stage. Where we add several syrup charges to the gum center. The syrup is a solution of sugar (or poliol in case of sugar free products) with water. When the syrup is added all the centers get wet (there is “distribution” phase) and then they are dried with air, so the water evaporates and the sugar/poliol remains on the surface. This is repeated many times until the producer obtains the required weight of coating in the piece. Choosing the right poliol and drying the surface in a proper way will result on a crunchy coating, which is what the final consumer appreciates. This engrossing stage is time-consuming so all producers try to optimize the procedure in a way that the maximum amount of coating is obtained in the shortest possible time. One of the options is the use of syrup with higher concentration of solids (sugar or poliol). In this case, as we are adding more solid material every time we add the syrup, the coating is formed faster. However this will result on a rough surface which is not interesting. More diluted syrup will give a soother and nicer surface, but the coating time will be longer. Another option is to add the syrup faster (more additions per unit of time), but as the syrup wets the centers they become sticky and this practice has the risk of obtaining many pieces that stick together one to the other, which of course is not acceptable.

3- Final stage /Polishing. Once we have the coating layer that we want, we use shellac to seal and protect the gum piece and wax to make it shine. Usually this stage is not a major problem and does not require much time or expertise.

This final stage is the one that the Patent eliminates. Instead, it uses the addition of powder at the final stage. The powder will help dry the last addition of syrup. In fact this technique is used on what is called “soft coating”, which is used for other products. This technique (drying with powder) does not result on a crunchy product but reduces the coating time considerably. Jellies are coated at the engrossing stage with this “soft coating” technique because they do not need to be crunchy. This procedure described in the patent uses it only at the last stage, so I do not know the effect it will have on the final result. For sure the product will be less shiny (that’s why the name “satin effect”) due to the lack of wax. I do not know how this will affect the acceptance by the consumers, who usually prefer shiny and crunchy chewing gums.

 

Degradable chewing gum 04/04/2014

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 9:03 AM
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More news on this interesting topic have been published by confectionery news.com (see link).

Wrigley has filed a patent describing a new degradable gum. The way this is achieved is by formulating the gum base with “block polymers”. The company claims that the resulting product is more easily removed from surfaces such as sidewalks (in 20 seconds a high pressure hot water jet can remove more than 80% of the material)

According to wikipedia:

“Block copolymers comprise two or more homopolymer subunits linked by covalent bonds (4). The union of the homopolymer subunits may require an intermediate non-repeating subunit, known as a junction block. Block copolymers with two or three distinct blocks are called diblock copolymers and triblock copolymers, respectively.”

In this particular patent, the company uses polymers of at least 4 blocks composed of at east 2 different monomer systems.

The articles from confectionerynews.com mentions as well other companies that presented progresses on this controversial field of the chewing gum business (Mondelez, Revolymer, TNO, RSSL,  GumLink, Fertin Pharma, University College Cork) . I also posted in the past about those patents and inventions.

 

 

Flavour release 05/11/2013

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 12:35 PM
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Being flavor release one of the hot topics in the chewing gum industry I thought it would be interesting to post here about a new patent (another one!) around this subject.

This time, Mondelez has patented a “3D object” made of polymers (preferably polyethylene glycol) which claims to provide a faster flavor release. Of course, it can be applied as well to active ingredients other than flavor, if this is the case. It is true that gum base traps many flavor elements (this is in fact one of the key aspects for a long lasting effect!) and this can limit a quick release of those components. This new “3D object” dissolves immediately in the saliva, providing a quick release of the flavor.

I wonder if we will ever see this invention applied in a product in the market. Looking forward to that!

 

Cooling agent for chewing gum 24/07/2013

Filed under: Research — Joan Mestres @ 10:49 AM
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Mint is by far the most popular flavor for chewing gum around the world. When we check the lists of top flavors in each country published by market research companies (e.g. Euromonitor), we always find peppermint, spearmint, mint, or other variations of the theme under local names (such as chlorophyl, hierbabuena, …) at the top of the list.

Mint  brings this refreshing feeling that many consumers are looking for in a gum. Breath freshening is one of the main purposes for the consumers to use gum. When dealing with breath freshening, we have to consider not only the mint flavor but also some “cooling” agents that go with the flavor. Menthol is probably the most traditional, but it brings some bitter aftertaste and has to be very well balanced in the formulation. Other ingredients are WS3 or WS5, but recently Wrigley has patented a new ingredient that serves this purpose. This has been published by Confectionerynews here, and the inventor claims that this ingredients has less disadvantages compared to previous ones. It can be combined with other ingredients or used in the coating of the gum.

This is one more step that main players (gum producers, flavour suppliers,…) take in the direction to provide cooling/freshness to the consumer without adverse effects. I like when I see the industry moving forward and developing better, new products!

 

Printed gum. Mondelez Patent 15/04/2013

Mondelez has filed a patent related to a new system of printing gum. you see the link to the article in confectionerynews.com here and the link to the patent itself here

Printed gum has been around for decades. I remember “Fruit Stripes” by Wrigley…

fruit-stripe-gum

 

but the newest launch in this field has been “ID” from Mondelez, so this patent refers to this product. I presented this one on my post on 13th August 2012.

ID_Gum

 

There are also hollow balls in the market which are printed on the coated surface. Come to my mind the ones from Confiteca (Ecuador) named “agogo” and the one from Zed Gum (Ireland) which I discussed in my post about this company from last ISM.

 

Wrigley files a patent of fibre-containing chewing gum 03/10/2012

Filed under: New product,Research — Joan Mestres @ 10:35 AM
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Wrigley files a patent of fibre-containing chewing gum

I read in confectionerynews.com (see link attached) about this new patent that Wrigley has filed, claiming improved texture, flavour release and healthiness.