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< prev - next > Food processing Snack foods KnO 100263_Marshmallows (Printable PDF)
Practical Action
glucose, added in its pure form, to be reduced because the inversion process increases the
overall amount of glucose in the recipe. (*See end note). Glucose is a hygroscopic substance ie
it attracts moisture. Therefore, it is important to use the minimum quantity of glucose necessary
to prevent crystallisation of the sucrose. This will minimise the tendency for the glucose to
attract water thus increasing the storage life.
If glucose is difficult to obtain in your area, then an alternative is to use cream of tartar to
produce the invert sugar instead of adding pure glucose. The sugar is dissolved in the water with
the cream of tartar. The whole mixture is then boiled until 116°C is achieved and then used as
per the marshmallow recipe. This method cannot guarantee the amount of glucose produced
during the inversion. For this reason once an acceptable procedure has been found the
conditions of processing should be adhered to.
It is up to the producer to carry out the necessary product development to ascertain the most
popular and optimum mix of ingredients.
Marshmallows contain a high proportion of water and therefore there is a danger of spoilage. To
minimise this, it is important to use the correct amount of water in the recipe and also ensure,
as with all food processing operations, that the ingredients are in a good condition and that a
very high level of cleanliness is maintained throughout the entire processing operation.
Packaging is also a very important factor with regard to the shelf-life. In summary, packaging
acts as a barrier to dust and dirt and insect contamination. In addition, certain types of
packaging such as plastics are a good barrier against water and water vapour. Keeping the
product free from excess moisture will extend the shelf-life. Polythene is a good barrier for most
products. However, as a barrier against water vapour (significant in countries with humid
climates) polythene is inferior to polypropylene or cellophane. In the case of marshmallows
produced under tropical conditions, polypropylene and cellophane are the recommended
packaging materials.
Typical method for making marshmallows at small-scale
Most of the equipment used for making marshmallows at small-scale is normal domestic
equipment likely to be found in most households. However, there are some items of equipment
for which special purchases may have to be made:
Electric whisk
Confectionery thermometer
Packing materials
Essences and colours.
Very large icing bag and nozzle
As previously indicated, marshmallows need to have air beaten into them. Although this can be
done using a hand whisk it is time-consuming, hard work and the quality of the product is often
low. Furthermore, referring back to the section on water content, improved beating results in a
drier product because the water particles are better dispersed on the inner surfaces of the
marshmallow structure. Therefore for all these reasons, an electric whisk is recommended.
Confectionery thermometer
In the manufacture of sweets the temperature used in processing is very important. Generally
speaking, the higher the temperature the harder the final product. Table 1 gives an indication of
the different temperatures used and the type of sweet made. A sugar thermometer is a useful
piece of equipment because these temperatures are clearly marked. In the case of marshmallow
production the temperature of the sugar solution should be raised to 116°C.