Confectionery
Overview
 
Confectionery is the set of food items that are rich in sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, any one or type of which is called a confection. Modern usage may include substances rich in artificial sweeteners as well. The word candy
Candy
Candy, specifically sugar candy, is a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water, to which flavorings and colorants are added...

(North America), sweets (UK and Ireland) and lollies (Australia and New Zealand) are also used for the extensive variety of confectionery.

Generally speaking, confections are somewhat low in micronutrients but rich in calories.
Encyclopedia
Confectionery is the set of food items that are rich in sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, any one or type of which is called a confection. Modern usage may include substances rich in artificial sweeteners as well. The word candy
Candy
Candy, specifically sugar candy, is a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water, to which flavorings and colorants are added...

(North America), sweets (UK and Ireland) and lollies (Australia and New Zealand) are also used for the extensive variety of confectionery.

Generally speaking, confections are somewhat low in micronutrients but rich in calories. Specially formulated chocolate
United States military chocolate
Military chocolate has been a part of standard United States military ration since the original Ration D or D ration bar of 1937. Today, military chocolate is issued to troops as part of basic field rations and sundry packs. Chocolate rations served two purposes: as a morale boost, and as a...

 has been manufactured in the past for military use as a high density food energy
Food energy
Food energy is the amount of energy obtained from food that is available through cellular respiration.Food energy is expressed in food calories or kilojoules...

 source.

Sweetening agents

Confectioneries are defined by the presence of sweeteners, usually sugars. Most common is the disaccharide sucrose
Sucrose
Sucrose is the organic compound commonly known as table sugar and sometimes called saccharose. A white, odorless, crystalline powder with a sweet taste, it is best known for its role in human nutrition. The molecule is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose with the molecular formula...

. Hydrolysis of sucrose gives a mixture called invert sugar, which is sweeter and is also a common ingredient. Finally confectioneries, especially commercial ones, are sweetened by a variety of syrups obtained by hydrolysis
Hydrolysis
Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction during which molecules of water are split into hydrogen cations and hydroxide anions in the process of a chemical mechanism. It is the type of reaction that is used to break down certain polymers, especially those made by condensation polymerization...

 of starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

, these include corn syrup
Corn syrup
Corn syrup is a food syrup, which is made from the starch of maize and contains varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides, depending on the grade. Corn syrup is used in foods to soften texture, add volume, prevent crystallization of sugar, and enhance flavor...

.

Regional names

Different dialects of English use regional terms for confections:
  • In Britain
    British English
    British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

    , Ireland
    Hiberno-English
    Hiberno-English is the dialect of English written and spoken in Ireland .English was first brought to Ireland during the Norman invasion of the late 12th century. Initially it was mainly spoken in an area known as the Pale around Dublin, with Irish spoken throughout the rest of the country...

     and some Commonwealth countries
    Commonwealth Realm
    A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

    , sweets or more colloquially sweeties (particularly used by children, the Scottish Gaelic word suiteis is a derivative). In some parts of England, spice, joy joy and goodies are terms used, alongside sweets, to denote confectionery. In North-West England, especially Lancashire
    Lancashire
    Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

    , toffee
    Toffee
    Toffee is a confection made by caramelizing sugar or molasses along with butter, and occasionally flour. The mixture is heated until its temperature reaches the hard crack stage of 300 to 310 °F...

    s
    is often used as a generic term for all confectionery. Northeast England and the Scottish Borders commonly use the word ket (plural kets) and more recently chud, derivative of chuddy, a localised term for chewing gum.
  • In Australia
    Australian English
    Australian English is the name given to the group of dialects spoken in Australia that form a major variety of the English language....

     and New Zealand
    New Zealand English
    New Zealand English is the dialect of the English language used in New Zealand.The English language was established in New Zealand by colonists during the 19th century. It is one of "the newest native-speaker variet[ies] of the English language in existence, a variety which has developed and...

    , "lollies" (used especially to apply to boiled sweets).
  • In North America
    American English
    American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

    , "candy" - although this term can also refer to a specific range of confectionery and does not include some items called confectionery (e.g. pastry). "Sweets" is occasionally used, as well as "treat".

Examples


Confectionery items include sweets, lollipop
Lollipop
A lollipop, pop, lolly, sucker, or sticky-pop is a type of confectionery consisting mainly of hardened, flavored sucrose with corn syrup mounted on a stick and intended for sucking or licking. They are available in many flavors and shapes.- Types :Lollipops are available in a number of colors and...

s, candy bar
Candy bar
A chocolate bar is a confection in bar form comprising some or all of the following components: cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, milk. The relative presence or absence of these components form the subclasses of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. In addition to these main...

s, chocolate
Chocolate
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

, candy floss, and other sweet items of snack food
Snack food
A snack is a portion of food oftentimes smaller than that of a regular meal, that is generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged and processed foods and items made from fresh ingredients at home....

. The term does not generally apply to cakes, biscuits, or puddings which require cutlery to consume, although exceptions such as petit four
Petit four
A petit four is a small confection generally eaten at the end of a meal or served as part of dessert. The name is from the French petit four, meaning "small oven"....

s or meringue
Meringue
Meringue is a type of dessert made from whipped egg whites and sugar, occasionally some recipes may call for adding an acid such as cream of tartar or a small amount of vinegar and a binding agent such as cornstarch found in icing sugar which may be added in addition to the corn starch which...

s exist. Speakers of American English do not refer to these items as "candy".

Some of the categories and types of confectionery include the following:
  • Hard sweets. Based on sugars cooked to the hard-crack stage: a 2:3 mixture of glucose syrup and sucrose in water is concentrated to a plastic state, amenable to colouring and flavouring. Upon further cooling and standing the material hardens. Examples include suckers (known as boiled sweets in British English), lollipop
    Lollipop
    A lollipop, pop, lolly, sucker, or sticky-pop is a type of confectionery consisting mainly of hardened, flavored sucrose with corn syrup mounted on a stick and intended for sucking or licking. They are available in many flavors and shapes.- Types :Lollipops are available in a number of colors and...

    s, jawbreakers (or gobstopper
    Gobstopper
    Gobstoppers, known as jawbreakers in Canada and the United States, are a type of hard confectionery. They are usually round, usually range from about 1 cm across to 3 cm across and are traditionally very hard.The term...

    s), lemon drops, peppermint drops and disks, candy cane
    Candy cane
    A candy cane is a hard cane-shaped candy stick. It is traditionally white with red stripes and flavored with peppermint or cinnamon; however, it is also made in a variety of other flavors and may be decorated with stripes of different colors and thicknesses...

    s, rock candy
    Rock candy
    Rock candy is a type of confectionery mineral composed of relatively large sugar crystals. This candy is formed by allowing a supersaturated solution of sugar and water to crystallize onto a surface suitable for crystal nucleation, such as a string or stick...

    , etc. These also include types often mixed with nuts such as brittle
    Brittle (food)
    Brittle is a type of confection, consisting of flat broken pieces of hard sugar candy embedded with nuts such as pecans, almonds, or peanuts....

    . Others contain flavorings including coffee such as Kopiko
    Kopiko (confectionery)
    Kopiko is brand of coffee confectioneries originally produced in Indonesia by PT. Mayora Indah, T.BK.The product is manufactured using coffee beans, chocolate, caramel, cream and pop rice...

    .
  • Fondant. This material is prepared from a warm mixture of glucose syrup and sucrose, which is partially crystallized. The fineness of the crystallites results in a creamy texture.
  • Taffy. These are related to hard candy that is folded many times above 50 °C. This process incorporates air bubbles, reducing the density of the material and making it opaque. Often sorbitol
    Sorbitol
    Sorbitol, also known as glucitol, Sorbogem® and Sorbo®, is a sugar alcohol that the human body metabolizes slowly. It can be obtained by reduction of glucose, changing the aldehyde group to a hydroxyl group. Sorbitol is found in apples, pears, peaches, and prunes...

    , a sugar alcohol, is added to maintain moisture. Toffee
    Toffee
    Toffee is a confection made by caramelizing sugar or molasses along with butter, and occasionally flour. The mixture is heated until its temperature reaches the hard crack stage of 300 to 310 °F...

    , in British English, can also refer to a harder substance also made from cooked sugars which resembles toffee.
  • Fudge
    Fudge
    Fudge is a type of Western confectionery which is usually very sweet, and extremely rich. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at , and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency...

    : A confection of milk and sugar boiled to the soft-ball stage. In the US, it tends to be chocolate-flavored.
  • Caramels. These are derived from mixtures of sucrose, glucose syrup, and milk products. The mixture does not crystallize, thus remains tacky.
  • Tablet. A crumbly milk-based soft and hard candy, based on sugars cooked to the soft-ball stage. Comes in several forms, such as wafers and heart shapes. Not to be confused with tableting
    Tableting
    Tableting is a method of confectionery manufacture that shares many similarities with tablet pharmaceutical production.A powder or granule mixture is prepared, a die mold is filled, and then the mixture is compressed and ejected. While drug tablets are constrained to shapes that can be swallowed...

    , a method of candy production.
  • Liquorice: Containing extract of the liquorice root. Chewier and more resilient than gum/gelatin candies, but still designed for swallowing. For example, Liquorice allsorts
    Liquorice allsorts
    Liquorice allsorts consist of a variety of liquorice sold as a mixture. These confections are made of liquorice, sugar, coconut, aniseed jelly, fruit flavourings, and gelatine. They were first produced in Sheffield, England, by Geo...

    . Has a similar taste to Star Anise
    Star anise
    Illicium verum, commonly called Star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise, is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of northeast Vietnam and southwest China...

    .

  • Chocolates are bite-sized confectioneries generally made with chocolate
    Chocolate
    Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

    . People who create chocolates are called chocolatiers, and they create their confections with couverture chocolate
    Couverture chocolate
    Couverture chocolate is a very high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter . The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering, gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer "snap" when broken, and a creamy mellow flavor....

    . A chocolate maker, on the other hand, is the person who physically creates the couverture from cacao beans and other ingredients.
  • Jelly candies: Including those based on sugar and starch, pectin
    Pectin
    Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. It was first isolated and described in 1825 by Henri Braconnot...

    , gum, or gelatin
    Gelatin
    Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle , flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar...

     such as Lokum / Turkish Delight
    Turkish Delight
    Turkish delight or lokum is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; the cheapest are mostly gel, generally flavored with rosewater, mastic, or lemon...

    , jelly bean
    Jelly bean
    Jelly beans are a small bean-shaped type of confectionery with a hard candy shell and a gummy interior which come in a wide variety of flavors. The confection is primarily made of sugar.-History:...

    s, gumdrop
    Gumdrop
    Gumdrops are a type of confectionery . They are usually brightly-colored gelatin- or pectin-based pieces, shaped like a truncated cone and coated in granulated sugar. This makes them very sweet....

    s, jujube
    Jujube (confectionery)
    Jujube , or jube, is the name of several types of candy, varying in description on a regional basis. The candies can vary in texture form being hard and resinous to something similar to firm loukoum or gummy candies....

    s, cola bottles gummies, etc.
  • Marshmallow
    Marshmallow
    The marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar, corn syrup, water, gelatin that has been softened in hot water, dextrose, vanilla flavourings, and sometimes colouring, whipped to a spongy consistency. Some marshmallow recipes call for egg whites...

    : "Peeps
    Peeps
    Peeps are marshmallow candies, sold in the United States and Canada, that are shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals. There are also different shapes used for various holidays. Peeps are used primarily to fill Easter baskets, though recent ad campaigns tout the candy as "Peeps - Always in...

    " (a trade name), circus peanuts, fluffy puff, etc.
  • Marzipan
    Marzipan
    Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar and almond meal. Persipan is a similar, yet less expensive product, in which the almonds are replaced by apricot or peach kernels...

    : An almond
    Almond
    The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

    -based confection, doughy in consistency, served in several different ways. It is often formed into shapes mimicking (for example) fruits or animals. Alternatively, marzipan may be flavoured, normally with spirits
    Distilled beverage
    A distilled beverage, liquor, or spirit is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables...

     such as Kirsch
    Kirschwasser
    Kirschwasser is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morello cherries, a dark-colored cultivar of the sour cherry. However, it is now also made from other kinds of cherries. The cherries are fermented complete...

     or rum
    Rum
    Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels...

    , and divided into small bite-sized pieces; these flavoured marzipans are enrobed
    Enrober
    An enrober is a machine used in the confectionery industry to coat a food item with a coating medium, typically chocolate. Foods coated by enrobers include nuts, ice cream, toffee and other miscellaneous candy items, biscuits and cookies. Enrobing is essentially a mechanized form of hand-dipping...

     in chocolate
    Chocolate
    Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

     to prevent the alcohol from evaporating, and are common in northern Europe. Marzipan is also used in cake decoration. Its lower-priced version is called Persipan
    Persipan
    Persipan is a material used in confectionery. It is similar to marzipan but apricot or peach kernels are used instead of almonds. Persipan consists of 40% ground kernels and 60% sugar...

    .
  • Divinity
    Divinity (confectionery)
    Divinity is a nougat-like confectionery made mainly with egg white, corn syrup, and sugar. Flavorings, chopped dried fruit and chopped nuts are optional, but frequent ingredients...

    : A nougat
    Nougat
    Nougat is a variety of similar traditional confectioneries made with sugar and/or honey, roasted nuts , and sometimes chopped candied fruit. The consistency of nougat can range from soft and chewy to hard and crunchy depending on its composition, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and...

    -like confectionery based on egg
    Egg (food)
    Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

     whites with chopped nut
    Nut (fruit)
    A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

    s.
  • Dodol
    Dodol
    Dodol is a toffee-like sweet food delicacy popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines especially in the Ilocos Region in Luzon and in the Lanao provinces of Mindanao, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Burma, where it is called mont kalama. It is also popular among the Roman Catholics from the west coastal...

    : A toffee-like food delicacy popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines
  • Mithai: A generic term for confectionery in India, typically made from dairy products and/or some form of flour. Sugar or molases are used as sweeteners.
  • Pastry
    Pastry
    Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and/or eggs. Small cakes, tarts and other sweet baked products are called "pastries."...

    : A baked confection whose dough
    Dough
    Dough is a paste made out of any cereals or leguminous crops by mixing flour with a small amount of water and/or other liquid. This process is a precursor to making a wide variety of foodstuffs, particularly breads and bread-based items , flatbreads, noodles, pastry, and similar items)...

     is rich in butter
    Butter
    Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

    , which was dispersed through the pastry prior to baking, resulting in a light, flaky texture; this dough might be used in pies and tarts.
  • Chewing gum
    Chewing gum
    Chewing gum is a type of gum traditionally made of chicle, a natural latex product, or synthetic rubber known as polyisobutylene. For economical and quality reasons, many modern chewing gums use rubber instead of chicle...

    : Uniquely made to be chewed, not swallowed. However, some people believe that at least some types of chewing gum, such as certain bubble gums, are indeed candy.
  • Ice cream
    Ice cream
    Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

    : Frozen flavoured cream, often containing small chocolates and fruit
    Fruit
    In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

    s
  • Halva
    Halva
    Halva refers to many types of dense, sweet confections, served across the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Malta and the Jewish world.The term halva ,...

    h: Confectionery based on tahini
    Tahini
    Tahini or sesame paste , is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in cooking. North African, Greek and West Asian tahini is made of hulled, lightly roasted seeds. East Asian sesame paste is made of unhulled seeds. The Arabic word tahin simply means flour.Tahini is a major component of hummus and...

    , a paste made from ground sesame
    Sesame
    Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods....

     seeds.
  • Alfajor
    Alfajor
    An alfajor or alajú is a traditional Arabic confection found in some regions of Spain and then made with variations in countries of Latin America including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, and Mexico, after being taken there by the colonists. The archetypal alfajor entered Iberia during the period...

    : a traditional South American cookie
    Cookie
    In the United States and Canada, a cookie is a small, flat, baked treat, usually containing fat, flour, eggs and sugar. In most English-speaking countries outside North America, the most common word for this is biscuit; in many regions both terms are used, while in others the two words have...

     typically consisting of two round sweet biscuit
    Biscuit
    A biscuit is a baked, edible, and commonly flour-based product. The term is used to apply to two distinctly different products in North America and the Commonwealth Nations....

    s joined together with a sweet jam, generally dulce de leche
    Dulce de leche
    Dulce de leche is a thick,creamy, caramel-like milk-based sauce or spread.Literally translated, dulce de leche means "sweet from milk". It is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from caramelised sugar. It is a popular sweet in Latin America, where...

     (milk jam).
  • Dragée - Coated almond
    Almond
    The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

    s and other types of coated candy.

Risks

Excessive consumption of confectionery has been associated with increased incidences of type 2 diabetes
Diabetes mellitus type 2
Diabetes mellitus type 2formerly non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetesis a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. Diabetes is often initially managed by increasing exercise and...

, obesity
Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

, and tooth decay.

Some sweets contain traces of nuts which poses risks for those who are allergic to them, while others contain dairy products which must be avoided by individuals who are lactose-intolerant
Lactose intolerance
Lactose intolerance, also called lactase deficiency or hypolactasia, is the inability to digest and metabolize lactose, a sugar found in milk...

.
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