What are the different types of gummies?

What varieties of gummies are available, and which ones do you currently have in stock at home? For example a bag filled with assorted flavours of gummy bears, sour apple rings, fruit snacks, and a canister of multivitamin gummies to boost your immune system.

All shapes and sizes
There is a very big range of gummies available in the market and the textures of these gummies differ per region. From a more easy bite gummy bear in the United States, to a very firm gummy bear in Europe and a very high quality flavoured gummy in Japan.

Gummies come in all sizes, colours, flavours and textures. Most of the time, when people are talking about gummies, they are actually talking about the category gums and jellies. In the classification of sugar confectionery, the gums and jellies category describes gummies are made with gelatin or starch as a gelling agent and jellies are made with pectin or agar-agar as a gelling agent. Gelatin, pectin and starch are worldwide the most used gelling agents in gums and jellies. Other famous gelling agents in the gums and jellies are acacia gum and carrageenan.

Let's sink our teeth into gummies
The texture of gums and jellies depends on the binding agent that is used. Gelatin has a very chewy, elastic bite and great melting behavior in the mouth and thereby a great flavour release. Pectin on the other hand, gives a very short bite, so is very easy to bite through. Starch results in a nice long bite and is a bit more sticky to the teeth. Gelling agents could also be combined to create an unique texture.  

You can also make a more firm gummy by drying more extensively. Some gummies are cured (dried in moulding starch) for 24 hours, some for 48 hours and some even for 72 hours.

Mouth watering looks
For a special appearance you also see multicoloured gummies like the two colour worms. This technique is called side-by-side depositing. You also see a white foam layer combined with a coloured layer like the gummy frogs and sharks. This is called top-bottom depositing. To create the foam layer an aeration step is performed. Gelatin is a protein and it is therefore easy to aerate. The gelatin mass, giving a different texture to the gummy. Starch based gummies can only be aerated when a protein is added to the gummy mass before aeration. You can find different gums and jellies in the market that are starch based and aerated, often used proteins to get this effect are potato and pea protein. The last depositing technique is Center-In-Shell depositing were you can achieve an center (interior) and other colour shell (exterior).

The coating of gums and jellies can also contribute to a special texture and flavour experience. Think of jelly beans, where the center is a gummy, which has a hard exterior applied with a panning process. Next to that sugar coating is very popular, providing a crunchy sugar layer on the outside of the gummy and the addition of some (coated) acid to the sugar coating attributes to the flavour experience of a gummy, giving some extra acidity upon the first bite. The trend of more sour gummies is already there for multiple years and a large part of the consumers prefers the sour coated gummies.

Each region has its own taste habits
Next to creating a unique texture flavouring is very important. Well known flavours are lemon, orange, strawberry, raspberry, apple and grape. But also more tropical flavours like mango and pineapple are used. New flavours like macha and juzu are upcoming and also introduced in the gums and jellies. In Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands licorice is also a very famous flavour for gummies. Furthermore in Mexico and other parts of the world also spicy pepper flavoured gummies are developed.

Smart gummy candy
Everybody knows gummy bears and this type of regular gums and jellies. They really come in all kinds, types, sizes, shapes, colours and flavours. Next to regular gums and jellies, functional gummies, also called nutraceutical gummies, are gaining popularity. Think of a functional ingredient and probably it has been added to a gummy already. In that case the gummy acts as a delivery system. As a gummy is a more attractive and easy way to consume a functional ingredients which provides an added value. Popular functional gummies are for example, multivitamin gummies, vitamin C gummies, sleep gummies, energy gummies and hair, skin and nail gummies. Furthermore there is also a market for medicated gummies. These gummies contain for example the active ingredients CBD and THC from the cannabis plant.

Going back to sizes, shapes, colours and flavours, really everything seams to be possible. Recently Tanis made the biggest gummy bear ever made. Combining new shapes with colours and flavours, everything is possible. Nowadays we see the trend to switch to natural colours and flavours. It is also seen that fruit puree or juice is more often used as an ingredient, contributing to a more appealing consumer perception.

Healthy Gummies?
Consumers are becoming more and more conscious about health and are looking for (slightly) more healthy alternatives. Talking about health, there is also a trend in switching from sugar to sugar-free ingredients. This way sugar-reduced and sugar-free gums and jellies can be made. There is a whole world of different sugar-free ingredients, for example inulin, FOS, maltitol, xylitol and other fibers that can be used to get gums and jellies with the desired flavour and texture. Sugar-free ingredients are known for they laxative effect though and therefore it is not always a great option as a replacer for your indulgent moment.

Sugar-free and sugar-reduced are popular claims to be put on gums and jellies. Next to that there are much more claims that are used. Think of the claim vegan or gluten-free. Vegan is a very big trend in the sugar confectionery as more people prefer plant based option for animal well-being, more environmental friendly or for religious reasons. For all claims there are options when selecting the right ingredients. Nevertheless, the recipe development is important and pilot testing as well, to see how the recipes behave during processing and in the sensory testing is important to check if the newly developed gummies are as tasty as wanted. Tanis has all the equipment available to make these gummies. Above all Tanis has an Innovation Center, at benchtop and pilot scale all types of recipes can be tested here, together with our customers.

A lot is possible in the world of gums and jellies and a lot of trends are seen, however the well-known gummy bear will not disappear and is also still growing in popularity. This shows how booming gums and jellies still are. Above all the world of gums and jellies stays technically challenging and interesting.

The most popular gelling agents resulting in different texture for gums and jellies are: gelatin, pectin and starch. The main depositing techniques are mono (one shot colour), side by side (two colours next to each other), top-bottom (two colours on top of each other) and center-in-shell (a coloured center in a shell mass).

Aeration and coatings can be added to a gummy to create a different the texture and additional flavour perception of gums and jellies. Gums and jellies come in all kinds, types, sizes, shapes, colours and flavours. Nowadays functional (nutraceutical) gummies are gaining in popularity and so do medicated gummies. Tanis can support innovation and pilot testing, read all about it here.

What are the different types of gummies?