Each year during the past several years, there’s what the American Association of Confectionery Technologists (AACT) call a “friendly competition” amongst industry professionals for the title of Iron Confectioner.

Held at the conclusion of the group’s annual technical seminar — to be held October 2 - 4, at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus, Oak Brook, Ill. — the Iron Confectioner Competition features two teams of three members each tasked to create three different types of confections within one hour.

The confections are based on a secret ingredient, which is not revealed until the start of the competition. A three-member judging panel will evaluate the confections on originality, flavor and appearance.

“The winning team will then have bragging rights for one year,” says Randy Hofberger, principal at R&D Consultants. “It has become very popular and is a great way to finish the technical seminar.”

Hofberger invite conference attendees to put together a team to participate in the event. As he points out, “This opportunity is open to anyone interested in confections who has even a little technical skill. This might include friends, students, business colleagues, ROCM (retired old candy makers), etc.”

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Hofberger at rdcandyc@wi.rr.com by August 31, 2017. Participants should submit their name, affiliation and the names of tentative teammates. Chosen teams will be given further information on what is needed and expected for the competition.

Hofberger is also seeking assistance in choosing this year’s secret ingredient that will be used by the Iron Confectioner teams.

“This ingredient should be readily available, have some confectionery application and come in several forms, such as dried, fresh, puréed, etc.,” he says. Secret ingredient suggestions should be sent to Hofberger as well at rdcandyc@wi.rr.com.