What Are Gummy Bears Made Out Of?

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Last Updated on January 30, 2022

Gummy bears are a popular treat among people of all ages. So, just what are gummy bears made out of? The ingredients in this tasty snack just might surprise you.

Gummy bears are popular for their delicious fruity flavors and chewy texture. However, it may come as a surprise to some people that most brands of these candies aren’t actually vegetarian. To achieve their desirable texture, animal bi-products are part of the ingredient list.

What Are Gummy Bears Made From?

Gummy bears are one of the most popular types of gummy candies. They not only taste great, but they have a wonderful texture and cute design as well. So, what’s in gummy bears you may ask?

Gummy bears generally consist of sugar, glucose syrup, artificial and natural flavorings, food coloring, starch, citric acid, and gelatin. Some brands will also use palm oil, beeswax, vegetable oil, pectin, and Carnauba Leaf Wax. Carnauba Leaf Wax is an ingredient that prevents them from sticking together in the bag.

Depending on the brand, the ingredients will vary, with some companies making vegan-friendly options. Due to their high sugar levels and lack of nutritional value, health experts do not consider them to be a healthy snack.

They are often made with a machine called a starch mogul. The image of a bear is stamped onto a tray that contains powdered starch. Workers then pour the hot, liquid gummy mixture into the tray, where it then cools overnight.

Once the candies are set, they are removed from their mold and packaged. Factories typically produce them in mass quantities and then ship them to grocery stores.

Do gummy bears have collagen?

Gummy bears contain gelatin, which comes from the collagen of animal body parts. Commonly, the collagen that is in gelatin comes from pigs and cows.

Collagen is a material that comes from the bones, cartilage, and skin of animals. It is essential for healthy joints in animals and is a part of the connective tissue that is vital for skin firmness, suppleness, and renewal of skin cells. Collagen is a key component of skin elasticity.

In some cases, collagen is also an ingredient in supplements for people. When processed into gelatin, it helps create a gummy texture.

what's in gummy bears

What is gelatin and how is it made?

Gelatin is a type of protein that comes from the collagen of animals, such as pigs or cows. It comes from boiling animal tendons, ligaments, skin, and tissues in water. Gelatin is brittle when it is dry, however, when it is wet it is rubbery.

For cooking and baking, it is available in powder, granules, and sheets. It is a common ingredient in gelatin desserts, gummy candies, marshmallows, ice cream, yogurts, soups, broths, sauces, and pudding. Gelatin is even an ingredient in some medications, along with beauty products too.

The use of gelatin traces back hundreds of years, with the first mention in the 10th century. In the 1500s, the British would boil calf hooves and make a gel in a very labor extensive process. During the 1700s in France, it was discovered that bones could be used to create gelatin.

Popular Flavors

Gummy bears come in a variety of different flavors, with raspberry, orange, strawberry,  pineapple, and lemon being the most popular. You can also find other flavors such as cherry, mango, watermelon, green apple, pink grapefruit, lime, blue raspberry, peach, and grape. In some cases, you can even find cola-flavored gummies.

There are also specialty gummies such wine or naturally flavored. You can also buy sour gummy bears for a unique snacking experience.

Haribo Gold Bears / Goldbären, 100 Mini Bags, 980g Tub

History Of Gummy Bears

In 1920, Hans Riegel of Bonn, Germany, became tired of his job as a confectionary worker so he started his own business. He came up with the name of his business Haribo after combining the first two letters of his first name, last name, and hometown. He began selling hard candies and his wife would deliver them by bicycle.

After a few years of owning his own business, he came up with the idea of selling soft, fruit-flavored gelatin candies that were in the shape of dancing bears. He got the idea of dancing bears as they were a common attraction at festivals in Europe. Though Riegel did not invent gummy candy, he was the first person to make gummy bears.

The business quickly blossomed and after his death in 1945, his sons Hans Jr. and Paul took over the company. The first gummy bears were taller with an appearance more similar to real bears.

In the 1960s, Haribo began mass-producing their gummy bears all across Europe. They weren’t popular in America until the 1970s. German teachers would share them with their students as part of German cuisine and servicemen would bring them back to share with their family and friends.

Vegan-Friendly Gummy Bears

Since gummy bears are not vegan-friendly, certain companies are making a vegan-friendly option that does not use gelatin. In place of gelatin, they typically use Agar-Agar powder, which comes from red algae. Agar-Agar powder creates a natural gummy consistency that gives these popular candies a wonderful texture.

In addition to Agar-Agar powder, they often contain natural fruit flavorings along with sugar or a sweetener. Common sweeteners include agave, stevia, or maple.

No More Wondering What Are Gummy Bears Made Out Of

Most gummy bears will contain ingredients such as sugar, glucose syrup, artificial and natural flavorings, food coloring, starch, citric acid, and gelatin. However, the exact ingredients found in these tasty candies will vary by brand. The most popular flavors available in grocery stores are raspberry, orange, strawberry,  pineapple, and lemon, though there are many other flavors available.

Traditional gummy bears are not vegan or vegetarian-friendly due to the fact they contain gelatin. Gelatin comes from collagen, which comes from boiling cow or pig bones, skin, or cartilage. For vegan options, Agar-Agar powder replaces the use of gelatin.

Do you have any questions regarding what are gummy bears made out of? If so, please ask any questions regarding the ingredients of gummy bears in the comment section below.

Learn more about How To Make Fake Candy Decorations.

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