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Sugar panning

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A single M&M chocolate button with a ruler marked in millimeters showing the layers of the hard-panned candy shell

Sugar panning, or simply panning, is a method for adding a sugar-based shell to confectionery or nuts.[1]: 251  Popular products that employ this process in their manufacture include dragées, chocolate buttons, gobstoppers, konpeitō and jelly beans. Jelly beans use soft panning while the others are examples of hard panning. The process was initially invented in 17th-century France to make jordan almonds.


A dragée pan

The same process is used for hard and soft panning, but different ingredients and speeds are used for each. A dragée pan, a spherical or oval pan mounted on an angled spinning post, is used. The pan is open to the air to allow ingredients to be added and the syrup to dry. The centers are put in the dragée pan, and syrup is added. When the pan is rotated, the syrup is evenly distributed over the centers, drying as a layer. Soft panned layers can be quite thick and do not preserve the shape of the center very well. Hard-panned layers take longer to dry and can be as thin as 10-14μm.[1]: 248 

Many types of center may be used, but they must be strong enough to not break during the tumbling. Nuts should be dried and sealed, such as with gum arabic and flour, to prevent oils from escaping and discoloring the candy shell. Other centers may be precoated for sealing or to improve the syrup sticking to the center. Chewing gum is difficult to pan without precoating.[1]: 252 


Soft panning uses a syrup that will not crystallize, such as glucose. To assist in drying, powdered sugar or caster sugar is added during processing.[1]: 248 

See also[edit]

  • Enrober — a machine that typically covers confections with chocolate


  1. ^ a b c d E. B. Jackson (May 1999). Sugar Confectionery Manufacture (2nd ed.). Springer. ISBN 978-0-8342-1297-8.