Our next National Technical Seminar will take place October 7-9, 2024 at the Hyatt Lodge, Oak Brook, Illinois. We look forward to seeing you there!


Monday, October 7, 2024

1:00 PM Optional Chocolate Tempering Demonstration (must select demo option when registering)
5:30 PM First-timers and Under-30 Reception
6:00 PM Opening Reception (until 8:00 PM)

Tuesday, October 8, 2024

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Presentations
4:30 PM Supplier Exhibits & Reception (until 6:30 PM)
6:45 PM Stroud Jordan Award Banquet

Wednesday, October 9, 2024

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Presentations and Round Table Discussions
4:30 PM Iron Confectioner Competition
6:15 PM Dinner

Seminar Topics

Overcoming Moisture Challenges in Candy and Confections

Zachary Cartwright, PhD, Aqualab by Addium

Many candies and confectionery products have distinctive textures and flavors that come together to form a unique customer experience. Since water plays a critical role in texture and taste, using the right measurements and understanding their implications is critical to avoiding unwanted phase transitions and
moisture migration while preserving desired flavor attributes. Additionally, shelf-life can be quickly predicted and packaging can be optimized to create and maintain consistent, high quality products. This presentation will review how to use moisture, water activity, and sorption isotherms to overcome key challenges in the production of candy and confections.

Sugar Boiling 101

Tim Grady, Food Ingredients Inc.

Boiling sugar is the basis of a large swath of the confectionery industry, and is the first step in manufacturing many sugar-based candies. This lecture will cover glass transition temperature, the relationship between boiling temperature and water content, and the effects of post-cook processing and special ingredient inclusions to alter the candy texture, functionality, and flavor.

Chocolate Viscosity: Sciences, Practices, and Methods

Linsen Liu, PhD, Guittard Chocolate Company

Viscosity stands as a paramount characteristic in chocolates and confectionery products. It impacts the processing, transportation, applications, and sensory of those products; therefore, its measurement and accuracy are vital for the chocolate making and processing. In North America, the viscosity is widely measured using Brookfield viscometer based on the NCA/MCA method. This presentation reviews the scientific principles of the Brookfield viscometer and best practices for chocolate viscosity measurement and provides recommendations on improving the NCA/MCA official method.

NCA Regulatory Update

Farida Mohamedshah, NCA

This annual update from NCA will address regulatory news, changes and outlook across the confectionery industry.

Natural Colors in Confections

Patrick Troutman, IFC Solutions

Now more than ever, confectioners are being asked to implement naturally derived colors and ingredients as consumer demand continues to look for clean labeling on products they purchase. The regulatory landscape is also changing as California has passed legislation to restrict use of FD&C Red 3 in the state. More states have either introduced similar legislation or are expected to do so in the near future. The use of natural colorants poses many challenges in comparison to certified colors which are still widely used in the confection industry. This presentation will give an overview and practical guide for naturally derived coloring options available to confectioners for use in their applications and what characteristics determine which colors are more suitable based on the finished product and processing parameters.

Sweet Emotions: Infusing Delight with a Sprinkle of AI

Vinay Indraganti, BCD iLabs

“How Sweet it is: Unwrapping the Future with AI Formulation in Confectionary Delights,” this seminar delves into the transformative role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the confectionary industry. Attendees will explore how AI algorithms are reshaping traditional approaches to product development, focusing
on the integration of AI formulation methods. Through discussions, case studies, and expert insights, participants will uncover the ways in which AI is optimizing confectionery formulations. By examining the challenges and opportunities inherent in this technological shift, the seminar aims to illuminate the path toward a more innovative and efficient future for confectionery delights.

Considerations for Use of Confections in Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts

Liz Miller, Denali Ingredients

Confections and ice cream are undoubtedly two of the tastiest product categories on the market. The only thing more delicious? Combining them! We will go over some of the many ways that confections can be highlighted in frozen desserts as well as considerations to ensure the confections stand up to the
environmental challenges of the freezer aisle. Topics of discussion will include melt point of fat-based confections, moisture migration and textural impacts of the temperature and microclimate within frozen desserts. Also covered will be tips and tricks of how confections optimized for ice cream applications
should be handled.

Reformulating Sucrose out of Bittersweet Chocolate

Mackenzie Hansen, Tate & Lyle

Consumer interest in health & wellbeing has driven demand for healthier chocolate products that retain a desirable eating quality. Some producers aim to address this through sugar and carbohydrate reduction, placing pressure on ingredient suppliers to provide better-for-you bulking options to customers. This presentation will explore learnings from our recent investigations into the physicochemical and sensory texture consequences of reformulating sucrose (used at 48.08% w/w) out of bittersweet chocolate matrices. We will present results from our evaluations of several bulking solutions including polyols (erythritol, xylitol, and maltitol), soluble fibers (resistant maltodextrins, polydextrose, and fructooligosaccharides), and rare sugars (allulose), comparing their suitability to replace sucrose in bittersweet chocolate and compound coating applications when used at high levels between 25 and 48% w/w. Results indicated that amorphous bulking ingredients produced compound coatings with higher moisture than crystalline ingredients, enhancing melted viscosities.

Quality Chocolate Confections with Cocoa Butter Equivalents
Bob Johnson, Fuji Vegetable Oil, Inc.
Cocoa butter equivalents, or CBE’s were first introduced to the chocolate industry more than 50 years ago. Since that time, they have achieved broad global use as a means of mitigating volatile cocoa butter costs as well as providing improved stability in tempered chocolates and confections. Having comparable triglyceride profiles to cocoa butter, CBE’s are fully compatible with cocoa butter and can be substituted for all or part of the cocoa butter in a formula and can be run on the same production lines as chocolate with minimal modification of conditions.

Vegan Chocolates: Opportunities for Better Taste, Better Planet
Sudarshan Nadathur, ADM
The long-beloved category of chocolate is evolving due to shifts in consumer needs and motivations as well as shifts in climate patterns. With more demand for vegan, reduced sugar and more sustainable options, new formulations showcase non-dairy proteins, alternative sweeteners and ingredients that can alter the taste and consumer preference of the product. This presentation will discuss approaches to modulate and optimize taste – to not only enable consumer acceptance of new formulations but spark surprise and delight for the taste experience.

The Sweetest Collaboration: How 3 Generations are Shaping Candy’s Future
Tom Houlihan, Guittard Chocolate Company
Carly Meck, Blommer Chocolate Company
McKenna Helder, University of Wisconsin – Madison
This session will feature candy professionals from three distinct generations! Gain insights and advice on navigating your career in the candy industry. Whether you’re a seasoned expert, a rising star, or just starting out, this panel discussion offers valuable perspectives on evolving trends and challenges in candy technology, building relationships, fostering collaboration across generations and finding your niche and achieving your goals in the candy world

Precision in Product Labeling: A Guide for Confectionery Scientists
Megan Murphy, Trustwell/Genesis
In an increasingly regulated food industry, confectionery scientists must navigate the complexities of recipe analysis and product labeling with precision and accuracy. This session will cover best practices for utilizing software tools to streamline recipe analysis and ensure compliance with labeling regulations. We will explore the process of generating nutrition labels, highlighting when it is essential to rely on lab analysis versus database information. Participants will learn to effectively work with specification sheets from suppliers, adopt standardized database-naming conventions, and avoid common mistakes that can lead to labeling errors. Emphasis will be placed on double-checking allergen information to safeguard consumer health. Learn how to enhance labeling practices and ensure confectionery products meet all regulatory requirements.

Trends in Chocolate & Cocoa: Exploration of the World of Chocolate and Cocoa to Spark Creative, Imaginative Uses
Heather Houston, Guittard Chocolate Company
Rebecca Kuehn, Guittard Chocolate Company
Chocolate has been and continues to be one of the most popular and versatile flavors in confections and desserts. In recent years, chocolate has evolved beyond traditional uses, sources and flavor pairings. From tree to bar and beyond, we will explore current and upcoming trends in using chocolate and cocoa as ingredients and the endless opportunities to innovate

Chocolate Temper Meter Basics
Tom Allen, Tricor Systems, Inc.
Properly tempered chocolate has always been one of the keys to producing chocolate with high gloss, a good snap, and a long shelf life. In this lecture we will be discussing using an automated temper meter to determine your temper status. We will explore the principles of how temper meters work, slope & CTU results, and some ways to obtain a good temper result after a poor reading. 

Preventing and Mitigating Bloom
Audrey Lidhard, Utah State University
Abstract to come.

Hotel Info

The Hyatt Lodge

2815 Jorie Blvd, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523

Supplier Showcase/Shipping Info