Sugar panning

Sugar panning, or simply panning, is a method for adding a candy "shell" to candy or nuts.[1]: 251  Popular candies that employ this process in their manufacture include dragées, M&M's, gobstoppers, konpeitō and jelly beans. Jelly beans use soft panning while the other three are examples of hard panning. The process was initially invented in 17th century France to make jordan almonds.

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


A dragée pan

Hard and soft panning both are made in a similar fashion, but with different ingredients and at different speeds. 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. The pan spins, and the syrup is evenly distributed over the centers and dries on as a layer. Soft panned layers can be quite thick and do not well preserve the shape of the center. Hard panned layers take longer to dry and can be as thin as 10-14μm.[1]: 248 

The choice for centers is wide, 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 the tumble.[1]: 248 

See alsoEdit

  • 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.