Product Guide: sweet spreads
Why spreads insist on constant stirring.
Gourmets young and old like to reach for sweet spreads like Nusspli and Belmandel in the morning because these sweet delicacies quickly refill the body’s empty energy tanks at the start of the day, and give you the necessary boost to get you going. These popular spreads come in different flavours: finely chocolatey hazelnut and delicate almond nougat spread, true delights that give you a delicious start to the day. But what ingredients are these delicious spreads actually made from, and how are they made?
The composition of ‘sweet spreads governed in Germany by principles formulated in the German Food Code (‘Guidelines for oil seeds and the mixtures and confectionery made from them’).
The following ingredients make up sweet spreads and determine their quality:
- Hazelnuts or almonds (depending on flavour)
- Vegetable oil
- Milk powder
- Cocoa powder
A hazelnut spread, according to the guidelines, has to consist of at least 10% hazelnuts (Zentis Nusspli hazelnut spread, for example, contains 13% hazelnuts).
The sugar content may not exceed 67%, the moisture content 2%.
Almond nougat spread
The same quantities and ingredients are stipulated for almond nougat spreads as they are for hazelnut spreads , except that hazelnuts are replaced by almonds (Zentis Belmandel almond nougat spread, for example, contains 13% almonds).
It’s all about the ingredients
Manufacturing high-quality sweet spreads using raw materials of impeccable quality. The raw materials are purchased according to strict quality criteria – using our own standards which are higher than conventional industry ones. All our raw materials have to pass through strict quality control before entering production.
Various production stages are needed to turn the ingredients into a sweet spread with the necessary smoothness.
The first step is to mix the ingredients together. Only part of the vegetable fat is used at this stage.
The mixture this makes then passes through several rollers and is crushed into a fine powder. This step is especially important when making spreads, because the rollers grind up all of the particles, large and small, until, at the end, a very smooth and even paste comes out.
This mixture is then put into a stirring machine called a conche, together with the emulsifier lecithin and the rest of the vegetable fat. The mixture is agitated and, most importantly, heated up by the friction this produces. This combination of mixing and heating is called conching. Sweet spreads are conched for several hours, chocolate for up to three days. Water from the spreads evaporates, unpleasant aromatic components dissipate and a pleasant-tasting product with a finely creamy, delicately melting texture comes out. The spred is stirred in the conche for up to three days to give it its familiar silky-smooth texture. The longer the conching process, the finer the consistency of the spread.
The spread is adjusted to filling temperature before it goes into its final packaging. The finished products are then loaded for shipping and sent out to the supermarkets via transport routes. From there they go onto breakfast tables where they provide an energy boost for the coming day.