"Marshmallow: both in a fire, and in a fondue, and on teeth "

"Food & Ingredients", № 5, May 2012 year

     Today the market is incredibly rich in confectionery products. In some way the range of products has spoiled and fed up the Ukrainian consumer. For many companies, witches are stepped into the path of production of novelties, "inventing a bicycle" is the only way that will help them to draw the attention of the buyer. On the other hand, Ukrainian sweet tooth differ enviable conservatism, and to become like by them isn’t easy especially at the first sight. From these points of view, the production of chewing marshmallow in Ukraine is a risky venture: unusual and strange and unknown for the consumer. 

    How the domestic consumer accepts the product from the West and how such production profitable today in Ukraine, told for the "P & I" The Chief of Marketing and Advertising Department Julia Grineva, and The Main Technologist of LTD "Production-confectionary group «Lesnaya  Skazka» Elena Levchenko.

-    Chewy marshmallows for Ukrainian consumers are a novelty. What is the product given us in the sense of taste, colour, smell, texture?

    Julia Grineva: Chewing marshmallow brand «Lesnaya Skazka» is present on the Ukrainian market since 2005. This is a product of centuries of tradition and consumer culture in Europe, Asia, and later in America. And yet for most of us it still has a novelty.

    All of us have seen foreign films, in which the characters are roasted on a fire " paste" or "marshmallow" (as it is transferred by our interpreters) In fact just chewing marshmallows you can roast, and for other products its will not work. The taste (if there is just chewing marshmallow) its as a souffle or pastille with a more pronounced chewing properties (due to gelatine), which is very popular among children. But it is not the limit of taste possibilities. If the chewing marshmallow hold over the fire (not too close to the flame), it is covered with a caramel crust with an amazing delicious aroma of baking, and inside will turn into soft sweet cream.

    In the hot coffee it turns into foam as a cream or ice cream, on the cake for cakes or cookies if put it in the microwave it become the soft sweet cream. Confectioners make beautiful decorations for their products, manufacturers of ice cream is added chewing marshmallow as a taste filler in the product, it is made fondues, etc.

-    What are the raw materials you used for the preparation of chewing marshmallow at your company?

    Elena Levchenko: The Chewing marshmallow is analogous to the souffl?, or pastille but without the use of eggs in the recipe. The marshmallow chewing is simple: only the sugar, corn syrup, gelatine, dextrose (glucose), and vanilla for flavour (aroma). The structure of the usual marshmallow includes sure egg whites, sugar, fruit or berry puree and pectin the ingredient that makes it all jelly-like mass or agar-agar. Agar-agar is produced from seaweed, and pectin is produced from fruit.

-     What kind of dyes and flavoring additives are used in your production of marshmallow?

    Julia Grineva: From foreign products recipes, we chose the most suitable for our consumer tastes fruit and vanilla flavours (aroma). We buy expensive raw materials, because of its quality depends on the taste and appearance of a chewed marshmallows.

    Coloring and flavoring agents are not used in all kinds of chewing marshmallow, and it used in very limited quantities. For example, in our «Tuchki shtuchki» there are no dyes absolutely and present only vanilla flavor. This chewing marshmallow active use of the production of cakes, it is use for makes figurines and mastic it is taken willingly to small children by mothers who are watching utility of a food of children.

-     What kind of packaging do you use?

    Julia Grineva: Package we use the most ordinary - transparent "flow-pack" that help us protect the product from external influences and allow it to consider.

-     What is the technological peculiarity of chewing marshmallow? Do I need special equipment to produce it or you can "get by" modernized machines for the production of regular Marshmallow? What kind of equipment do you use?

    Elena Levchenko: The production process of chewing marshmallow both complex and simple. After all, nothing is easier: to cook the sugar-syrup, add the swollen gelatine in hot water, whisk the mix and chill. The moment of the whipping process is the moment of reincarnation from the sweet air mass in the foam, which is due to the gelatine presence in the product, retains its structure throughout the term of storage.

    In fact, aeration is the process of beating during which the mass of the force is saturated with tiny air bubbles, which formed around the frame of the swollen gelatine. It plays an important role foaming ability of gelatine, which is able not only to form a solid jelly and stable foam. This is the main point in the production of chewing marshmallow.

    Julia Grineva: First chewing marshmallow was the traditional home-sweet. Sugar, molasses and gelling component (previously it was an extract of marshmallow root and that is why it called "marshmallows") kicked up with the help off whisk. Take a note that in the chewing marshmallow is no animal fats, milk and eggs.

    Then froze candy and ate it. By the way sweetness is tolerates to heat and cold, because before the invention of the refrigerator it favourably compared with cream pies and other perishable desserts. Nowadays, Marshmallow root was replaced with gelatine and began to produce the product with the same composition in industrial lines. In our production structure we don’t use synthetic additives.

    To make these ingredients sweet froth on an industrial scale, whisk will not get. The equipment must have an aerator installation to saturating the mass of air bubbles. That is why because of the very high cost of equipment the small manufacturer can not afford to do, chewing marshmallow.

    In 2004 for the production of chewing marshmallow «Lesnaya Skazka» bought a new line of Netherlands firm HAAS-MONDOMIX - the world leader in production of equipment. It is a fully automated line, which allows the product of a high, consistent quality, and also provides clarity of conformity of the product formulation and minimum influence of human factors on the production process.

-     How useful are chewing marshmallows? Can children it eat?

    Elena Levchenko: The dextrose (glucose) is in the product information contained makes it useful for children because it is a carbohydrate. Gelatine is also useful because it is able to restore and strengthen the recovery of tissue also it is a source of collagen, which is needed to maintain healthy looking skin, hair and nails.

    Julia Grineva: Chewing marshmallows are good for children and people leading an active life: the properties of glucose and gelatine help strengthen bones; muscle tissue glucose is also useful in active mental activity.

-     What is the range of products consume more buyers? Whether these preferences have changed this year?

    Julia Grineva: The range of chewing marshmallow TM "Lesnaya Skazka" was developed in accordance with the preferences of the buyer. On sale is a transparent ounce package (when the product is clear seen it is better to buy, take home themselves and their children). This packaging of chewing marshmallow well is sold in chain stores, department stores near the house. In these packages there is the mix of flavorings of peach, pineapple, banana, orange, passion fruit also there is chewing marshmallow with strawberry, wild strawberry, apricot, lemon, apple. Very popular is vanilla white "cloud-stuff."

    There is the more colourful branded package weighing 75 and 150  grams - for a buyer who wants to eat the sweetness during the walk. This packing is also suitable for small shops and kiosks. 

    The package weighs in 50 grams - for children, developed by taking into account how much should cost a package to be available for individual purchase in high school for pocket money. Then calculated and the number of marshmallows that the child had eaten not thrown their money not having finished up the sweetness. 

    We have developed a new form of the product the little many-colored pieces with different taste. In package it would be a lot and you can have them "as a seed" long and happy.

    The separate category of products is white vanilla chewing marshmallow cut into small pieces. It is used by manufacturers of rolls (cake) to add to the cream layer and decorate cakes and pastries, and ice cream manufacturers add to their product to taste as filler.

 -     What is the proportion of marshmallow, chewing marshmallow, paste and other products on the market of paste candy today?

    Julia Grineva: It's no secret that the possibility of purchasing of the customers falls in recent years. This is reflected in sales of confectionery market. Analyzing product portfolio TM "Lesnaya Skazka" it should be noted that the sale of chewing marshmallow show stable results in quantitative terms. In 2005 began issue of chewing marshmallow in our company. In 2007 the product was already well represented in the confectionery market. In 2009 the percentage of the profits from chewing marshmallow in the overall company's profit rose to a value of 121.85% over the same indicator in 2007. In 2010 - up to 132.32%, despite the fact that the total profit of the company in 2009 grew by 17.79%, and in 2010 - at 57.28% compared to 2007. This is despite the fact that the product is not a cheap segment.

    Such situations contribute to the promotion of cultural consumption and stable quality of our chewing marshmallow product recommendations from the consumer to the consumer and the increased interest of the buyer to the composition of foods and its naturalness.

 -     What's the Ukrainians choose the "classic" or novelty chewing marshmallows with fillings or unusual shapes? What is cause of the demand for marshmallows?

    Julia Grineva: If we talk about the market and consumer demand the Ukrainians for the most part have always preferred the classics. New items we like too but as a kind of classic products the new cookie, new candy and so.

    Peter I first had introduced to us potatoes from Europe the culture of consumption was not clear for a long time (there was no television, internet and marketing). And in spite of this today potatoes become our second bread. With chewing marshmallow that was introduced in the Ukraine from Europe with our trademark is approximately the same situation. However unlike the potato with this product we immediately took a separate niche on the confectionery market and have the opportunity to familiarize consumers with chewing marshmallow its benefits and consumer culture.

    This niche has been filled not only by small industries (due to the complexity of the technological process of manufacture of chewing marshmallow) and the monsters confectionery market the aspirations which at that time were sent to market expensive segment (chocolates, candies in boxes). Development of a new market niche profitable including the lack of competition has brought good results and today is a significant share of the profits of the company.  

    Elena Levchenko: Allow me to say some worlds about shape of marshmallow. Chewing marshmallows usually produce in a cylindrical or in other similar forms. This is due to the method of jigging (forming) of the product the so-called extrusion of the product through special nozzles – dies. Whipped mass is forced through a spinneret cooled at a special assembly line and cut into small pieces.

    The usual marshmallow in it physical properties are distinguished by the diversity of forms. It takes the form of shells, often. But modern marshmallows manufacturers seek to the extent possible expand the range due to market products with a variety of fillings.

    Reference:

     Marshmallow is prepared by whipping the fruit-berry puree with sugar and egg white, but in the end of the syrup was mixed with agar or other gelling. Depending on the thickener a dye and flavoring changes the taste and structure of the marshmallow. Marshmallows that prepared with pectin is sour and marshmallows that prepared with agar-agar is denser and without sour because agar-agar has not its own flavor.

    If the product is covered by powdered sugar or chocolate glaze should be based on the product even layer without cracks. Fresh and quality marshmallows when you pressed with your finger restore its shape quickly. The colour of marshmallow can be different but it is better to choose less bright colors in that way the buyer will have some sort of guarantee off the absence of strong colors.