GLOSSARY-for Candy Making

The GLOSSARY of Candy Making terms courtesy of  The Gourmet Candy


Agar: A powerful binding agent derived from sea vegetables. It produces a thermoreveral gel. (See thermoreversal)

Agglomerate: A cluster particles packed together

Agitate: To move with an irregular, rapid or violent action usually in order to induce crystallization of fats or sugars. This is often accomplished through tabling a mixture  (working it on a smooth stone surface) or stirring in a bowl.

Alkalization: (See Dutch Process)

Amino Acids: The building blocks of Proteins. Amino acids are essential components of the Maillard reaction.

Amorphus: Noncrystaline. Hard candies are examples of sugars in a noncrystaline state

Anhydrous: Free of water

Aqueous Phase: The portion of an emulsion that is water based. May be either the dispersed or continuous phase of the emulsion. See Dispersed Phase and Continuous Phase.

Artificial Flavor: A flavor that is manufactured from source other than spices, fruits vegetables, plants, poultry or meat, as defined by the FDA


Baumé: A scale of measurement of density expressed in degrees. It is sometimes used to describe sugar content. Baumé is measured with a saccharimeter, a densimeter calibrated on the Baumé scale

Bloom (Chocolate) The grey cast, spots. or streaks that appear on poorly handled chocolate. see (Fat Bloom and Sugar Bloom)

Bloom: (Gelatin) The process of hydrating gelatin prior to use.

Bloom Strength: A measurement of the strength of gelitan that describes the relative strength of the gel it forms. Higher bloom numbers correspond with stronger gelatins. Approximate measurements typically range from 100-300.

Boiling Starches: Acid-modified starches used in the production of starch jellies. Also known as thin boiling starches.

Bound Water: Water that is chemically bouns to other substances such as sugars. Bound water does not contribute to water acidity. See (Water acidity)

Brittles: Amorphous sugar confections flavored through Maillard browning and typically made with nuts. Brittles usually contain a lower percentage of dairy than toffee.

BRIX: A scale of measurement of sugar con centration in a solution. A Brix measurement is performed with a refractometer and is expressed in degrees. 1 degree Brix is equivalent to 1 percent sugar in solution.


Cacao: Botanical name relating to the agriculture of the South American evergreen Theobroma Cacao, and its products, up until fermentation of the cacao bean.

Caramelize: To brown sugar by exposing to heat. Caramelization produces flavors and colors similar to those produced in the Maillard reaction, but is a distinctly different rection.

Chocolate Liquor: The liquid produced when cocoa beans are ground into paste, releasing the cocoa butter. Also a legally allowed name for unsweetened chocolate.

Coating Chocolate: “Chocolate” in which most or all of the cocoa butter has been replaced with another type of fat  i.e. Palm Kernel oil. Coating chocolate generally requires little or no tempering.

Cocoa: The term used to describe products resulting from cacao agriculture after fermentation of beans (e.g., cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa powder) Also a legally allowable name of cocoa powder.

Cocoa Butter: The fat found in the cocoa bean.

Cold Flow: The tendency of a center to ooze and change shape when held at room temperature. Taffy exhibits cold flow and must therefore be wraped to hold its shape. Caramels should not exhibit cold flow and should therefore keep their shape after they are cut.

Colloid: A substance consisting of suspended particles that are too small to be viewed with an ordinary light microscope.

Confit: From the French for “preserved”. Used to refer to partially candied citrus peels.

Continuous Phase: The phase of a emulsion that contains the droplets of the dispersed phase. (See dispersed Phase)  The continuous phase may be either fat or water, depending on the type of emulsion.

Conversion: The breakdown of starch, through hydrolysis, into various saccharides during the production of glucose syrup.

Cordials: Chocolates with a liquid center.

Corn Syrup: Glucose syrup that is converted from cornstarch.

Couverture: The European designation of chocolate containing at least 32 Percent cocoa butter. The term has no legal standing in the United States.

Criollo: The variety of cocoa bean that is generally regarded as being of the highest quality

Crystalline: Sugar or fat that is not amorphous but has a highly ordered molecular structure. Fudge and Fondant both contain crystaline sugar.

Crystallize: To transform from the amorphous state to the crystalline state.


DE: Dextrose Equivalence. Specification used to describe how much the starch molecule has been broken down into the simpler sugars in a glucose syrup. DE affects flavor, viscosity, browning and many other aspects of glucose syrup.

Denature: To unfold or uncoil protein molecules as a result of exposure to heat, acid or mechanical agitation

Densimeter: An instrument that measures the density of a syrup by floating in the syrup. Saccharimeters and hydrometers are examples of densimeters.

Deposit: To place a large quantity of a material to be made into centers into a form or shape where it will set.  Artisan confectioners may deposit centers using a piping bag, a fondant funnel. or by spreading into a frame.

Dermerara Sugar: Demerara sugar is a type of unrefined sugar with a large grain and a pale to golden yellow color. It is suitable for a number of cooking and baking projects, and tends to be very popular as a sweetener for tea and coffee. Many grocers stock demerara sugar along with other specialty sugars, often in small packages for consumers who simply want to experiment with it.

Dew Point: The temperature to which air must be chilled in order for humidity to condense into water droplets.

Dextrose: A monosaccharide; one half of the sucrose molecule. Although sometimes referred to as glucose,  dextrose is less sweet than sucrose.

Dextrose Equivalence:  DE; Dextrose Equivalence. Specification used to describe how much the starch molecule has been broken down into the simpler sugars in a glucose syrup. DE affects flavor, viscosity, browning and many other aspects of glucose syrup.

Disaccharide: Two single sugar molecules chemically bonded together. Sucrose is a disaccharide.

Dispersed Phase: The portion of an emulsion that is in droplets. A Dispersed Phase may be either the aqueous phase or the fat phase

Dissolved Solids: The total quantity of sugars dissolved in a solution.

Doctor: An ingredient added to sugar to prevent crystallization. Examples of doctors are glucose syrup, organic acids, and invert sugar.

Dragée: A rudimentary panning techniques accomplished without a panning machine. See Panning. Often involves two steps of carmalization followed by coating with chocolate. From the French

Dry Method: Putting granulated sugar over direct heat without the addition of water to melt and caramelize it. he dry method may be used only for making caramel, not for cooking sugar to and intermediate stage such as soft ball and os on.

Dutch Processing: A method by which cocoa is treated with an alkali; may be carried out at various stages of manufacturing.


Emulsify: To convert into a mixture of two incompletely compatible liquids in which one of the liquids, in the form of fine droplets is dispersed in the other.

Engross: In panning to build up layers of the sugar and chocolate coating. See Panning.

Enzyme: A protein that is a catalyst, causing specific reactions in specific substances. For example, the enzyme invertase causes the inversion of sucrose.

Equilibrium Relative Humidity: See ERH

ERH: Equilibrium Relative Humidity. An expression of water activity. ERH is the relative humidity that would be necessary for a substance to neither gain moisture from nor lose moisture to the surrounding enviornment.

Eutectic: The combination of fats that results in a product with a lower melting point than would be predicated by the solid fat index (SFI). Application: lauric fat combined with coca butter creates a eutectic that results in meltaways.


Fat Bloom: Chocolate due to improper crystallization of cocoa butter. Fat bloom is caused mainly by improper tempering or storage of chocolate.

Fat Migration: The movement of incompatible fats to create equilibrium; for example, when nut oil migrates through chocolate, softening it.

Fat System: A system of solid particles within fat. Chocolate and nut paster are examples of fat systems.

Fat-In-Water Emulsion: An emulsion in which the fat phase is dispersed in the continuous aqueous phase. See Aqueous Phase and Continuous phase.

Fatty Acids: The long chains attached to the glycerol backbone making up triglycerides (fat). The breakdown of fatty acids is called rancidity, and cause off flavors.

Fermentation: The breakdown of sugars and other substances by yeasts and bacteria. In cacao production, fermentation of the beans produces the flavor precursors for chocolate flavor.

Fondant: Sugar, water and glucose syrup that is supersaturated and agitated to induce crystallization.

Foot: A large flat spot on the bottom of chocolate-dipped confections due to excessive accumulation of chocolate around the base. Large “feet” are defects in fine dipped candy making.

Forastero: The most common commercial variety of cacao grown.

Force-Setting: Causing a substance to set by exposing it to cooler than usual temperatures.  Chocolate or ganache that is force set will form unstable fat crystals and produce inferior results.

Form V: The stable form of cocoa butter crystal that can be produced during tempering.

Fractionated Fat: Fat that has been chilled in order to isolate certain narrow melting ranges.

Frappe: An aerator added to some tyopes od confectionery, including fudge and saltwater taffy. Frappe usually has a base of albumen or gelatin and sugars.

Free Water: Water that is not chemically bound to another substance, and is therefore available to enzyme or chemical reactions, bacteria, molds, and so on. Water activity is a measurement of free water.

Fructose: A monosaccharide that together with dextrose makes up sucrose. Fructose is sweeter than sucrose.

Fudge: A crystalline confection similar to fondant, but containing fats, dairy products and flavoring.


Ganache: A mixture of chocolate with water-containing ingredients, most commonly cream. Cream-based ganache is a fat-in-water emulsion.

Gel: A colloidal dispersion of solids that trap water. For example, jellies are gels created using various hydrocolloids.

Geletin: A hydrocolloid protein mixture derived from animal collagen that creates a thermoreversabile gel. Used in the production od gummy jellies. See Thermoreversible.

Gelatinization: the swelling of starches when heated in the presence of moisture, due to absorption of water.

Gianduja: Chocolate that contains finely ground nut paste.

Glass: A noncrystalline solid. Hard candy and brittles are examples of glass.

Glucose: Another name for dextrose. The name glucose syrup is often shortened to glucose, creating potential confusion.

Glucose Powder: Powder glucose is simply glucose in powdered, or dried form. Glucose is a monosaccharide sugar important in a variety of cellular processes.

Glucose Syrup: An aqueous solution of saccharides obtained from edible starch. Glucose syrup may be made from any edible starch. The name of the source starch may be used in place of the word glucose. For example, corn syrup is glucose, syrup made from cornstarch. Glucose syrup is a food syrup made from the hydrolysis of starch. Maize is commonly used as the source of the starch in the USA, in which case the syrup is called “corn syrup”, but glucose syrup is also made from other starch crops, including potatoes wheat and barley. rice and cassava. Glucose syrup containing over 90% glucose is used in industrial fermentation, but syrups used in confectionery manufacture contain varying amounts of glucose, maltose and higher oligosaccharides, depending on the grade, and can typically contain 10% to 43% glucose.Glucose syrup is used in foods to soften texture, add volume, prevent crystallization of sugar, and enhance flavor. By converting some of the glucose in corn syrup into fructose (using an enzymatic process), a sweeter product,high-fructose corn syrup can be produced.

Grained: Crystallized

Guitar: a wire cutter for confectionery use


Halophilic: Requiring a salty enviornment to thrive

High-Methoxyl (HM) Pectin: Pectin that has not been chemically modified. It requires a high sugar content and relatively low pH to form a gel.

Humectant: An ingredient that tends to keep products moist due to its hygroscopicity. Invert sugar is an excellent humectant.

Hydrocolloids: Gelling agents that form a three-dimensional network, trapping water and forming a gel.

Hydrogenated Fat: Fat that has had additional hydrogen added to its structure during manufacture to make it more saturated, raising its melting point and increasing its resistance to rancidity.

Hydrolysis: The process of breaking the chemical bonds in starch or sugar to make shorter saccharide chains. The hydrolysis of sucrose into fructose and dextrose is called inversion.

Hydrometer: An instrument that measures the specific gravity of a syrup by floating in a syrup. A hydrometer is usually calibrated in grams per milliliters.

Hydrophylic: The quality of being chemically attracted to water.

Hygroscopic: The tendency to pick up water from surrounding atmosphere. Amorphous sugar is hygroscopic.

Hysteresis: A delay in the action of a system. For example, agar can be considered as exhibiting hysteresis when t sets at about 40 degrees C/104 degrees F but, once gelled, melts only at about 85 degrees C/ 185 degrees F.


Imprinter: The tool that is used to make impressions in starch beds when starch molding. Imprinters are usually made of plaster shapes glued onto a wooden board or stick.

Inclusion: An ingredient that is added as garnish and remains discrete in the finished product.

Infusion: The process by which an aromatic ingredient is steeped in a mixture and them removed, leaving only essence of its flavor behind.

Invesion: The hydrolysis of sucrose into dextrose and fructose. Inversion is accomplished mainly by acids or enzyme invertase, but other factors, such as minerals and heat, can influence inversion.

Invert Sugar: Sucrose that has been hydrolyzed into fructose and dextrose. Invert Sugar is usually purchased in a cream form containing approximately 20 percent water.

Invertase: The enzyme used to invert sucrose in order to soften center and improve shelf life.


Jacket: The outside of a batch of hard candy that contains the colors and creates striped appearance.The jacket is wrapped around a sugar core for decorative purposes.



Lactose: The sugar found in dairy products. Lactose is very low in sweetness and readily participates in Maillard browning.

Latent Heat of Crystallization:  The heat released when a substance crystalizes. Latent heat of crystallization can cause chocolate to bloom if not released as the cocoa butter crystallizes

Lauric Fat:  Fat high in Lauric acid. Lauric fat is incompatible with cocoa butter and creates a dramatic eutectic effect when combined with coca butter. Coconut and Palm-kernel fats are examples of Lauric Fat.

Lipase: A fat-degrading enzyme that causes rencidity.

Low-Methoxyl (LM) Pectin:  Chemically modified pectin that does not require a high sugar content in order to form a gel. LM pectin requires the presence of calcium in order to gel.


Maillard Browning: Nonenzymatic browning as a result of the Maillard reaction.

Maillard Reaction: The browning reaction involving amino acids and reducing sugars that results in colors and flavors that greatly resemble carmelization.

Maltose:  A disaccharide made up of 2 dextrose molecules.

Manufactured Flavors:  Flavors that are creted by mixing organic chemicals. Mnufactured flavors may be classified as “natural” or “artifical” depending on the sources of the chemicals used.

Marzipan: A confection of ground almonds and sugar. Marzipan may also be made using a portion of variety nuts in addition to almonds.

Mélangeur:  A refiner used for reducing the particle size of mixtures such as marzipan and gianduja.

Melting Range:  The temperature range at which fats begin to turn from solid to liquid state.

Micron: One millionth of a meter.

Milk Crumb:  A mixture of chocolate liquor, sugar, and milk solids that is sometimes used as an ingredient in milk chocolate. Milk chocolate made using milk crumb often exhibits caramel flavor notes.

Moisture Migration:  The movement of moisture from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration. Depending on its EHR and the enviornment, a center may lose moisture to the atmosphere, or may gain moisture from the atmoshere. See EHR.


Natural Flavors: Manufactured flavors made with chemicals extracted from spices, fruits, nuts, vegetables, plants, poultry, or meat through allowable processes, including fermentation, hydrolysis and distillation.

Noncrystalline:  In an amorphous or glass state. See Amorphous and Glass.

Nonenzymatic Browning:  Browning that is not caused by the action of enzymes. Maillard browning and caramelization are two primary examples of nonenzymatc browning.

Nougat: An aerated confection usually employing albumen as an aerator. Many styles of nougats exist, with Nougat Montelimer being one of the most famous.


Organoleptic:  Those properties that are perceived by the senses, as opposed to those that are measured with instruments.

Osmophilic:  An organism that is able to thrive in environments with high osmotic pressure, such as syrups with high percentages of sugar.

Osmosis:  The diffuson of water through a semi-permeable membrane. It is through osmosis that the water in the cells of fruit is replaced with sugar syrup when candying fruit.

Osmotic Pressure:  The pressure of water moving across a semi- permeable membrane. The higher the sugar content in syrup, the higher the osmotic pressure. Osmotic pressure lowers lowers the water activity level of a substance. Most bacteria and fungi cannot thrive in an enviornment with a high osmotic pressure.


Panning:  The process of building up layers on centers by tumbling the centers in revolving pans. The layers may consist of chocolate or sugar, depending on the type of panning.

Páte á Glacer:  European term of coating chocolate.

Pectin: A hydrocolloid extracted from fruit and used as a binding agent in confectionery.

pH: Measurement of the relative acidity/alkalinity of a substance. A measurement of pH of 7 is neutral; a pH lower than 7 is acidic; and a pH higher than 7 is alkaline.

Polymorphic:  Capable of setting in a number of different forms. cocoa butter is polymorphic; it may set in several different crystal forms.

Polysaccharide:  Molecules made up of thousands of single sugars chemically bonded together. Starches are examples of polysaccharides, as is agar.

Praline:  A crystalline confection most frequently made with brown sugar and pecans. Pralines are popular throughout the souther United States.

Praliné: From the French for sugar-coated. A European term denoting a confectionery center dipped in chocolate. A praline is usually a finished chocolate-coated one-bite confection.

Praline Paste:  A paste made with Hazelnuts and carmelzed sugar. Praline paste may be purchased in various percentages of nuts to sugar.

Precrystallize:  To temper; seed chocolate with enough stable cocoa butter crystals to indice it to set up properly.

Protease enzymes:  Enzymes that degrade proteins. Frequently found in tropical fruits, protease enzymes can inhibit the binding capability of gelatin.


Rancidity:  Degradation of fats due to breaking of fatty acid chains. Rancidity may be caused by ozygen, enzymes, light, heat or metals. Rancidity can cause off flavors.

Reducing Sugars:  Sugars that react with amino acids in the Maillard reaction. Lactose, dextrose, and fructose are all examples of reducing sugars; sucrose by itself is not.

Refiner:  A machine that uses rollers to reduce the particle size of mixtures such as marzipan and gianduja. See Mélangeur.

Residence Time:  The required time at correct temperature for seed crystal formation during chocolate tempering.

Rework: The scraps from a batch of confectionery that cannot be sold. A certain amount of rework can be incorporated into many confectionery batches to recoup the loss from the scrap.

Rocher:  Toasted nuts bound with chocolate and spooned into individual portions.


Saccharimeter: An instrument that measures the density of a syrup in degrees Baumé by floating in the syrup.

Salpicón: A mixture of solid particles bound with thick liquid. When making rochers, the nuts and the liquid form a salpicón.

Saturated Solution: A syrup that cannot dissolve any more sugar without being heated; that is, it is holding the maximum amount of sugar that it can at that temperature.

Seed:  To introduce crystals in order to induce crystallization. When tempering chocolate, the confectioner seeds it with form-V cocoa butter crystals; fudge is often seeded with a bit of fondant.

SFI:  Solid Fat Index. A measure of the percentage of at that is solid at a given temperature. Fats with higher SFI are harder than fats with lower SFI.

Slabbed:  Describes a center that is spread out to uniform thickness in a frame or pan to be cut after it has set.

Specific Gravity:  A measurement of density. Aerated centers, such as marshmallow, can be measured for specific gravity, to ensure their consistency; specific gravity applied to syrups measurs their sugar content.

Stable Crystals:  Form-V cocoa butter crystals. Stable crystals do not tend to transform and cause bloom.

Starch Molds:  Beds of dry starch imprinted with shapes (or molds) into which a center is poured/funneled. Starch molds are used for making liquor cordials as well as molding jelies and fondants.

Stoving:  Holding jellies, usually starch jellies, at an elevated temperature in beds of starch to allow them to dry slightly resulting in a higher dissolved solids content.

Sucrose:  Common sugar obtained from sugarcane or sugar beets. sucrose is a disaccharide consisting of one molecule od fructose to one molecule of dextrose.

Sugar Bloom:  The grey cast, spots, or streaks that appear on poorly handled chocolate. Sugar bloom is caused by exposure to excessive humidity or moisture, and it is a result of the sugar on the surface of the chocolate dissolving, and then recrystallizing in larger visible crystals.

Supersaturated:  Describes a syrup that is holding more sugar than it could have dissolved at that temperature. All noncrystalline sugar confections are supersaturated solutions.


Tabling:  Working a mixture on a tabletop, usually a flat stone or marble slab, to remove heat and induce crystallization. Tabling is one method of agitation. See Agitate

 Temper:  To precrystallize chocolate; to induce enough stable cocoa butter crystals to cause the rapid crystallization of the rest of the cocoa butter. (See how to temper chocolate)

Tempered:  Chocolate that has been properly crystallized.

Terroir:  The environmental conditions, including soil and climate, that affect the properties of agricultural products such as cocoa beans.

Theobroma Cacao: The tree that produces the cocoa bean, from which chocolate is made.

Thermoreversible:  Describes a gel that, one set, can be rewarmed  to liquify and will once again gel upon cooling. Agar abd geitan form thermoreversible gels.

Total Water Content: The total amount of free water plus bound water in a system. See Bound Water.

Triglyceride: A glycerine backbone with three chains of fatty acids attached. Fats are triglycerides.

Trinitario:  A hybrid variety of cocoa beans parented by Forestaro and Criollo Beans.