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Title:
LECITHIN COATING COMPOSITIONS FOR HARD PANNED CONFECTIONS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/183237
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Coating compositions comprising lecithin are provided, wherein the compositions are opacifying compositions and lecithin is used in an opacifying layer of a hard panned coating. The coating compositions can be used in a hard panned coating of a hard panned confection, for example, with at least one opacifying layer of the hard panned coating including sugar syrup and a lecithin and at least one color layer of the hard panned coating including sugar syrup and a colorant.

Inventors:
COLLINS, Thomas M. (MARS, INCORPORATED800 High Stree, Hackettstown New Jersey, 07840, US)
ROBBINS, Rebecca J. (MARS, INCORPORATED800 High Stree, Hackettstown New Jersey, 07840, US)
KRONEBERGER-STANTON, Kevin J. (MARS, INCORPORATED800 High Stree, Hackettstown New Jersey, 07840, US)
VAN DAMME, Isabella B.M. (MARS, INCORPORATED3D Dundee Road, Slough Berkshire SL1 4LG, 4LG, GB)
Application Number:
US2018/024435
Publication Date:
October 04, 2018
Filing Date:
March 27, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MARS, INCORPORATED (6885 Elm Street, McLean, Virginia, 22101, US)
International Classes:
A23D9/007; A23G1/36; A23G3/40
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AUMANN, Rebecca A. (MARS, INCORPORATED800 High Stree, Hackettstown New Jersey, 07840, US)
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Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A hard panned coating, comprising one or more sugar syrup layers, wherein at least one layer is an opacifying layer formed from an opacifying composition comprising a lecithin in an amount of from about 0.1 wt-% to about 3.0 wt-% based on the total weight of the opacifying composition.

2. The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein the lecithin is in an amount of from about 0.75 wt-% to about 1.25 wt-%.

3. The hard panned coating of claim 2, wherein the lecithin is in an amount of about 1.0 wt-%.

4. The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein the lecithin has a hydrophilic-lipophilic balance of from about 4 to about 7.

5. The hard panned coating of claim 4, wherein the lecithin has a hydrophilic-lipophilic balance of about 7.

6. The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein the lecithin is de-oiled lecithin.

7. The hard panned coating of claim 6, wherein the lecithin comprises at least about 65 wt-% phospholipids.

8. The hard panned coating of claim 6, wherein the lecithin comprises no more than about 10 wt-% triglycerides.

9. The hard panned coating of claim 8, wherein the lecithin comprises no more than about 5 wt-% triglycerides.

10. The hard panned coating of claim 9, wherein the lecithin comprises no more than about 3 wt-% triglycerides.

11 The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein the opacifying composition is present in two or more of the sugar syrup layers.

12. The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein one or more of the sugar syrup layers do not contain lecithin.

13. The hard panned coating of claim 12, wherein at least one layer is a color layer comprising a colorant.

14. The hard panned coating of claim 13, wherein the colorant is a non-artificial colorant.

15. The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein the sugar comprises a non-artificial sugar selected from sucrose, glucose, and dextrose.

16. The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein the sugar comprises one or more polyols.

17. The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein the opacifying composition comprises a polyol and a lecithin in an amount of from about 0.1 wt-% to about 3.0 wt-% based on the total weight of the opacifying composition.

18. The hard panned coating of claim 1, wherein the hard panned coating does not contain titanium dioxide.

19. A hard panned confection, comprising an edible core coated with the hard panned coating of claim 1.

20. The hard panned confection of claim 19, wherein a ΔΕ of the hard panned coating is 10 or less when calculated relative to the color of the same color variant of a hard panned coating comprising a titanium dioxide opacifying composition comprising sugar syrup and titanium dioxide in an amount of 2.5 wt-% based on the total weight of the titanium dioxide opacifying composition.

21. The hard panned confection of claim 20, wherein the ΔΕ of the hard panned coating is 6 or less.

22. The hard panned confection of claim 19, wherein the edible core comprises an edible material selected from a non-artificial center, a confection, a grain-based item, and a combination thereof.

23. The hard panned confection of claim 22, wherein the edible core comprises chocolate.

24. The hard panned confection of claim 19, wherein at least one layer of the hard panned coating is a color layer comprising a colorant.

25. The hard panned confection of claim 24, wherein the at least one opacifying layer is disposed nearer to the edible core than the at least one color layer.

26. A hard panned coating, comprising two or more sugar syrup layers, wherein:

at least one layer is an opacifying layer formed from an opacifying composition comprising a lecithin having a hydrophilic-lipophilic balance of about 7 in an amount of from about 0.5 wt- % to about 1.5 wt-% based on the total weight of the opacifying composition;

at least one layer is a color layer comprising a colorant but not comprising a lecithin; and the opacifying layer and the color layer do not comprise titanium dioxide.

27. A method of coating an edible core with a hard panned coating, comprising:

a) applying a first coating composition comprising sugar syrup and lecithin in an amount of from about 0.5 wt-% to about 1.5 wt-% based on the total weight of the first coating composition to provide at least one layer of the hard panned coating; and b) applying a second coating composition comprising sugar syrup but not comprising a lecithin to provide at least one additional layer of the hard panned coating.

28. The method of claim 27, further comprising at least partially drying the layers after each of steps a) and b).

29. The method of claim 27, wherein the first coating composition is applied to a prepared surface of the edible core.

30. The method of claim 27, wherein the second coating composition further comprises a colorant.

31. The method of claim 27, wherein the first coating composition and the second coating composition do not comprise titanium dioxide.

32. The method of claim 27, wherein the lecithin is in an amount from about 0.75 wt-% to about 1.25 wt-%.

Description:
LECITHIN COATING COMPOSITIONS FOR HARD PANNED CONFECTIONS

FIELD

The presently disclosed subject matter relates to hard panned coatings comprising lecithin and confections having such coatings.

BACKGROUND

Hard panned confections include an edible core surrounded by a sugar-based shell.

Typically, the edible core includes a non-artificial center, such as a nut- or fruit-based center, or a confection, such as caramel, nougat, taffy, toffee, fondant, or chocolate. Because such edible cores can have irregular and strong colors, it can be desirable to mask their colors and provide a background for an outer hard panned coating. Thus, an outer colored, glossy, opalescent, or matte coating can be applied to an unfinished, often white surface to ensure a uniform

appearance across different samples of the hard panned confection and, in the case of a colored coating, to allow the coating to exhibit a truer color.

Conventionally, white colorants, such as titanium dioxide or rice starch, have been used in an opacifying layer to provide an opaque substrate to apply subsequent outer layers of the hard panned coating. However, there is growing interest in using opacifying layers that do not contain whitening substances in hard panned confections. Various non- artificial white materials, including CaC0 3 and rice starch, have been considered for use in opacifying layers. However, these materials may require usage rates that are impractical for certain applications or do not provide the same level of opacity as titanium dioxide in some processes and colored layers applied over such materials would not be expected to exhibit the same true color as when those colored layers are applied over titanium dioxide-based layers.

Alternatively, certain emulsifiers, which are translucent themselves, can emulsify and interact with other ingredients in the coating composition, such as sugar crystals, to provide an opacifying effect without the use of pigments. One such emulsifier is sucrose esters, as disclosed in International Patent Publication No. WO 2014/150438. However, sucrose esters are not widely considered to be a non- artificial substance. Thus, there remains a need for improved, non-artificial coating compositions for hard panned coatings that do not include whitening substances, but that can be used in an opacifying layer. The presently disclosed subject matter addresses these and other needs as discussed in detail below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure provides opacifying compositions for use in hard panned coatings, e.g., for hard panned confections. The opacifying compositions can include lecithin, wherein the lecithin is used as an emulsifier along with sugar to create an opacifying layer.

In certain aspects, the present disclosure provides a hard panned coating comprising one or more sugar syrup layers, wherein at least one layer is an opacifying layer formed from an opacifying composition comprising a lecithin in an amount of from about 0.1 wt-% to about 3.0 wt-% based on the total weight of the opacifying composition.

In certain embodiments, the lecithin can be in an amount of from about 0.75 wt-% to about 1.25 wt-%, or about 1.0 wt-%. The lecithin can have a hydrophilic-lipophilic balance of from about 4 to about 7, or about 7. In particular embodiments, the lecithin is de-oiled lecithin. For example, and not limitation, the lecithin can comprise at least about 65 wt-% phospholipids. For further example, and not limitation, the lecithin can contain no more than about 10 wt-% triglycerides, no more than about 5 wt-% triglycerides, or no more than about 3 wt-%

triglycerides.

In certain embodiments, the opacifying composition comprising sugar syrup and lecithin is present in two or more of the sugar syrup layers. As embodied herein, the hard panned coating can further include one or more sugar syrup layers that do not contain lecithin. For example, and not limitation, the hard panned coating can include at least one sugar syrup layer that is a color layer comprising a colorant. The colorant can be a non-artificial colorant, e.g., in any color as known in the art. The sugar can be a non-artificial sugar selected from sucrose, glucose, or dextrose. Alternatively or additionally, the sugar can include one or more polyols. In certain embodiments, the hard panned coating can contain at least one layer formed from an opacifying composition including a polyol and a lecithin in an amount of about 0.5 wt-% to about 3.0 wt-% based on the total weight of the opacifying composition. As embodied herein, the hard panned coating can be free of titanium dioxide. The present disclosure further provides hard panned confections, comprising an edible core and a hard panned coating comprising one or more sugar syrup layers, wherein at least one layer is an opacifying layer formed from an opacifying composition comprising a lecithin in an amount of from about 0.1 wt-% to about 3.0 wt-% based on the total weight of the opacifying composition.

As embodied herein, the ΔΕ of the hard panned coating can be 10 or less, or 6 or less, when calculated relative to the color of the same color variant of a hard panned coating comprising a titanium dioxide opacifying composition comprising sugar syrup and titanium dioxide in an amount of 2.5 wt-% based on the total weight of the titanium dioxide opacifying composition.

In certain embodiments, the edible core can include a non-artificial center, a confection, a grain-based item, or a combination thereof. In certain embodiments, the edible core comprises chocolate. In certain embodiments, at least one opacifying layer is disposed nearer to the edible core than one or more color layers comprising a colorant.

In certain embodiments, the present disclosure provides a hard panned coating comprising two or more sugar syrup layers wherein at least one layer is an opacifying layer formed from an opacifying composition comprising a lecithin having a hydrophilic-lipophilic balance of about 7 in an amount of from about 0.5 wt-% to about 1.5 wt-% based on the total weight of the opacifying composition. Further, at least one layer of the hard panned coating is a color layer comprising a colorant but not comprising a lecithin and the opacifying layer and the color layer do not comprise titanium dioxide.

In certain aspects, the present disclosure provides methods of coating an edible core with a hard panned coating. Such methods include applying a first coating composition comprising sugar syrup and lecithin in an amount of from about 0.1 wt-% to about 3.0 wt-% based on the total weight of the first coating composition to provide at least one layer of the hard panned coating and applying a second coating composition comprising sugar syrup but not comprising a lecithin to provide at least one additional layer of the hard panned coating.

In certain embodiments, the method can further include at least partially drying the layers after each step. The first coating composition can be applied to a prepared surface of the edible core. In certain embodiments, the second coating composition can further include a colorant. Alternatively or additionally, the first and second coating compositions can be free of titanium dioxide. In certain embodiments, the lecithin can be present in an amount from about 0.75 wt-% to about 1.25 wt-%.

The foregoing has outlined broadly the features and technical advantages of the present application in order that the detailed description that follows can be better understood.

Additional features and advantages of the application will be described hereinafter which form the subject of the claims of the application. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and specific embodiment disclosed can be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present application. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the application as set forth in the appended claims. The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the application, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages will be better understood from the following description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 provides photographs of the drawdown experiments of Example 1, and compares the opacity of opacifying compositions comprising 0.5 wt-% or 1.0 wt-% of various types of lecithins.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As noted above, to date, there remains a need in the art for a non- artificial coating composition that does not contain titanium dioxide, but which is able to be used as an opacifying composition in the opacifying layer of a hard panned coating to mask the color of an edible core of a confection. The present disclosure provides such hard panned coatings that use an opacifying composition with a lecithin in an opacifying layer. The opacifying compositions can be used in hard panned confections and can result in similar color characteristics to hard panned coatings having titanium dioxide-based opacifying layers.

1. Definitions

The terms used in this specification generally have their ordinary meanings in the art, within the context of this disclosed subject matter and in the specific context where each term is used. Certain terms are discussed below, or elsewhere in the specification, to provide additional guidance to the practitioner in describing the compositions and methods of the disclosed subject matter and how to make and use them.

As used herein, the use of the word "a" or "an" when used in conjunction with the term "comprising" in the claims and/or the specification can mean "one," but it is also consistent with the meaning of "one or more," "at least one," and "one or more than one." Still further, the terms "having," "including," "containing" and "comprising" are interchangeable and one of skill in the art is cognizant that these terms are open ended terms.

The term "about" or "approximately" means within an acceptable error range for the particular value as determined by one of ordinary skill in the art, which will depend in part on how the value is measured or determined, i.e., the limitations of the measurement system. For example, "about" can mean within 3 or more than 3 standard deviations, per the practice in the art. Alternatively, "about" can mean a range of up to 20%, preferably up to 10%, more preferably up to 5%, and more preferably still up to 1% of a given value.

As used herein, "food product" or "food product composition" includes ingestible products including but not limited to human foods, animal or pet foods, pharmaceutical products, and consumer products.

As used herein, the term "confectionary product" or "confection" refers to a sweet or dessert food product. Confectionary products with surfaces suitable for hard panned coating can include, but are not limited to, candies (hard and soft), compressed mints, chewing gums, gelatins, chocolates, fudge, fondant, liquorice, taffy, and combinations thereof.

"Lecithin" as used herein refers to a mixture of fatty compounds extracted from a non- artificial (e.g., plant or animal) source. Lecithins can include phospholipids (including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidic acid), triglycerides, glycolipids, complexed sugars, sterols, fatty acids, carbohydrates, and

combinations thereof. The lecithins of the present disclosure can be obtained from one or more of a number of sources, including soy oil, egg yolks, whole grains, peanuts, canola oil, sunflower oil, and milk. The lecithins can be in powdered, granulated, or fluid form.

"De-oiled lecithin" as used herein refers to a lecithin where the triglyceride fraction has been removed. De-oiled lecithins are often prepared in powdered or granulated form. De-oiled lecithins also typically have increased phospholipid content as compared to fluid lecithins. As used herein, the term "artificial" refers to something that neither exists in nature nor is made from anything that exists in nature. The term "non-artificial" refers to something that is derived from plant, mineral, or biological sources.

As used herein, the term "weight percent" or "wt-%" is meant to refer to the quantity by weight of a component in a material (e.g., a coating composition) as a percentage of the total wet weight of the material (i.e., prior to being dried).

"Hue" refers to the color property that gives a color its name, for example, red, orange- red, blue, violet, etc. "Chroma" is a color property indicating the purity of a color, where higher chroma is associated with greater purity of hue and less dilution by white, gray, or black.

"Value" is a color property indicating the lightness or darkness of a color, where higher value is associated with greater lightness.

The terms "color" and "color characteristics" are used interchangeably, and encompass color properties such as hue, chroma, and value, and color model system parameters used to describe these properties, such as Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage CIE 1976 CIELAB color space L*a*b* values and CIELCH color space L*C*h° values. The CIELAB and CIELCH color models provide more perceptually uniform color spaces than earlier color

models. Colorants are analyzed with a spectrophotometer, and CIELAB L*a*b* and CIELCH L*C*h° values are calculated from the spectral data. The L*a*b* and L*C*h° values provide a means of representing color characteristics and assessing the magnitude of difference between two colors. The L*a*b* and L*C*h° values reported herein were calculated based on spectral data obtained with a Konica Minolta Spectrophotometer CM-3500d operated in reflectance mode with a D65 illuminant and 10° observer angle.

L*a*b* values consist of a set of coordinate values defined in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. L* is the value, or lightness, coordinate. L* provides a scale of lightness from black (0 L* units) to white (100 L* units) on a vertical axis, a* and b* are coordinates related to both hue and chroma, a* provides a scale for greenness (- a* units) to redness (+ a* units), on a horizontal axis, with neutral at the center point (0 a* units), b* provides a scale for blueness (- b* units) to yellowness (+ b* units), on a second horizontal axis perpendicular to the first horizontal axis, with neutral at the center point (0 b* units). The three axes cross where L* has a value of 50 and a* and b* are both zero. L*C*h° values consist of a set of coordinate values defined in a three-dimensional cylindrical coordinate system. L* is the value, or lightness, coordinate. L* provides a scale of lightness from black (0 L* units) to white (100 L* units) on a longitudinal axis, through the center of the cylindrical coordinate system. h° is the hue coordinate. h° is specified as an angle from 0° to 360° moving counterclockwise around the L* axis. Pure red has a hue angle of 0°, pure yellow has a hue angle of 90°, pure green has a hue angle of 180°, and pure blue has a hue angle of 270°. The C* coordinate represents chroma and is specified as a radial distance from the L* axis. C* provides a scale from achromatic, i.e., neutral white, gray, or black, at the L* axis (0 C* units) to greater purity of hue as the coordinate moves away from the L* axis (up to 100 or more C* units). C* and h° can be calculated from a* and b* using Equations 1 and 2:

C* = (a* 2 + b* 2 ) , 1 0.5

1)

"Delta E," "ΔΕ a t>," or more simply, "ΔΕ," is a measure of the magnitude of total color difference between two colors represented in CIELAB L*a*b* color space. The ΔΕ of two different colors with L*a*b* values L* a* b* and L* a* b* is calculated using Equation 3:

It has been reported that an experienced color observer cannot distinguish any difference between two colors when the ΔΕ is about 2.3 or less. However, it is often seen that laypeople cannot discern any difference between two colors even when the ΔΕ is greater than 2.3, for example, at a ΔΕ of 4, 6, 8, or 10.

2. Coating Compositions

As embodied herein, a hard panned coating can be formed from multiple sugar syrup layers, some but not all of which include a lecithin. For example and not limitation, the lecithin can be used in one or more opacifying layers of the hard panned coating. Thus, the presently disclosed subject matter provides coating compositions, e.g., opacifying compositions for a hard panned coating, comprising a lecithin. Lecithin can be used as a food additive or dietary/nutritional supplement, and can be used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, viscosity reducer, wetting agent, separating agent, extrusion aid, or release agent. Surprisingly, one of the consequences of this emulsification is that it

simultaneously provides a secondary opacifying effect when combined with other ingredients in an opacifying composition to form an opacifying layer. In certain embodiments, the lecithin for use in the present disclosure can be de-oiled lecithin. The lecithin can have at least about 50 wt- %, at least about 60 wt-%, or at least about 65 wt-% phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidic acid. In certain embodiments, the lecithin can have no more than about 10 wt-% triglycerides, no more than about 5 wt-% triglycerides, or no more than about 3 wt-% triglycerides. In certain embodiments, the lecithin can be soy lecithin. In particular embodiments, the lecithin can be Alcolec® F100 (American Lecithin Company, Oxford, CT), Lecigran 1000P (Cargill, Minnetonka, MN), Ultralec P (Archer Daniels Midland Co., Chicago, IL), or Solec F (Solae, St. Louis, MO).

As embodied herein, the lecithin for use in the present disclosure can have a certain hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB). HLB is a measure of the relative degree of hydrophilicity versus lipophilicity of a material and ranges from 1 to 20. A material with a low HLB value will tend to stabilize water-in-oil emulsions, while a material with a high HLB value will tend to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions. Various lecithins can have different HLB values depending on the constituent compounds and their proportions. For example, soy lecithin as used as an emulsifier in chocolate generally has an HLB of about 2 to 3. When lecithin is used in an opacifying layer, as in the present disclosure, it can be preferable to have a greater HLB value. For example, it was surprisingly found that the use of lecithins with an HLB of about 4 to about 7 was able to improve the opacity of an opacifying layer and provide a suitable base for the application of additional color layers. (See Example 2). These HLB values are lower than those HLB values previously found to be ideal for sucrose esters used within opacifying layers. (See International Patent Publication No. WO2014/150438, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.) In fact, the HLB values of the sucrose esters and the lecithin of the present subject matter are so different that one skilled in the art would expect to the two compounds to have different industrial applications. Thus, in certain embodiments, the HLB of the lecithin can range from about 4 to about 7, or from about 6 to about 7. In particular embodiments, the HLB value can be about 7. For example, de-oiled soy lecithin, e.g., Alcolec® F100, can have an HLB value of about 7.

In alternative embodiments, the lecithin can have an HLB value of greater than 7. For example, in certain embodiments, the lecithin can be enzyme-modified soy lecithin, e.g., Alcolec® EM (American Lecithin Company, Oxford, CT) having an HLB value of about 9, or a soy lecithin with ethoxylated mono- and di-glycerides and propylene glycol, e.g., Alcolec® Aquasperse A (American Lecithin Company, Oxford, CT) having an HLB value of about 12.

As embodied herein, the opacifying composition can comprise a sugar syrup, permitting the opacifying composition to be applied in layers on a core. For example, the opacifying composition can be used to form an opacifying layer comprising sugar syrup and lecithins. For example and not limitation, lecithins can be present in the opacifying composition in an amount of from about 0.1 wt-% to about 3.0 wt-%, or from about 0.2 wt-% to about 2.0 wt-%, or from about 0.5 wt-% to about 1.5 wt-%, or from about 0.75 wt-% to about 1.25 wt-%, or about 1.0 wt- %. By comparison, it was previously found that sucrose esters should preferably be present in the opacifying composition of an opacifying layer in an amount of from 0.5 wt-% to 1.0 wt-%, and accordingly, it is necessary to tailor the composition of the opacifying composition to the particular components of the opacifying composition. (See International Patent Publication No. WO2014/150438).

Sugar syrups generally comprise one or more non- artificial sugars and/or sugar alcohols and water. Although artificial sweeteners can be included in some embodiments, in others, they are desirably excluded. Any non-artificial sugar that will readily crystallize can be used in the sugar syrups, and suitable examples include sucrose, glucose, and dextrose. In some

embodiments, the non-artificial sugar desirably comprises sucrose. Additionally or alternatively, sugar alcohols, such as polyols, can be used in the sugar syrups.

As embodied herein, the sugar syrups of the present disclosure can be free of titanium dioxide. For example, the use of lecithin as an emulsifier in an opacifying composition can result in sufficient opacity such that it is not necessary to use a whitening substance (such as titanium dioxide) in the opacifying layer to ensure that subsequent color layers of the hard panned coating exhibit their true colors. Thus, in certain embodiments, the opacifying composition used in an opacifying layer can be free of titanium dioxide. Furthermore, additional layers of the hard panned coating, e.g., one or more color layers as described further below, can also be free of titanium dioxide such that the entire hard panned coating does not contain titanium dioxide.

In certain embodiments, the sugar syrups can contain at least about 60 wt-% sugar solids, or at least about 65 wt-% sugar solids, or at least about 70 wt-% sugar solids. The sugar syrup can contain less than about 85 wt-% sugar solids, or less than about 80 wt-% sugar solids. In some embodiments, the sugar syrup contains from about 65 wt-% to about 80 wt-% sugar solids, or from about 70 wt-% to about 80 wt-% sugar solids. In embodiments using sucrose as the sole sugar in a sugar syrup, the sucrose sugar syrups can be at least about 60° Brix, or at least about 65° Brix, or at least about 70° Brix. The sucrose sugar syrup can be less than about 85° Brix, or less than about 80° Brix. In some embodiments, the sucrose sugar syrup is from about 65° Brix to about 80° Brix, or from about 70° Brix to about 80° Brix.

In an alternative embodiment, the coating composition can comprise a polyol syrup, permitting the coating composition to be applied in layers to a core. Although non- artificial sugars can be included in some embodiments, in others, they are desirably excluded. Any suitable polyol may be used in the polyol syrup, including but are not limited to sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, lactitol, maltitol, erythritol, isomalt and combinations thereof.

As noted above, the hard panned coating can be formed from multiple sugar syrup layers, and some layers, e.g., one or more opacifying layers, can include a lecithin. Similarly, at least some of the sugar syrup layers, e.g., one or more color layers, can include one or more colorants. As embodied herein, a particular sugar syrup layer can comprise either lecithin, a colorant, or both. Additionally, one or more layers can comprise neither lecithin nor a colorant. In certain embodiments, the hard panned coating can include one or more opacifying layers comprising a lecithin and one or more color layers comprising a colorant. The one or more color layers can be free of lecithin. For example, and not limitation, the one or more opacifying layers can be disposed nearer to the edible core of a hard panned confection, as compared to the one or more color layers.

If a colorant is present, any colorant suitable for food use can be used. As embodied herein, the colorant can be non- artificial or artificial. The colorant can provide any color, as known in the art, and is not limited to the particular colors described herein. For the purpose of example and not limitation, artificial colorants approved for use in food in the U.S. and/or the European Union (EU designation in parentheses) include FD&C Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue FCF E133), FD&C Blue No. 2 (Indigotine E132), FD&C Green No. 3 (Fast Green FCF E143), FD&C Red No. 40 (Allura Red AC E129), FD&C Red No. 3 (Erythrosine E127), FD&C Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine E102) and FD&C Yellow No. 6 (Sunset Yellow FCF El 10). Some additional artificial colorants approved for use in the European Union include Quinoline Yellow E104, Carmoisine E122, Ponceau 4R E124, Patent Blue V E131 and Green S E142. Useful non- artificial food colorants are also known in the art, such as, for example, caramel coloring (E150), annatto (E160b), Chlorophyllin (E140), Cochineal (E120), Betanin (E162), Turmeric

(curcuminoids, E100), Saffron (carotenoids, E160a), paprika (E160c), Lycopene (E160d), and fruit and vegetable juices and extracts thereof, such as anthocyanin-containing colorants and colorants based on turmeric, spirulina, and red radish. Combinations of artificial and/or non- artificial colorants can be used, i.e., two or more artificial colorants, one or more non-artificial colorants with one or more artificial colorants, or two or more non- artificial colorants can be used.

It will be understood that colorants are often available for use in food as either dyes or lakes. Dyes are soluble in water, but insoluble in oil, and provide color via dissolution in a food matrix. Lakes, on the other hand, are soluble in neither oil nor water, and provide color via dispersion in a food matrix, such as that provided by the sugar syrup.

As embodied herein, suitable concentrations of non-artificial colorants can range from about 0.01 wt-% to about 20 wt-%, or from about 0.05 wt-% to about 15 wt-%, or from about 0.1 wt-% to about 10 wt-%, while suitable concentrations of non- artificial colorants can range from about 0.01 wt-% to about 5.0 wt-%, or from about 0.5 wt-% to about 4.0 wt-%, or from about 0.1 wt-% to about 3.0 wt-%.

In certain embodiments, the sugar syrups can also optionally include other components conventionally used in hard panned coatings. As will be understood by a person of ordinary skill in the art, many such components are known in the art and include, but are not limited to, polyols, fillers, flavors, sensates, vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals, or combinations of these.

3. Hard Panned Confections The coating compositions of the presently disclosed subject matter can be applied to the surface of various food products, including confectionary products such as candies (hard and soft), compressed mints, chewing gums, gelatins, chocolates, fudge, fondant, liquorice, and taffy.

In particular embodiments, the coating composition is applied to the edible core of a hard panned confectionary product, e.g., a dragee type confectionary product. A hard panned confectionary product can comprise a center edible core and at least one coating layer containing crystallized sugar, e.g., from a sugar syrup. The cores can then be coated with successive layers of sugars or other substances such as polyols, gums and non- artificial polymers, that can further include one or more coating compositions, e.g., opacifying compositions, of the present disclosure. For example, and not by way of limitation, the edible core can comprise chocolate. In certain embodiments, the surface of the hard panned confectionary product can further comprise a polish coating.

The hard panned coating can be applied to any desired edible core. In some

embodiments, the edible core can comprise a non- artificial center, such as a nut, groundnut, nut meat, nut paste, dried or infused fruit piece, or dried fruit paste. Or, the edible core can comprise a confection, such as a boiled sugar syrup, caramel, nougat, taffy, toffee, fondant, chocolate, confectionery coating, or combinations of these. Alternatively, the edible core can comprise a grain-based item, such as a cookie, pretzel, biscuit, wafer, cracker, or other baked, crisped, or puffed material. In some embodiments, the edible core can comprise a non-artificial center, confection, or grain-based item which is then coated with a confection.

The hard panned coatings provided herein use lecithin as an emulsifier, which can also create an opacifying layer that, when combined with a color layer, results in colors that closely approximate the same color as a coating created using conventional formulations for hard panned coatings, i.e. , comprising opacifying compositions comprising whitening substances such as titanium dioxide (T1O2) or rice starch. The respective colors of the hard panned coatings can be seen via evaluation of CIELAB L*a*b* and CIELCH L*C*h° values calculated from spectral measurements. The L*a*b* and L*C*h° values provide a means of representing color characteristics and assessing the magnitude of difference between the colors of the two coatings.

In particular embodiments, the AE' s of the hard panned coatings of the hard panned confections can be evaluated when the coatings are applied to an edible core in one or more opacifying layers and one or more color layers. The opacity of the opacifying layers can thus be compared by applying different opacifying layers, i.e., having different compositions, to the same type of edible core and then further applying one or more additional color layers of the same color variant, i.e., having the same colorant in the same amount, to the different opacifying layers. The L*a*b* values of the resulting hard panned confections can be compared by determining the ΔΕ between the colors of the two coatings to determine how different the two colors are. Alternatively, the L*a*b* values of the resulting hard panned confections can compared by determining the ΔΕ between the color of the coatings and a target color. For example, the confection having the lower ΔΕ would be considered to be closer in color to the target color. As embodied herein, the target color can be the resulting color if color layers of the same color variant are applied over an opacifying layer having a conventional opacifying composition, e.g., containing titanium dioxide in a certain amount such as 2.5 wt-%. For example, and not limitation, the hard panned confections comprising the hard panned coatings of the present disclosure can exhibit AE's of about 10 or less, about 6 or less, about 4 or less, or about 2 or less when calculated relative to the color of the same color variant of a hard panned confection that includes a titanium dioxide-based opacifying composition in an opacifying layer.

3.1 Methods of Manufacturing Hard Panned Confections

As embodied herein, the coating composition, e.g., an opacifying composition, can be applied to the desired edible core according to conventional hard panning processes as known in the art. Such processes are described, for example, in "Sugar Confectionery and Chocolate

Manufacture," R. Lees and E.B. Jackson, Chemical Publishing Company, February 7, 1975, and "Industrial Chocolate Manufacture and Use," editor, S.T. Beckett, Blackie & Son Ltd., Glasgow, 1988, each hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Panning processes can be driven by the equipment utilized to perform them, which can be dry equipment or slurry equipment, both types being commercially available from, e.g., Ets Dumoulin & Cie, Tournan-en Brie, France, KOCO Food Tech, Inc., Phoenix, MD and Loynds International, Ltd., Poulton Le Fylde, England.

As will be understood in the art, panning is an industrial processes for preparing coated edible products, such as confections and pharmaceuticals. Typically, the term "panning" means the iterative application of sugar-based coatings, such as, e.g., sucrose or dextrose, to masses of edible products to produce coated products. In a panning process, multiple applications of a highly concentrated sugar syrup are used to build up the uncolored portion of a sugar shell. This is followed by multiple applications of a concentrated sugar syrup containing colorant. The panning process comprises the repetitive application of thin layers of a coating solution or composition onto an intermixed mass of centers, while mixing the mass of centers, and the drying of each layer of coating solution or composition during which the sugar in the coating crystallizes between the application of layers.

In certain embodiments, the methods for manufacturing hard panned confectionary products can comprise the deposition of a plurality of sugar syrup layers, for example between about 5 and about 30, by a succession of phases of application and drying carried out, for example, in a coating pan. Multiple applications of a highly concentrated sugar syrup can build up a sugar coating on an edible product center. In certain embodiments, one or more inner layers can comprise uncolored sugar followed by one or more applications of a concentrated sugar syrup containing a colorant. Additional non-limiting examples of methods for producing hard panned confectionaries are provided in International Patent Publication Nos. WO 2014/150438 and WO 2014/152417, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

Prior to the application of one or more sugar syrup layers, the surface of the edible core can be prepared according to known techniques in the art such as gumming, isolating, and stabilizing. For example, in gumming, layers of a high glucose content syrup containing a gum, gelatin, starch, or dextrin can be applied directly to the edible core alternately with a fine crystalline sugar to fill irregularities and smooth ridges. The smoother surface that is obtained can facilitate even coating and adherence of the later applied sugar syrup layers. Isolating is a process of creating a barrier to lipid, water, or non-artificial sugar migration between the edible core and the sugar syrup layers, and can be effected by applying a film containing gelatin or gum to the core in a process similar to gumming. Stabilizing can be required to strengthen a fragile edible core for subsequent hard pan coating with sugar syrups. A cookie core, for example, can be prevented from crumbling during hard pan coating by first being coated with a melted fat, then isolated with a gum-containing film. Preparation of the surface of the edible core can also be completed with one or more applications of a sucrose sugar syrup.

In some embodiments, sugar syrups can be applied as coating layers directly to the surface of an edible core. In other embodiments, sugar syrups can be applied as coating layers to a prepared surface of an edible core, wherein the surface has been prepared according to a known technique including, but not limited to, gumming, isolating, and stabilizing. In still other embodiments, sugar syrups can be applied as coating layers to a crystallized sugar syrup layer overlying any number of coating layers overlying the edible core. As the phrase that follows in quotation marks is used herein, the application of a sugar syrup as a coating layer "to an edible core" does not necessarily denote that the sugar syrup is applied directly to the edible core. Rather, a sugar syrup that is applied as a coating layer "to an edible core" can be applied directly to the surface of the edible core, or to a prepared surface of an edible core, or to a crystallized sugar syrup layer overlying any number of coating layers overlying the edible core, within the meaning of the phrase.

Typically, fewer than 30, or fewer than 25, or fewer than 20, or fewer than 15 sugar syrup layers can be provided in the hard panned coatings. In certain embodiments, the layers can be alternated between one or more layers of sugar syrups containing lecithins and one or more layers of sugar syrups not containing lecithins. For example, and not by way of limitation, one or more opacifying layers prepared from a sugar syrup containing lecithin but not containing a colorant can be disposed nearer to an edible core than one or more color layers prepared from a sugar syrup not containing lecithin but containing a colorant. As such, in the opacifying layers, lecithin can enhance the opacity, allowing the layers to better mask the color of the edible core. In certain embodiments, the one or more opacifying layers can be adjacent to an edible core. Alternatively, one or more intermediate layers can be disposed between the opacifying layers and the edible core, as described above. One or more color layers with sugar syrup and a colorant can be applied over the lecithin-containing opacifying layers and these color layers can be used to impart a coloring to the coating.

Once hardened, the hard panned coating can have a thickness of no more than about 3.0 mm, or no more than about 2.5 mm, or no more than about 2.0 mm, or no more than about 1.5 mm, or no more than about 1.0 mm. The hard panned coating can also have a thickness of greater than about 0.1 mm or greater than about 0.2 mm, or greater than about 0.3 mm, or greater than about 0.4 mm, or greater than about 0.5 mm. In some embodiments, the hard panned coating can have a thickness of from about 0.1 mm to about 3.0 mm, or from about 0.2 mm to about 2.5 mm, or from about 0.3 mm to about 2.0 mm, or from about 0.4 mm to about 1.5 mm, or from about 0.5 mm to about 1.0 mm. EXAMPLES

The presently disclosed subject matter will be better understood by reference to the following Examples, which are provided as exemplary of the disclosed subject matter, and not by way of limitation.

Example 1: Drawdown Experiments

In this Example, the opacities of opacifying compositions with various lecithins were compared. Six different opacifying compositions were tested, each containing either 0.5 wt-% or 1.0 wt-% of a lecithin. The lecithins used were Alcolec® F100 (a de-oiled soy lecithin) having an HLB of about 7, Alcolec® EM (an enzyme-modified soy lecithin) having an HLB of about 9, and Alcolec® Aquasperse A (a soy lecithin further include ethoxylated mono-diglycerides and propylene glycol) having an HLB of about 12. The opacifying compositions further included sugar syrup having 74 wt-% sugar solids.

Each of the six opacifying compositions was applied to a black and white card (1/2 black and 1/2 white) using a drawdown technique. The wet thickness of the opacifying compositions was 10 mil, where a "mil" is a thousandth of an inch. The opacifying compositions were allowed to dry and the opacity of each drawdown was visually inspected. Each of the six opacifying compositions was found to at least partially obscure some portion of the black portions of the cards. Photographs of each drawdown are provided in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 1, the drawdown comprising 1.0 wt-% of Alcolec® F100 had the best opacity.

Example 2: Color Characteristics with a Colorant

In this Example, the color characteristics of various hard panned confections comprising an opacifying layer and a color layer were compared. Here, a hard panned confection having a titanium dioxide-based opacifying layer was used as a control and sample hard panned confection having either a lecithin-based or rice starch-based opacifying layer were compared to this control.

First, in order to evaluate the effect of the amount of lecithin on the opacifying properties of an opacifying layer, several samples were prepared with various amounts of lecithin in an opacifying composition (Samples 1C-1G). The opacifying compositions further included sugar syrup having 74 wt-% sugar solids. For comparison, samples were also prepared with 2.5 wt-% T1O2 (Sample 1A), 10 wt-% rice starch (Sample 1H), and with only sugar syrup (Sample IB). Each opacifying composition was applied to a chocolate core in 5 opacifying layers. 17 additional color layers with a yellow, turmeric colorant were then applied. After drying, the L*a*b* color characteristics of each sample were evaluated and are provided in Table 1, below, wherein Sample 1A with T1O2 is considered to be the "target".

Table 1. Yellow Colorant

As shown in Table 1, it was found that the amount of lecithin used provided varying degrees of opacity in the samples. In particular, the opacifying composition with 1.0 wt-% Alcolec® F100 (Sample IE) had the best ΔΕ value (of 1.00). Such a difference in color would not be perceptible to the human eye, indicating that this opacifying composition is a suitable alternative for opacifying compositions with T1O2 in an opacifying layer. Moreover, increasing the amount of Alcolec® F100 to 2.0 wt-% negatively impacted the ΔΕ value.

To further study the use of lecithin in opacifying layers, the color characteristics of samples with lecithin in the opacifying layers were compared to those with T1O2 and rice starch with different non-artificial colorants corresponding to various colors. Table 2 lists the colorants tested for each color. Table 2. Colorants Used in Example 2

Similarly, four sample opacifying compositions were prepared with either 1.0 wt-% lecithin, 2.5 wt-% T1O2, 10 wt-% rice starch, or sugar syrup only. These four samples were applied in 5 opacifying layers to an edible chocolate core. 17 additional color layers with the blue (Samples 2A-2D), brown (Samples 3A-3D), green (Samples 4A-4D), orange (Samples 5A- 5D), and red (Samples 6A-6D) colorants described in Table 2 were then applied. After drying, the L*a*b* color characteristics of each sample were evaluated and are provided in Tables 3-7, below, wherein the sample with Ti0 2 with each colorant is considered to be the "target".

Table 3. Blue Colorant

Table 4. Brown Colorant

Table 5. Green Colorant

Table 6. Orange Colorant

Table 7. Red Colorant As shown in Tables 3-7, a hard panned coating using lecithin in the opacifying layers can have a low ΔΕ value (e.g., less than 6) when used with a variety of colorants as compared to the same color hard panned coatings with T1O2. This result indicates that the effect on the color of the hard panned coating is minimal when the opacifying layers incorporate lecithin instead of titanium dioxide. Additionally, the opacifying compositions with lecithin had an improved ΔΕ value as compared to opacifying compositions with rice starch (an alternative Ti0 2 substitute) when used with blue, orange, and red colorants, and the ΔΕ value was about the same when used with a green colorant. Therefore, an opacifying composition containing lecithin is a suitable alternative to an opacifying composition containing titanium dioxide to provide opacity in an edible product.

* * *

Although the presently disclosed subject matter and its advantages have been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions and alterations can be made herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosed subject matter as defined by the appended claims. Moreover, the scope of the present application is not intended to be limited to the particular embodiments of the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, means, methods and steps described in the specification. As one of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate from the disclosure of the presently disclosed subject matter, processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps, presently existing or later to be developed that perform substantially the same function or achieve substantially the same result as the corresponding embodiments described herein can be utilized according to the presently disclosed subject matter. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to include within their scope such processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps.

Patents, patent applications, publications, product descriptions, and protocols are cited throughout this application the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties for all purposes.