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Hit the sweet spot! How Specialty Caramels respond to the indulgence challenge while remaining safe, clean and healthy

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Late events brought many changes in people’s lives. And consumers reacted by speeding up the change of their purchasing habits by moving to healthier and “free-from” food, local supplies, and flexitarian diets. But what does not change is how taste is important for us all. When asked if they would be willing to change their food habits for a healthier and more sustainable diet, consumers respond “yes” by more than 90%. But if ever this change must be made at the expense of taste, this result drops at less than 30%.

Another behavior that is not changing is that consumers are not willing to sacrifice indulgence. Ice-creams, specialty bakeries, and chocolates are following the trend of premiumization that has opened the door for the application of specialty caramel for flavoring. Specialty caramel pairs well with other premium and indulgent ingredients.

The market for premium desserts with health attributes, such as low fat, low sugar, vegan, and so forth, will continue to grow along with many alternative choices. The incorporation of caramel for flavor for these products provides an indulgent edge, and will satisfy consumer demand for products which are healthy but have an element of indulgence.

On a worldwide perspective, caramel flavor remains in the top 5 flavors for desserts and ice-creams product launches. More specifically, salted and salted butter caramel are particularly appreciated. The blending of sweet and salty flavors has emerged in the past 15 years and has since spread to all parts of the developed world, with salted caramel spearheading this expansion. It has demonstrated its mark in a multitude of different applications, particularly in confectionery, sweet snacks, and bakery markets; however, there appears to be no limit to its use and the dairy and ice cream market has definitely not escaped the phenomenon.

What are Specialty Caramels?

Specialty Caramels are caramels obtained by the controlled heat treatment of food sugars combined with one or multiple other ingredients: milk, cream, butter, salted butter, etc. Perfectly heat-stable, they offer various possibilities in terms of taste (from milky to strong caramels notes), colors (from white cream to dark brown), forms (flakes or paste), and texture (viscosity, stickiness, etc). Caramel flakes are obtained by crushing and sieving food sugars after caramelization to obtain different particle sizes (from 1mm to 5mm).

How are they used?

Three main applications for Specialty Caramels are:

  • Dairy. They can be used in the mass, as ripples, toppings, or hard inclusions (in flakes form) in ice-creams, or chilled/frozen desserts.
  • Baking. Caramel pastes and hard inclusions are particularly appreciated in sweet snacks, cookies, cakes, and preparations.
  • Confectionery. Caramel inclusions remain one of the favorites at chocolate manufacturers. Combined with other ingredients, they can provide an amazing taste to chocolate pieces, tablets, or all kinds of hard and soft candies.

How do they respond to consumer trends?

Featuring a very large variety of tastes, textures and forms, Specialty Caramels can be fully customized to respond to precise needs. Plus, the animal-based ingredients can be replaced by vegetal ones to respond to the demands of vegan consumers. In that regard, Sethness Roquette has created a brand new vegan non-dairy caramel that uses pea protein and vegetal fat to replace milk, without giving up the great taste and texture of a milk caramel.

As well, several caramels can be sugar-reduced to answer consumers’ sugar concerns. The combination of ingredients with a long-term expertise in the caramelization science leads to outstanding innovations in taste profiles, mouthfeel, and textures of caramels

Why Sethness Roquette can help you find the perfect Specialty Caramel?

Sethness Roquette is proud to launch today a complete new range of Specialty Caramels to support the growth of its customers in the food industry. Empowered by a strong family legacy of 140 years, Sethness Roquette is the worldwide leader in the production of caramel colors, aromatic, and textured caramels. Their teams are dedicated to the art and science of making caramels and strive to support the long-term growth of their customers around the world.

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