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Determination of the best drying conditions for gelatin based candies

Kaya, Damla
In gelatin-based candies, consumers prefer hard and less sticky products. Stickiness and melting of the candies and hardening observed in the packages can bring out many consumer complaints. In order to serve desirable products to the consumers, stability of the moisture content during the shelf life is a significant parameter. And moisture content is controlled through the drying and conditioning step in candy manufacturing. Manufacturers usually use the same drying times for the candies of different weight that are produced for different consumer groups. And the same drying times could lead to some undesirable changes in the products. In this study, the objective was to determine the best drying and conditioning times for achieving the desired quality for jelly candies of different weights. Drying time (12, 16, 20, 24 h) in oven, conditioning time (0, 24, 48, 72 h), unit weight of the candies (2.5 g, 3 g, 6 g) were the variable parameters investigated. Physical parameters of the candies affected by the drying and conditioning time were investigated. For the candies, TPA (Texture Profile Analysis), moisture content, water activity, total soluble solid content (TSS), TD-NMR relaxometry experiments were performed. Drying time, conditioning time and unit weight were all found to be significant factors on textural properties (p<0.05). Also, harder texture was obtained when unit weight decreased under same conditions. The best drying time was found as 20 h for 2.5 g and 24 h for both 3 g and 6 g. Following drying, the best conditioning time with respect to unit weight was determined as 72 h for 2.5 g and 48 h for 3 g and 6 g candies. In addition, it was found that moisture content and total soluble solid content were correlated with the textural properties. It was concluded that moisture content, texture analysis and total soluble solid content could be used to check the quality of the products in routine production. Total soluble solid content as being strongly correlated with other parameters could solely be used as it is the quickest method among the others. It was also recommended that products could be taken out from the drying oven after % total soluble solid content reached and moisture reached approximately %79 and %18 respectively. Relaxation times of T1 and T2 were also found correlated with the physical parameters. Texture analysis provided an insight for the desirable texture profile before packaging and recommended hardness value was found between 500-550 N.The results of the study suggested that to achieve and keep the desired quality parameters during shelf life each unit weight candy should be dried separately.