The variation of confectionery products is extremely wide. Sucrose esters are primarily used in sweet confection. Sucrose oligo esters are used in chocolate and compressed tablets.
The two main functions of sucrose esters are emulsification and sugar crystallisation. It is no wonder that their main applications are in chewies, toffee and fudges, fondant and panned confection.
Sucrose esters are very effective emulsifiers, due to their high HLB value. This results in relatively small oil or fat droplets in the confection. These smaller droplets are less susceptible to separate from the candy, thus causing oiling. Moreover if the droplets are tightly packed in the sugar matrix the formation of rancid components can be delayed. E.g. the fat is less accessible for oxygen and UV radiation which causes oxidation.
The effect of sucrose esters on sugar crystallisations is rather unique. Sucrose esters promote the formation of nuclei which accelerate the crystallisation process. A very fine sugar crystal matrix will be formed. The candy will have a very smooth, white and dry appearance with a non-sticky and very stable texture.