PMCA’s 72nd Annual Production Conference will be held at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and Lancaster County Convention Center from April 16-18 in Lancaster, Pa. This year’s Back to Basics program will focus on chocolate and compounds for confectionery and snack applications.


Monday Morning - April 16

PMCA Student Outreach Committee Update

Carly Meck, research & development scientist, Blommer Chocolate Co.

The Student Outreach committee chair will provide current highlights of the program and introduce this year’s student participants. 


Basics and Beyond Seminar: Key Attributes of Chocolate and Compounds for Confectionery and Snack Applications

PMCA presentations

Session Moderator — Steven Genzoli, v.p. - quality assurance/research and development, Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.

PMCA’s Program Committee presents a half-day seminar during each production conference focused on the basic information required to zero in on a single topic while simultaneously addressing advanced techniques and emerging technological developments in the segment. This program offers something for every attendee and is led by a team of industry professionals. Seminars include live demonstrations and audience tasting samples.


Attributes to Consider When Selecting Your Coatings 

PMCA presentations

Randy Hofberger, consultant, R&D Candy Consultants LLC

There are many attributes one should consider before selecting a chocolate or compound coating. These can range from product functional needs to equipment restrictions to the demands of customers. Hofberger reviews the many attributes and other considerations, so confectioners can make the right coating choice.


Attributes to Consider for Enrobing Applications*

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Laurent Besin, director of technical services, Barry Callebaut

When enrobing, the physical attributes of any chocolate or coating are critical to achieving one’s goal.  This presentation will address rheology, fineness, fat content, temperature and center makeup as it applies to actual enrobing. Besin considers how these parameters will affect the function of the product in an enrober, influence the center and the final result. He will also speak to the impact of each adjustment and how small changes will influence the coating of your product. Final wrap-up will include some troubleshooting tips for creating the perfect product for your customer.

*Presentation and paper co-authored by Emma Afshin and Eric Schmoyer, Barry Callebaut


Chocolate Moulding – Physical Properties vs Technology

PMCA presentations

Ann Brinkerhoff, master chocolatier – The Hershey Co.

A major milestone in the history of chocolate consumption involves the debut of the first moulded chocolate bar, which dates back to the Industrial Revolution in 1847 after its launch by Joseph Fry. Since that time, technology has advanced, allowing for the creation of many types of moulded chocolates from solid bars to cold stamping. One chocolate does not fit all technologies. Physical properties contribute to the quality of the fit and finish.  These properties vary based on the type of moulding equipment. The discussion will entail how the properties differ between bar moulding, traditional shell moulding, cold stamping and one-shot depositing.  


The Right (or wrong) Chocolate for your Snack or Meal

PMCA presentations

Thalia Hohenthal, senior scientist, research & development, Guittard Chocolate Co.

The best part of the snack or the meal is the chocolate, right? It can be. And we think it should be. But to actually hit that sweet spot of taste, texture, appearance, shelf life, price and all the rest might be a challenge. There is a lot to discover along the way as we bring these moving parts together to commercialize a winning product. How do confectioners and snack makers work their magic? And how do the chocolate makers know what to make? Attendees will taste their way through various combinations and make some discoveries on their own as Hohenthal discusses the key attributes of chocolate selection for some exciting applications.


Tuesday - April 17

Morning Session 

Session Moderator — Edward Minson, principal scientist, global accounts technical service, Tate & Lyle


PMCA Membership and Marketing Committee Update

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Mark Freeman, v.p. of sales,Shank’s Extracts      


NCA Policy & Regulatory Update 2018

Laura Shumow, v.p., scientific and regulatory affairs, National Confectioners Association

USDA is required to issue a final rule-making on the disclosure of bioengineered ingredients (aka GMO labeling) by July of this year. Meanwhile, FDA has extended the compliance deadline for NFP labeling to January, 2020. In conjunction with the updates to nutrition labeling, FDA is working on a consumer education campaign to empower Americans to make better decisions about their health. Additionally, FDA plans to improve the timeliness and communication of food recalls and to exercise enforcement discretion on certain components of food safety regulations. This talk will address the latest updates on these topics and more.


Nutrition Bar Technology

PMCA presentations

Stan Andrews, Ph.D., research applications scientist, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM)

The global snack bar food category has grown during the past 10 years, especially in North America, which accounted for 57 percent of the 2017 global sales of $13.6 billion. The U.S. market alone comprises almost 51 percent of the total 2017 snack bar global sales. This presentation will review global regions that are forecast to accelerate in growth over the next five years and snack bar types most requested by consumers. It will also discuss basic formulation technology, including a review of ingredients and manufacturing requirements.


Bridging the Nutrition Gap in Confectionery with Protein

PMCA presentations

Akshay Arora, business scientist – Global Protein Development, Ingredion, Inc.

Consumers are increasingly considering health while making food purchases. There is growing evidence that protein intake promotes optimal health. Not surprisingly, the protein fortification trend has grown and continues to transcend product categories. For confectionery, which is primarily prized for indulgence, the addition of protein can potentially benefit the category by creating more consumer choices.

However, incorporating protein into confections for a nutritional boost is often not a straightforward exercise. Besides cost, manufacturers need to make two-fold considerations. The foremost decision pertains to “what sort” and “how much” protein to add. Nutritional metrics that help distinguish dietary proteins from varied sources and enable claims will be discussed. Secondly, the addition of protein to an application can alter its taste and textural attributes. This often necessitates making suitable formulation and processing adjustments. A toolbox approach for developing protein-based confectionery will be presented with specific examples. 


Caramel Troubleshooting

PMCA presentations

Mark Heim, consultant, R Mark Heim Confectionery Consulting

There is so much time and effort put into developing a new product, but when scaling up from benchtop to production, oftentimes operators run into problems with the product changing in unwanted ways. This presentation will discuss a typical caramel start up, and where some of these problems come from.  Development techniques to minimize or prevent many of them in the future will be discussed.



Session Moderator — Rose Potts, corporate sensory and product guidance, Blommer Chocolate Co.

Why an Attorney Should be Part of Your Innovation Team

PMCA presentations

Lois B. Duquette, McNees, Wallace & Nurick LLC

Perhaps the R&D crew come up with a great idea for a new product that your marketing team will love.  Or maybe your marketing team or a client has asked you to develop a product with certain characteristics.  Before running to the development bench, add a legal advisor to your team.  This presentation will explain how working with a legal advisor early in your process can help you in a variety of ways – from reducing the risk that the company will spend time developing a product that can’t be marketed as hoped, or even sold at all, to helping prevent a competitor from trading off a great idea. 


 Innovation Management

PMCA presentations

Adrian Timms, Consultant, ATimms Consulting LLC & TechInfusers LLC 

One of the topics in mastering the fundamentals of innovation management is innovation process design. Some variant of a stages-and-gates process is typically used in the confectionery industry, particularly for developing and launching new products. Here Timms looks at how confectionery might borrow from practices in other industries (Agile development) to renew and update a tired stages-and-gates development process. Through a simulated case study (drawing from multiple past experiences), he examines the principles, benefits, shortcomings, and possible marriage of alternate processes in a real life confectionery NPD scenario.


PMCA Research Committee Update

Eric Schmoyer, research & development project manager, Barry Callebaut, USA

PMCA’s Research Committee chair will provide an update on current and future research program activities.


5 Risks to your Food Fraud Program

Food fraud programs have been added to nearly all GFSI schemes and the 2018 deadlines are here. Every food fraud plan has a weakness, what is yours?


FICA Dives Into Consumer Perception of Fine Chocolate

PMCA presentations

Karen Bryant, consultant and executive director, Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA)

Fine chocolate makers and chocolatiers, a small segment of the industry compared to mass market chocolate, struggle to help consumers understand why their products cost more and provide a unique experience. The lack of awareness of what fine chocolate is and why it warrants a higher price point cheats many consumers of a delicious experience and holds back the fine chocolate professions from building their customer base. This presentation will highlight results of a groundbreaking, year-long national research project on “Consumer Perception of Fine Chocolate” conducted by the FCIA to address these concerns, develop a more in-depth understanding of the targeted consumer and how to promote the value of these delicious products to the world.


Tuesday Evening April 17

Artisan Chocolate Display and Cocktail Reception

Attendees can enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail reception featuring an artisan chocolate tasting display organized and presented by the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA). 

Dinner Speaker 

“Dazzling and Delicious” – Chocolate Geodes

PMCA presentations

Peter P. Greweling CMB, professor – baking and pastry arts, Culinary Institute of America (CIA)

CIA Professor of Baking and Pastry Arts Peter Greweling talks about the process for creating edible geodes out of chocolate and naturally formed sugar crystals—his bakeshop project that’s been sweeping the internet. Students love it, especially the dramatic end result when the geode is cracked open to reveal the sparkling crystals which take months to grow!

2017 Marie Kelso Memorial Award

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Being presented to Jeffrey Bogusz, Ferrara Candy Co.


Wednesday Morning - April 18

Developing Flavor in Chocolate

Session Moderator — Edward Seguine, consultant, Seguine Cacao Cocoa and Chocolate Advisors


PMCA Education and Learning Committee Update

PMCA presentations

Peter Jamieson, lead food scientist, Atlas Point Technical Services

PMCA’s Education and Learning Committee chair will provide a report on the association’s short course program including highlights of recent courses and a look at future offerings.


Postharvest Processing - The Fermentation and Drying of Cocoa

PMCA presentations

Ray Major, Consultant, RAMajor, LLC

This presentation will review the history and science of postharvest processing, from its probable origin in northern South and Central America as a means to remove the cocoa pulp to its later application in the development of aromatic compounds and the precursors of chocolate flavor. The microbial sequences that occur in the pulp and the biochemical reactions they induce in the bean cotyledon are discussed, as well as the various postharvest techniques used around the world. Factors influencing the quality of fermentation are reviewed as well as techniques to optimize the process and to assess the final quality of fermented and dried cocoa.


Nest Step in the Roaster Process Evolution

PMCA presentations

Tobias Lohmueller, head, research & marketing, Buhler Group

The roasting process has been one of the oldest and most important food processing steps for centuries. During this process, chemical changes are initiated that impact flavor, texture, product stability, changes in nutrition value and in some cases, the triggering of detoxication such as roasting “Macrozamia Reidlei.” The diversity of alterations during roasting show the potential and requirement for precise guidance of the roasting process. To improve roasting reactions, a new relevant parameter needs to be determined and established.

When deliberating the different reactions happening during roasting, one of the most important parameters is the moisture content of the product when roasting. However, this parameter is not yet controlled or monitored. In most current existing roasters, the moisture content is only inherently guided during the roasting process.

The new roaster generation will take a big step into the future by monitoring and guiding moisture content during roasting. This change is going to differentiate dryers from “real roasters,” as the initial target of roasters is not drying, but focusing on the desired product property changes such as flavor, color, texture or even color changes or color extraction after roasting. Furthermore, the new roaster enables the creation of a homogeneous situation within the whole product, not only in the roasting chamber.

Mysteries of Conching Revealed

PMCA presentations

Carly Meck, research & development scientist, Blommer Chocolate Co.

Meck will discuss the mysteries behind a key step in the chocolate making process - conching. A seemingly simple machine, the conche has a rich history and plays an imperative role in the flavor development of chocolate. This overview will discuss a brief history of conches, an assessment of the various types of conches available to the industry, the basic steps in the conching process, as well as a technical review of the physical changes occurring within the machine. The focus of the technical review will unveil the science behind rounding of particles, volatile removal, moisture reduction, flavor development and fat release. 


Additional Program Highlights


Learning More about the Health Effects of Cocoa!

Effects of Alkalization and Roasting on Free and Bound Phenolic Compounds in Cocoa Nibs and Shells*

Is it possible for a large amount of bound phenolics in cocoa to survive the alkalization and roasting process? Could this be responsible for the health effects of cocoa? The results of this research seems to hold important information to further understand the chemistry of phenolic compounds during cocoa alkalization and roasting, as well as metabolic studies, such as the bioavailability of these compounds.

PMCA presentations

Qiaoqiao Dai, now with Callisons, recently completed this significant research as a graduate fellow at the Pennsylvania State University. The project was part of the PMCA/PSU Fellowship program, conducted in the honor and memory of confectionery industry leader Allen Allured.

Results of Dai’s work will be showcased during the annual production conference. 

*Research guided by Dr. Gregory R Ziegler and Dr. Joshua D Lambert – Department of Food Science, PSU


PMCA Student Outreach Program

PMCA’s Student Outreach Committee, led by Chair Carly Meck, Blommer Chocolate Co., will once again host students from educational institutions with food science, business, engineering and related programs, to attend the conference. Students will have the opportunity to interact with industry personnel and enjoy several activities developed specifically for them including a tour of Wolfgang Candy Co. Students will be introduced by Meck prior to the start of the Basics and Beyond program on Monday, April 16. 


Abso-FRUIT-ly Delicious: Using Fruit in Confections (An interactive exhibit*)

How are fruits used in different confectionery applications? Purees, juices, dried fruit, chocolate-covered fruit – the possibilities are endless, and so are the considerations, such as fiber levels, added sugars, sugar profiles and water activity. This interactive exhibit will feature tasting samples of fruit in different forms and applications, education videos, handouts and posters.

*Visit this interactive exhibit during the supplier exhibition in Freedom Hall on Monday afternoon