Panning of a confectionery center with a soft sugar coating

Soft-coated dragee results form the coating of a center with successive layers of a sugar syrup and sugar powder. Ingredients and methods vary depending on the capacity and purpose.

Updated Sep 06, 2021 - 10 min Read


Core products

Cores are typically hard or soft, chewy centers.



A coating syrup is prepared with:

  • Sugar
  • Glucose syrup
  • Water
  • Colours and flavours

Fine powder sugar is added to form the bulk of the shell.

The glucose percentage is critical to provide the sticking and binding layer for the the solid sugar particles.


How does it work?

The process is a batch operation with successive additions of syrup and powder sugar addition. The syrup is added to provide a fine sticking film on which the powder sugar will adhere, melt partially and form a cohesive layer. The dry sugar absorbs the moisture. No dyring air is used.  

The total process time is quick – 1 to 2 hours

After coating, the product must be stored in a stove at a regulated temperature and moisture during 12 – 24 hours to finalyze the crystalization.

The sequences run as follows


Wetting of the center with the syrup, dispersion



Application of
sugar powder





Repeat sugar addition to absorb the moisture



Repeat  operations 1 to 4


Coating system

The operation occurs in a coating pan.

The revolution of the pan causes a smooth tumbling effect. Mixing can be enhanced by baffles.

Coating pans have ball or cylinder shapes, offering respectively small 50 – 250 kg, to large 250 – 3000 kg capacities.

The syrup application occurs by dribbling or spraying. 


Coating system

Systems of various shapes – ball, cylinder – and sizes are used. The process can even be made continuous in a large tumbler where the product progession is controlled and where it is successively coated with the syrup and the powder sugar


How do you measure your success?

Key quality features

The check is essentially visual

Surface aspect

Even and smooth aspect, showing no cracks, bumps or missing coating, a bit rougher than hard panned dragee

Product integrity

In the early process stage, the core should be broken, deformed, sheared. The core and shell stay softer to the bite than hard panning dragee


The residual moisture is higher but the product must not show stickiness (vitrous transition), spots (fat) …

Key quality parameters

The key features to take into consideration

Core product

Core type, shape and dimensions


Sugar syrup, concentration, temperature, crystallization speed

Design and operation

Pan type, shape and dimensions. Air conditions, temperature, RH, velocity. Time sequences