Twizzlers are a popular licorice candy that come in a variety of flavors and fillings. The original Twizzlers are long, red twists of licorice flavored candy that have a sweet yet tart taste. In more recent years, Twizzlers have expanded their lineup to include filled Twizzlers that have a creamy, gooey filling inside the licorice shell.
The History of Twizzlers
Twizzlers were first produced by Y&S Candies (now the Twizzlers division of The Hershey Company) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1929. Back then, they only made licorice twists in red. The Y&S Candies company was named after the Young and Smith families who founded it. Twizzlers became hugely popular over the following decades, becoming the best selling licorice candy in the United States.
In the 1970s, fruit flavored Twizzlers were introduced. This included flavors like cherry, orange, lemon, and more. The product line continued expanding over the years, adding bite-sized Twizzlers Bites in 1992 and Twizzlers Pull ‘n’ Peel in 1994. The Hershey Company acquired Y&S Candies in 2001.
The Introduction of Filled Twizzlers
Filled Twizzlers were first introduced in 2004. This added a creamy, flavored filling inside the classic Twizzlers licorice shell. The first filled Twizzlers flavors were strawberry and chocolate. Later flavors would include raspberry, orange cream, and cherry Kick.
Filled Twizzlers provide an extra burst of flavor by combining the sweetness of the filling with the tartness of the licorice shell. It provides a more indulgent, decadent treat than regular Twizzlers. The product line has continued expanding with new filled Twizzler flavors over the years.
What is Used to Make the Filling?
According to Twizzlers, the filling used in filled Twizzlers is made with corn syrup, sugar, and hydrogenated vegetable oil along with flavoring. This forms a smooth, creamy texture and sweet flavor.
Here is a breakdown of the main ingredients:
- Corn syrup – This is a common food additive made from corn starch. It adds sweetness and texture.
- Sugar – Sugar helps sweeten the filling and balance out the tartness of the licorice shell.
- Hydrogenated vegetable oil – The hydrogenation process helps turn the oil into a semi-solid fat with a creamy, thick texture.
- Flavoring – Different flavor extracts are used to give each filled Twizzlers variety its signature taste.
The ingredients are combined and processed in a way to create a smooth, fluffy filling that has sweet flavor but still spreads easily inside the licorice shell. Manufacturers can adjust the ratios of the ingredients to achieve the desired texture and taste.
Comparing Regular and Filled Twizzlers
Let’s compare the ingredients of original Twizzlers to filled Twizzlers:
|Hydrogenated vegetable oil
|Filling flavor extracts
As you can see, original Twizzlers contains flour, corn syrup, sugar, and licorice extract which gives it the classic licorice flavor. Filled Twizzlers takes those original ingredients but also adds hydrogenated vegetable oil for the creamy filling texture. It skips the licorice extract but instead uses flavor extracts like strawberry or chocolate for the filling.
Why Hydrogenated Oils are Used
You may notice that the filled Twizzlers contain hydrogenated vegetable oils while the original Twizzlers do not. This ingredient is important for achieving the right texture in the filling.
Hydrogenation is a process that turns liquid vegetable oils into solid or semi-solid fats. This gives the filling a thick, rich, creamy consistency so it holds its shape inside the licorice shell. Hydrogenated fats also provide a smooth mouthfeel.
Some common vegetable oils that may be used include soybean, cottonseed, or palm oils. The oils go through a hydrogenation process involving hydrogen gas to change their chemical composition. This makes the oils more solid at room temperature.
However, hydrogenation also produces trans fats as a side effect. Trans fats are considered unhealthy and many food manufacturers have moved away from hydrogenated ingredients. Filled Twizzlers likely use just enough hydrogenation to achieve the desired texture while limiting trans fat production.
Food Coloring Provides Vibrant Colors
In addition to the main ingredients, filled Twizzlers also use food coloring to achieve vibrant colors that match their flavors. For example:
- Strawberry filling uses red food coloring
- Orange cream filling uses yellow and orange food coloring
- Cherry Kick filling uses red food coloring
The colorings are FD&C dyes approved by the FDA. While the dyes themselves don’t add flavor, the bright colors provide a more appealing look and help convey the flavor.
Preservatives Are Added Too
Filled Twizzlers also contain preservatives to extend their shelf life and prevent mold growth. Ingredients like sorbic acid, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate are commonly used as preservatives in licorice candy.
Even though filled Twizzlers have a creamy filling, the preservatives help keep them shelf stable without refrigeration. This way they can be stored at room temperature in stores or your pantry until you’re ready to enjoy them!
The Filling Manufacturing Process
Creating the smooth, flavorful filling for filled Twizzlers requires a specific manufacturing process. Here are the key steps involved:
- Mix the liquid ingredients: The corn syrup, vegetable oils, and flavor extracts are blended together in large vats.
- Cook the mixture: The filling mixture is cooked at 240°F to 280°F to achieve the proper consistency.
- Add powders and colors: Dry ingredients like sugar and powdered flavors get mixed in along with food coloring.
- Cool the filling: Once it’s flavored and colored, the filling is cooled down to about 100°F.
- Check the texture: Technicians test the batch to ensure it has the correct viscosity, creaminess, and mouthfeel.
- Deposit into Twizzlers: The filling gets deposited into the formed Twizzlers shells through small tubes.
- Seal the Twizzlers: The filled Twizzlers go through a heating chamber to seal the filling inside.
- Package and ship: Finally, the filled Twizzlers go through packaging and get shipped out to stores.
The entire manufacturing process takes place in dedicated candy factories with specialized equipment to create the iconic filled Twizzlers we know and love.
Quality Control and Safety
All Twizzlers products, including the filled varieties, are made in facilities that follow strict quality control guidelines. All ingredients and materials that come into the factory are inspected to ensure they meet specifications.
Additionally, the filled Twizzlers go through metal detectors to check for foreign material contamination. The facilities adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to ensure food safety and sanitation.
Once the filled Twizzlers are packaged, they undergo additional quality checks. Packages are examined to make sure the products look appealing and the weights are accurate. Samples from batches are tasted to ensure consistent flavors.
Thanks to this rigorous quality control, fans of filled Twizzlers can enjoy their favorite candy knowing it was produced in a safe, controlled environment.
Fun Facts About Filled Twizzlers
Here are some fun facts about filled Twizzlers that all candy lovers should know:
- Filled Twizzlers were released in 2004 to mark Twizzlers’ 75th anniversary
- Strawberry and chocolate were the first two filled Twizzlers flavors
- Over 500 million pounds of Twizzlers are produced each year
- Twizzlers are baked at high temperatures, not boiled like some licorice candies
- Many flavors of filled Twizzlers are available seasonally for holidays
- Twizzlers factories recycle 90% of their manufacturing waste
Like most candy, filled Twizzlers are considered a sugary treat without a lot of nutrition. However, they provide some calories, carbs, and sugar:
|Per 1 Twizzler (28g)
As you can see, filled Twizzlers are low in protein, fat, and micronutrients. The main nutrients they provide are carbohydrates and sugar. So filled Twizzlers, like regular Twizzlers, are considered more of a treat than a healthy food.
Where to Buy Filled Twizzlers
Filled Twizzlers can be found at many major grocery stores, candy shops, convenience stores, and big box stores in the candy aisle. Some locations where you can find filled Twizzlers include:
- Grocery stores like Safeway, Kroger, Publix, etc.
- Walmart, Target, and other discount big box stores
- Convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Wawa, Circle K, etc.
- Candy specialty stores and kiosks in malls
- Movie theater concession stands
- Fundraising events at schools and community organizations
You can check the candy aisle near the checkout lanes at your local grocery store. Filled Twizzlers usually come in share size bags for around $1-$3 depending on the retailer. You may also find them sold individually.
How Long Do Filled Twizzlers Last?
Filled Twizzlers have a shelf life of about 9 months from the production date if stored properly. An unopened package stored at cool room temperature in a pantry will maintain best quality during this time. Once opened, the Twizzlers may start drying out after about 3-4 weeks.
You can help filled Twizzlers last longer by resealing the package tightly after opening. Keeping them in a pantry or cupboard around 65°F to 70°F provides ideal storage temperature. Avoid storing them in hot places like a car on a summer day.
If the Twizzlers start drying out, you may notice the filling separates or they lose their chewy texture. At that point, the candy is past its prime. But otherwise, enjoying your filled Twizzlers before the best by date ensures you get optimal freshness and taste.
Creative Ways to Enjoy Filled Twizzlers
While you can obviously just eat filled Twizzlers straight from the package, there are also creative ways to incorporate them into other treats and desserts, such as:
- Chop up and add to ice cream sundaes
- Bake into brownies or blondies
- Use in the crust of a cheesecake or pie
- Melt into candy bark with other mix-ins
- Dip into chocolate or yogurt for dipping snacks
- Skewer and roast over a campfire as a s’more substitution
- Blend into milkshakes or smoothies
Filled Twizzlers pair especially well with peanut butter, chocolate, cheesecake, and fruit flavors. Let your imagination run wild for unique ways to enjoy this classic soft-and-chewy candy.
Filled Twizzlers provide a delicious twist on the classic licorice Twizzlers by combining a sweet, creamy filling with the iconic chewy Twizzlers shell. While the original licorice flavor remains popular, the filled varieties allow you to enjoy new indulgent flavor combinations in every bite. The secret behind the smooth, fluffy filling lies in ingredients like corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, sugar, and natural flavors.
Next time you see the familiar Twizzlers packages in the candy aisle, pick up a bag of the filled Twizzlers to enjoy a new take on a classic candy. Just be careful not to get too much filling oozing out of the ends when you bite into them!