Hard Candies / Boiled Sweets

Hard candies, also known as lollipops follies, suckers, or boiled sweets, are generally made of sucrose, glucose, water, colour and flavour. Hard candies have retained their market share, especially with children, even with the proliferation of new candy varieties. Hard candy formulated with functional ingredients represents a growth opportunity for the adult consumer sector in products like lozenges and other nutraceuticals.

Low pH and processing temperatures of 150 degrees C require acid-proof, heat-stable colouring. Demand from health-conscious consumers to eliminate synthetic (certified) colouring has encouraged confectionery manufacturers to offer clean label products.

Carmine for red, titanium dioxide for white, beta-carotene for orange, turmeric (curcumin) for yellow, and caramel colour (Class I Caramel Colour or Class III Caramel Colour) for reddish-brown hues meet hard candy processing requirements.

hard candies boiled sweets natural colours natural colors colours colors

Sodium copper chlorophyllin (where local legislation permits) can be used to achieve a green hue in high boiled candy.

Anthocyanins can perform in hard candies and will tend to give a red or purple hue due to the low pH and high heat involved.


Toffee consists of caramelized sugar or molasses with butter heated near 150 degrees C. It consists of short-grain crystals, which easily break. In contrast, caramel consists of long-grain crystals, which enable bending or stretching.

Caramel has higher water activity, which allows for the addition of caramel colour to enhance visual appeal. Some European confectionery caramels utilize a variety of burnt sugars in both liquid and powder forms to provide flavor and incidental colour. DDW Europe offers a line of burnt sugars to complement its caramel colour portfolio.

Confectionery caramel utilizes cream or condensed milk to achieve a softer texture than toffee. Varying the blend and temperature allows for firmer or softer texture. Examples include ice cream, dessert topping, candy bar filling, pieces and inclusions.

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