North West-based national sweet expert Andy Baxendale is working with leading confectionery manufacturer Sweetdreams to produce a unique selection of products combining the current appetite for CBD oil with a variety of luxury chocolate items.
Andy, who is known throughout the industry as The Sweet Consultant, said the popular, and constantly growing offering, catered for people who loved chocolate but who wanted their “naughty” treat to have some added potentially positive benefits.
So far the products he has produced, combining cannabis derivative CBD oil with milk, white or dark chocolate coating, include: solid dark chocolate balls, malt balls (Malteser type products), almonds, goji berries, cranberries, honeycomb plus some yoghurt coated fruits.
“The work is continuing on an ongoing basis as the demand is constant for these type of products at the moment” he said.
CBD oil is reputed to have anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing, and calming effects - but does not contain Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC), which is the part of marijuana that gets you high.
Sweetdreams, based in Cramlington, Northumberland, are well suited to this type of product manufacture owing to their flexibility and capabilities around bespoke product development and small batch manufacture.
Andy, who is based in Wigan, said: “I’m not sure why CBD oil is so popular in chocolate – I think that chocolate is an easy medium for people to eat, especially if they feel that their “naughty” treat has some benefit now in the form of the addition of CBD oil – kind of “naughty but nice”.
“It is great to devise products like these and scale them up to full scale production at Sweetdreams.”
Andy said that part of the reason chocolate was so popular was because eating a small amount of sugar creates a release ofserotonin, which is called the happy chemical because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness.
The precursor to serotonin is tryptophan which is also found in chocolate and which is converted in the brain into additional serotonin.
Eating chocolate also releases endorphins – the neurotransmitters that transmit signals between neurons – which can reduce stress, lead to feelings of euphoria.
Phenylethylamine – “chocolate amphetamine” – also creates excitement and alertness and rises in pulse rate are similar to those felt when in love.
Andy has 24 years’ experience in the confectionery business and a Master of Science (MSc) in Advanced Food Manufacture.
The former product development manager for Chewits a respected national consultant in every aspect of confectionery production.
He has extensive knowledge of regulation and legislation in the industry, advising companies on everything from recipes to staff training and enhanced production techniques.
He was one of the stars of the hit BBC 2 confectionery show The Sweet Makers.
He is currently working to set up a National Academy of sweets to teach a new generation the art of confectionery production and development.
Sweetdreams Ltd is a leading UK confectionery manufacturer and panning and coatings specialist, and Andy is retained as Technical Director by the company.
In addition to developing products, he is also responsible for the entire technical and quality function within the business, ensuring the highest levels of product integrity throughout the operation – under his guidance and management, the company achieved grade A certification to the BRC Global Food Safety Standard, and continues to work towards world class food safety and quality targets.