Sweet & Candy Revolution

 

The candy business underwent a drastic change in the 1830s when technological advances and the availability of sugar opened up the market. The new market was not only for the enjoyment of the rich but also for the pleasure of the working class as well. There was also an increasing market for children. Confectioners were no longer the venue for the wealthy and high class but for children as well. While some fine confectioners remained, the candy store became a staple of the child of the American working class. Penny candies epitomized this transformation of candy. Penny candy became the first material good that children spent their own money on. For this reason, candy store-owners relied almost entirely on the business of children to keep them running. Even penny candies were directly descended from medicated lozenges that held bitter medicine in a hard sugar coating.

 

In 1847, the invention of the candy press (also known as a toy machine) made it possible to produce multiple shapes and sizes of candy at once. In 1851, confectioners began to use a revolving steam pan to assist in boiling sugar. This transformation meant that the candy maker was no longer required to continuously stir the boiling sugar. The heat from the surface of the pan was also much more evenly distributed and made it less likely the sugar would burn. These innovations made it possible for only one or two people to successfully run a candy business.

 

Production

 

Candy is made by dissolving sugar in water or milk to form a syrup, which is boiled until it reaches the desired concentration or starts to caramelize. Candy comes in a wide variety of textures, from soft and chewy to hard and brittle. The texture of candy depends on the ingredients and the temperatures that the candy is processed at.

 

The final texture of sugar candy depends primarily on the sugar concentration. As the syrup is heated, it boils, water evaporates, the sugar concentration increases and the boiling point rises. A given temperature corresponds to a particular sugar concentration. These are called sugar stages. In general, higher temperatures and greater sugar concentrations result in hard, brittle candies, and lower temperatures result in softer candies. Once the syrup reaches 171 °C (340 °F) or higher, the sucrose molecules break down into many simpler sugars, creating an amber-colored substance known as caramel. This should not be confused with caramel candy, although it is the candy's main flavoring.

 

Most candies are made commercially. The industry relies significantly on trade secret protection, because candy recipes cannot be copyrighted or patented effectively, but are very difficult to duplicate exactly. Seemingly minor differences in the machinery, temperature, or timing of the candy-making process can cause noticeable differences in the final product.

 

Packaging

 

 

Candy wrapper or sweets wrapper is a common term for this packaging.

 

Packaging preserves aroma and flavor and eases shipping and dispensation. Wax paper seals against air, moisture, dust, and germs, while cellophane is valued by packagers for its transparency and resistance to grease, odors and moisture. In addition, it is often resealable. Polyethylene is another form of film sealed with heat, and this material is often used to make bags in bulk packaging. Saran wraps are also common. Aluminum foils wrap chocolate bars and prevent a transfer of water vapor while being lightweight, non-toxic and odor proof. Vegetable parchment lines boxes of high-quality confections like gourmet chocolates. Cardboard cartons are less common, though they offer many options concerning thickness and movement of water and oil.

 

Packaging may be used as a type of gift wrapping.

 

Packages are often sealed with a starch-based adhesive derived from tapioca, potato, wheat, sago, or sweet potato. Occasionally, glues are made from the bones and skin of cattle and hogs for a stronger and more flexible product, but this is not as common because of the expense.

History

Prior to the 1900s, candy was commonly sold unwrapped from carts in the street, where it was exposed to dirt and insects. By 1914, there were some machines to wrap gum and stick candies, but this was not the common practice. After the polio outbreak in 1916, unwrapped candies garnered widespread censure because of the dirt and germs. At the time, only upscale candy stores used glass jars. With advancements in technology, wax paper was adopted, and foil and cellophane were imported from France by DuPont in 1925. Necco packagers were one of the first companies to package without human touch.

 

Candy packaging played a role in its adoption as the most popular treat given away during trick-or-treating for Halloween in the US. In the 1940s, most treats were homemade. During the 1950s, small, individually wrapped candies were recognized as convenient and inexpensive. By the 1970s, after widely publicized but largely false stories of poisoned candy myths circulating in the popular press, factory-sealed packaging with a recognizable name brand on it became a sign of safety.

Marketing and design

Packaging helps market the product as well. Manufacturers know that candy must be hygienic and attractive to customers. In the children's market quantity, novelty, large size and bright colors are the top sellers.[18] Many companies redesign the packaging to maintain consumer appeal.

 

Shelf life

Because of its high sugar concentration, bacteria are not usually able to grow in candy. As a result, the shelf life is longer for candy than for many other foods. Most candies can be safely stored in their original packaging at room temperature in a dry, dark cupboard for months or years. As a rule, the softer the candy or the damper the storage area, the sooner it goes stale.

Shelf life considerations with most candies are focused on appearance, taste, and texture, rather than about the potential for food poisoning. That is, old candy may not look pretty or taste very good, even though it is very unlikely to make the eater sick. Candy can be made unsafe by storing it badly, such as in a wet, moldy area. Typical recommendations are these:

  • Hard candy may last indefinitely in good storage conditions.

  • Milk chocolates and caramels usually become stale after about one year.

  • Dark chocolate lasts up to two years.

  • Soft or creamy candies, like candy corn, may last 8 to 10 months in ideal conditions.

  • Chewing gum and gumballs may stay fresh as long as 8 months after manufacture.

 

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