Handling sensitive gummies

Cooking and depositing equipment today is mindful of heat sensitive ingredients, easy operation and energy savings, writes Assistant Editor Joseph Clarke 

The industrial candy cooking and depositing equipment on offer today reflects the influence of trends such as processing jellies and gummies with functional ingredients sensitive to heat, as well equipping machines with HMIs that are easy to operate – reflecting a response to a shrinking pool of skilled operators and issues around labour retention. The growth of the nutraceutical candy market has meant cooking and depositing processes have had to adapt accordingly. Exhibitors at the latest ProSweets trade show in January 2024 who took the time to talk to me showed just how keenly in tune they are to these trends – while keeping in mind the sheer variety of gummies and subsequent varied customer requirements. 

Equipment supports variety in gummies and jellies 

Gummies and jellies have long been a mainstay of candy consumers young and old, because of the sheer variety of flavours, textures and colours producers can play with. Looking at new product launches in this space shows just how much producers can experiment; such as Rowntree’s releasing their non-HFSS compliant range of gummy sweets formulated with soluble corn fibre to reduce the amount of sugar and increase the fibre in line with HFSS regulations; or Jelly Belly Candy Company unveiling Jelly Belly gummies in 2020 in sweet and sour flavours; as sour has become a particularly popular flavour. 

Behind the scenes, the equipment that produces the gummies and jellies on shelves are adapting to current trends driven by consumers and customers. Trends influencing the gummy and jelly market include nutraceuticals, where these products are fortified with ingredients such as vitamins and minerals. “10 years ago, gummies were only candy,” commented Martijn Rijnen, Senior Process Engineer at Tanis Confectionery when I spoke to him at ProSweets. “Nowadays we see a lot of vitamins, minerals and overall healthy additives included. We’ve also seen CBD gummies in some countries as a new and growing area.”  

Processing gummies with these ingredients needs to take into account their sensitivity – and can require taking the approach of new product formulation, said Martijn. “The product needs to be stable and at the end you need to make sure it can gel, in order to produce a solid product,” he explained. “This can require undergoing new product development to understand how to produce the gummy and create a stable product, in terms of what the pH levels need to be, how much moisture content there needs to be to achieve a good shelf life, and so on.” 

The conventional gummy manufacturing process, for instance, uses a starch moulding process whereby the candy slurry is cooked and deposited into starch trays, typically using a mogul. Starch serves the primary purposes of preventing the candy from sticking to the trays, which means they can be removed and handled with ease; holding the candy in place during the drying and cooling processes and absorbing moisture content…

Read the full feature in our magazine.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920
Email: editor@in-confectionery.com

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