For centuries people have been attracted to the sweet taste of sugar. Sugar from sugar cane, grown in areas with tropical climates, has been used since at least 300 A.D.
Many of us may not have heard of rock candy. A luscious crystallized sugar on stick which offers a wide range of opportunities to become a profitable home business. Whether produced from sugar cane or sugar beets, sugar is one of the main ingredients in candy. Rock candy is crystallized sugar that’s fun to eat.
Rock candy production is believed to have originated in China for the preparation of gift and souvenir during special occasions such as wedding and holidays. In the United States, rock candy is used as coffee and tea sweeteners.
Rock candy differs from other sugar-based confectionaries in the sense that it is crystalline and composed mainly of pure sucrose from sugarcane, which makes it beneficial to human health.
In the Philippines, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has tested and evaluated the method of producing rock candy through a simple process that requires small capital and readily available equipment and materials.
Here is a simple method developed by SRA in making rock candy.
- Dissolve 250 grams of white sugar per 100 ml of potable water to form a heavy syrup or sugar solution.
- Transfer the solution into an aluminium or ice cream can.
- Heat the solution to a temperature not exceeding 110O until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Crystallize the solution by placing it at room temperature for about 6 weeks.
- Allow the syrup to cool to approximately 40-50O before dipping the sticks sprinkled with sugar crystal.
- Loosen the sticks every 2 to 3 days to prevent them from sticking to each other.
- Put food color and flavor to some while others may be allowed to crystallize at their own natural color and flavor.
- When the crystal grows to approximately 5-10 mm, dry the product by air or oven.
Ideal rock candy weighs one gram (for candy purposes) and 15 grams for tea or coffee sweetening. One may experiment to come up with several flavors such as mint, strawberry and orange.
Based on the results of the test conducted by SRA, white or refined sugar produced twice more rock candies compared to brown sugar for the same crystallization process (time and condition).
The cost and benefit analysis (2001 market price) made by SRA showed that a net income of P3,100 could be generated for every 800 sticks of candies using 25 kilos of refined/white sugar. This technology is being promoted as a micro business venture and livelihood opportunities for the low-income group in the countryside.
For more information please contact, Ms. Nora I. Chinjen, Sugar & Sugar By-products Utilization Department, Sugar Regulatory Administration, North Avenue, Quezon City at Tel. No. 926-7006.
source: Mary Charlotte O. Fresco of BFAR Digest, photo from firstrung.co.uk