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Sweet sugar- or chocolate-based confection. The Egyptians made candy from honey (combined with figs, dates, nuts, and spices), sugar being unknown. With the spread of sugarcane cultivation in the 15th century, the industry began to grow. In the late 18th century the first candy-manufacturing machinery was produced. The main ingredients are cane and beet sugars combined with other carbohydrate foods such as corn syrup, cornstarch, honey, molasses, and maple sugar. To the sweet base are added chocolate, fruits, nuts, peanuts, eggs, milk, flavours, and colours. Common varieties include hard candies (crystallized sugar), caramels and toffees, nougats, jellies, fondants, marshmallows, marzipans, truffles, cotton candies, licorices, and chewing gums.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on candy, visit Britannica.com.