Thanks for making our 2023 National Technical Seminar a success! 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!

2023 Seminar Agenda

Monday, October 9 (all events will take place in the Hyatt Lodge)

1:00-3:00 pm Build a Gummi Bear Workshop: Optional Gummi and Jellies Demonstration (must choose demo option when registering)

5:30 pm First-timers and Under-30 Reception

6:00-8:00  pm Opening Reception

Tuesday, October 10 (events will take place at the Hyatt Convention Center unless noted by **)

8:30 am Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:35 am Classifying Candy (Andi Trubiano, Ferrara, and Haley Saucedo, TreeHouse)

9:20 am Unjelling the Mystery: Conquering Pectin Pains in Sweets (Cristina De Silva)

10:05 am Break

10:20 am Fruit in Confections: Where Do I Start? (Kevin Holland, Tree Top)

11:05 am Let’s Take a Deep Dive into Gelatin (Ginger Waller, Gelita)

11:50 am Lunch

12:50 pm Opening Remarks and Candy School Update (Randy Hofberger and Kristi Suffering)

1:00 pm Building Diversity and Inclusion in Your Workforce (Bilinda Pringle, Victus Ars)

1:45 pm NCA Regulatory Update (Farida Mohamedshah, National Confectioners Association)

2:45 pm Break

3:00 pm Controlling Crystallization in Sugar Confections (Richard Hartel, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

3:45 pm DoE: A Efficient Product Development Strategy (Curtis Park, HP Hood)

4:30 pm Supplier Exhibits & Reception** (until 6:30 pm)

6:45 pm Stroud Jordan Award Banquet** (honoring Lynn Wieland, Spangler Candy Company)

Evening: Spirits and Chocolate Tasting**

**These events take place in the Hyatt Lodge

Wednesday, October 11 (events will take place at the Hyatt Convention Center unless noted by **)

8:30 am Opening Remarks

8:35 am Lemons! Tangerines! Blueberries! – Oh My! The Power of Flavors for Your Confections Projects (Jennifer Fox, Mars Wrigley)

9:20 am Titanium Dioxide Alternatives (Sandy Golden-Dukes, IFC)

10:05 am Break

10:20 am Round Table Session 1 (20 min session, 5 min for moving between tables)

10:45 am Round Table Session 2 (20 min session, 5 min for moving between tables)

11:05am Round Table Session 3 (20 min session, 5 min for moving between tables)

11:30 am Lunch

1:00 pm Acids and Buffers: Under-leveraged Tools in the Product Developer’s Toolbox (Matt Patrick, Bartek)

1:45 pm Advanced Aerated Candy (Jaqueline Finegan, Kerry)

2:30 pm Break

2:45 pm An SOP for Writing Standard Operating Procedures (Jeremy Rushane, Jaspen’s LLC)

3:30 pm Proteins in Confections: Considerations and Challenges (Stephanie Lee, Glanbia)

4:30 pm Iron Confectioner Competition**

6:15 pm Dinner**

**These events take place in the Hyatt Lodge

2023 Presentation Abstracts and Round Table Topics

Unjelling the Mystery: Conquering Pectin Pains in Sweets
Cristina De Silva​​​​​​​​
This discussion explores the vital role of pectin in confectionery production, delving into its functional properties, chemistry, ideal usage parameters, and the challenges it poses during manufacturing. We’ll uncover how pectin enhances confection textures and its versatile applications in creating gels and improving textures. Additionally, we’ll address the hurdles faced in incorporating pectin into confections and provide insights into overcoming these challenges, offering valuable guidance for confectionery professionals seeking to harness pectin’s potential in their products.

Acids and Buffers: Under-leveraged Tools in the Product Developer’s Toolbox
Matt Patrick, Bartek
Developers understand that organic food acids are used to lower pH. However, the extent that organic acids and their associated buffer salts can be used to control pH in interesting ways, modulate flavor profile, and boost sourness in confections is under-appreciated. Using these tools individually or in combination opens up a wide landscape for developers to create products with unique signature sensory profiles.

Building Diversity and Inclusion in Your Workforce
Bilinda Pringle, Victus Ars
There are many benefits to having diversity and inclusion within a workplace, though it is often not clear how to achieve diversity and inclusion. This presentation will cover why diversity and inclusion are important within an organization and how to attract diverse candidates. This will include a review of different types of diversity, investigation of unconscious bias and how to build diversity and inclusion into your hiring process.

Alternatives to Titanium Dioxide
Sandy Golden-Dukes, IFC
Titanium dioxide has been globally recognized as the standar” for adding brightness and opacity to food and beverage products as an FDA approved food colorant. Over the past five years, recent concerns have been raised that have caused regulatory changes to be put in place to limit its use. This limitation has produced a need for alternative solutions. This presentation will be an overview of the recent regulatory changes for titanium dioxide as well as provide an overview of the pros and cons of many of the current alternatives that are on the market and how well they may work in different confectionery applications.

Proteins in Confections: Considerations and Challenges
Stephanie Lee, Glanbia
The use of proteins in confections is on the rise as consumers seek to incorporate more “better-for-you” indulgences. However, protein fortification at any significant level can be easier said than done. This presentation will briefly revisit the basics of proteins, discuss both plant and dairy protein options and highlight key considerations when formulating various confections. Troubleshooting protein challenges will also be addressed.

DoE: A More Efficient Product Development Strategy
Curtis Park, HP Hood
What most students learn in their introductory statistics classes tend to lack application to product development. When food scientists move into product development roles in the food industry, they are asked to solve many complicated problems by developing new formulations and processes. Typical experimentation methods involve changing one factor at a time to observe its effect. This talk will focus on an alternative: design of experiments (DoE). Outcomes of successful implementation of DoE include gains in efficiency and confidence in the results. It will focus on the who, what, when, why and how of implementing DoE in product development with the goal of encouraging participants to rethink how they perform their product development experimentation strategies.

Lemons! Tangerines! Blueberries! – Oh My! The Power of Flavors for your Confections Projects
Jennifer Fox, Mars Wrigley
Whether you are using natural or artificial, added or naturally occurring, flavor plays a critical role in the perception of food and drinks determined by both volatile and non volatile compounds that interact with our taste buds resulting in that deliciously mouth watering gummi bear you just enjoyed. This presentation will cover flavor anatomy, selection, balance, sensory and application.

Fruit in Confections: Where Do I Start?
Kevin Holland, Tree Top
When a project comes to you and the customer is looking for a fruit component, which fruit should you start with? Should you use puree, juice, powders, or something else? How will the fruit affect your formulation? Will the fruit shorten your shelf life? How much fruit can you add? This presentation explores these questions and shares knowledge to successfully formulate with fruit in any application.

Advanced Aerated Candy
Jaqueline Finegan, Kerry
The presentation will explore key ingredients and processes in the production of aerated candies. This will including marshmallows, chews, nougat and gummies. These candies can be aerated to achieve unique textures and functional properties for increased market acceptance and product stability.

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

Classifying Candy
Andi Trubiano, Ferrara and Haley Saucedo, TreeHouse
You may be asking yourself, what is the lineage of gummies, taffy and hard candy in the grand scheme of the confectionery industry? We are so glad you asked! We’re here to tell you how we have classified the many treats in the U.S. confectionery industry, and what differentiates one product type from another.

Controlling Crystallization in Sugar Confections
Rich Hartel, University of Wisconsin – Madison
A wise candy maker many years ago said that if you knew how to control sugars, you could be a good candy maker. In this presentation, the general principles of controlling crystallization will be covered. Examples of how crystals can influence product texture/quality will be provided.

Let’s Take a Deep Dive into Gelatin
Ginger Waller, Gelita
From a confectionery perspective, gelatin is primarily a gelling, texturizing or foaming agent. But, did you know gelatin is also used as a fining agent to remove turbidity from fruit juice, wine and beer? Why and how does it work? We will cover pork, beef, and marine gelatin, the similarities, the differences, the facts and the myths, addressing the organoleptic profiles for each. Allergens, fat content, cholesterol, carbohydrates, vegan, Kosher, Halal and more will be covered.

An SOP for Writing Standard Operating Procedures
Jeremy Rushane, Jaspen’s LLC
Writing standard operating procedures (SOPs) is not always a straight forward task and involves input from various individuals throughout the process flow. SOPs can quickly get clunky, wordy and ineffective if created by a pool of too many individuals or not written with an overall goal and plan. Understanding the what and how of plant document creation and keeping to a standard practice when creating plant documents is key to creating effective SOPs your team can follow.

Round table topics will include:

Diversity and Inclusion • Working with Consultants • What to Expect When Working with Co-Packers • How to Grow Your Business • Getting to Know the Professional Candy Landscape • Troubleshooting Chocolate Bloom• Flavor Tasting • Gummi/jelly Troubleshooting • Chocolate Regulatory • Networking • Developing Keto Confections