Compound interest

by Ryan Atkinson
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It’s not always easy for bakers to keep up with the demands of the chocolate-loving public. People love new and timely products, but those treats aren’t always the most baker-friendly, thanks to chocolate’s technical limits.

Barry Callebaut, Zurich, Switzerland, developed help through an extended range of compound coatings for professional bakers and chocolatiers. The compounds will, naturally, be able to do some things that chocolate cannot while the new color and flavor profiles give bakers additional options for products.

“Our R&D teams and innovation experts continue to note a strong consumer demand for customized, unique products,” said Mark Adriaenssens, vice-president of R&D for Barry Callebaut Americas, Chicago. “Users of the new flavors and colors will be able to sell very creative products, tapping into the ever-growing market for seasonal sweets, limited-time offers and custom-made treats.”

The biggest challenges in working with chocolate — whether it is a base, topping, inclusion or coating — come before and after the product is made. Because of its cocoa fat base, chocolate must be tempered prior to use and does not always hold up well when being distributed in a non-refrigerated truck.

Compounds help solve those problems. According to the company, compounds offer the crack and shine of regular chocolate in a wide variety of textures, and rapid cooling is possible because the fats in compound coatings require only basic cooling methods. In most cases, only shock cooling is required.

“This compound is much easier to apply … it can be melted and added in one easy step,” said Laura Bergan, senior marketing manager. “It can withstand higher melting temperatures than chocolate, allowing the product to maintain its integrity and be more consumer-friendly when eaten.”

Aside from the technical benefits, colored and flavored compounds can help product developers meet their customers’ ever-­changing demands. New flavor and color options — mint, caramel, butterscotch, strawberry, mocha and lemon, to name a few — can make it easier to fill store shelves with products that have a wider variety of flavor, color and seasonal appeal.

“We found that our food manufacturing customers were looking for different ways to add excitement to their finished products,” Ms. Bergan said. “Barry Callebaut added colored and flavored confectionery coatings and inclusions to the US portfolio to help customers create unique and diverse products. We have recently placed more resources in this area and will launch an expanded coatings line this month.”

The US Standard of Identity limits use of the term “chocolate” in product labeling to materials whose fat base consists only of cocoa butter. Because compound coatings employ different fats, they cannot be called chocolate, but American consumers generally accept alternate wording.

“Despite labeling limitations with compound, most consumers have accepted its use in baked goods, given common marketing messages including ‘chocolate-flavored,’ ‘chocolatey’ and ‘fudgy,’ ” Ms. Bergan said. “These words function as substitutions for ‘chocolate’ on packaging.”

For more information about colored and flavored compound coatings, visit www.barry-callebaut.com.

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