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Confectionery


Confectionery, also called sweets or candy, is sweet food. The term varies among English-speaking countries. In general, though, confectionery is divided into two broad and somewhat overlapping categories, bakers' confections and sugar confections.

Bakers' confectionery, also called flour confections, includes principally sweet pastries, cakes, and similar baked goods. In the Middle East and Asia, flour-based confections are more dominant.

Sugar confectionery includes sweets, candied nuts, chocolates, chewing gum and bubblegum, sweetmeats, pastillage, and other confections that are made primarily of sugar. In some cases, chocolate confections (confections made of chocolate) are treated as a separate category, as are sugar-free versions of sugar confections. The words candy (US and Canada), sweets (UK and Ireland), and lollies (Australia and New Zealand) are common words for the most common varieties of sugar confectionery.

The confectionery industry also includes specialized training schools and extensive historical records. Traditional confectionery goes back to ancient times, and continued to be eaten through the Middle Ages into the modern era.

Generally, confections are low in micronutrients and protein but high in calories. They may be fat-free foods, although some confections, especially fried doughs, are high-fat foods. Many confections are considered empty calories.

Specially formulated chocolate has been manufactured in the past for military use as a high-density food energy source.

Confections are defined by the presence of sweeteners. These are usually sugars, but it is possible to buy sugar-free sweets, such as sugar-free peppermints. The most common sweetener for home cooking is table sugar, which is chemically a disaccharide called sucrose. Hydrolysis of sucrose gives a mixture called invert sugar, which is sweeter and is also a common commercial ingredient. Finally confections, especially commercial ones, are sweetened by a variety of syrups obtained by hydrolysis of starch. These sweeteners include all types of corn syrup.


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Wikipedia

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