Whether we're snacking on tart gummy candy or supplementing our diets with fortified gummy vitamins, we have come to expect a specific texture from gummies. Consumers might use terms like "sticky" or "chewy" to describe this unique texture that is usually created with gelatin.

One thing is certain--removing gelatin from a gummy confection application is tricky. In fact, no single ingredient can be used to duplicate these characteristics.

gelatin replacements for gummies

Reasons for eliminating gelatin from foods

Despite the functionality of gelatin, some consumers seek to eliminate it from their diets. For some, the avoidance of gelatin may be in observance of religious practices like kosher or halal dietary guidelines, while for others, it's a choice related to the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. In fact, vegetarian claims have become so popular that 9% of global food launches in 2014 featured a vegetarian claim, according to Innova Market Insights1.

Global Food Launches with Vegetarian claim

Gelatin-free isn't so easy

Texture-aside, gelatin-containing gels have specific properties that are critical for gel formation and manufacturability. Activation temperatures and times of any ingredient replacing gelatin must be similar to that of gelatin and the resulting formulation must have a hot viscosity that makes for easy depositing during manufacturing.

To maintain the integrity and product quality of the finished gummies through shipping and storage, the temperature at which the gels become sticky and melt is critical. Nobody wants a bag of stuck-together candy.

Defining gummy texture

In order to replace gelatin in gummy confections, we first need to understand the individual texture attributes that gelatin modifies. Our Gum Gurus® identified four key texture characteristics:

Texture Terms Associated with Gummy Confections
Texture Attribute Definition
Cohesiveness Degree to which sample deforms rather than crumbles, breaks or rupture
Hardness Force to attain a given deformation, usually force to bite completely through sample with incisors or molars
Springiness Degree to which the sample recovers after the force is removed
Toothstick/Toothpack Degree to which product sticks to surface of teeth

Selecting stabilizers that mimic gummy texture

Once the key texture attributes have been identified, formulators can evaluate various stabilizers according to those attributes. Our new Ticagel® GC line of products is specifically designed to mimic gelatin in applications like gummy candies or nutritional delivery systems like vitamins.

Stabilizers for Gummy Confections
Ticagel GC-564 S Creates a softer, more chewy gummy candy
Ticagel Natural GC-581 B Creates a firmer gummy candy


Download our white paper titled Reformulating Gummy Confections without Gelatin to learn more

To request a sample of one of these stabilizer systems for evaluation in your application, please click here.

To speak with a Gum Guru about formulating for your specific texture, stability and nutrition goals, call our technical service hotline at hotline +1-800-899-3953 / +1-410-273-7300 or chat live online.

1The Incredible Rise of "Free-From": From a niche to the mainstream, Innova Market Insights, Arnhem, The Netherlands, 2015.