Gummi bear

A Gummi bear (sometimes spelled gummy bear) is a small, rubbery-textured confectionery, roughly two centimetres long, shaped in the form of a bear.


The success of Gummi Bears has spawned many gummi animals and objects: worms, frogs, hamburgers, cherries, cola bottles, sharks, hippos, lobsters, octopuses, apples, peaches, oranges, and even Ampelmännchen and Smurfs.


The Gummi Bear originates from Germany where it is popular under the name (rubber bear) or (little rubber bear). Hans Riegel of Bonn invented bear-shaped sweets and started the Haribo company in 1922, which produced and introduced its Gold-Bear product in the 1960s. Trolli is another gummi candy manufacturer and the first to introduce gummi worms in 1981.


The traditional Gummi Bear is made from sugar, glucose syrup, starch, flavouring, food coloring, citric acid, and gelatin. There are some Gummi Bears made with pectin or starch instead of gelatin, making them suitable for vegans.

Gummi bears made with either bovine or porcine gelatine are not suitable for vegetarians and do not conform to kashrut or halal dietary laws. Those with bovine gelatine are not suitable for Hindus.

Large sour bears are larger and flatter than Gummi Bears, have a softer texture, and include fumaric acid or other acid ingredients to produce a sour flavor. Some manufacturers produce sour bears with a different texture, based on starch instead of gelatin. Typically, starch produces a shorter (cleaner bite, less chewy) texture than gelatin.

Health issues

Gummi bears ordinarily contain mostly empty calories, but recently gummi bears containing vitamin C, produced by manufacturers such as Bear Essentials, are being marketed to parents of young children. Multivitamins have also been produced in the form of gummi bears to motivate consumption by young, picky eaters.

Gummi bears, and other gummi candy, stick to teeth and may cause tooth decay. However, gummi bears containing the cavity-fighting additive xylitol (wood sugar) are now being tested.

There has been concern that gelatin, in most gummi bears, may harbor prions. Prions are misshapen proteins that cause BSE / Mad Cow Disease in cattle and CJD in humans. Based on studies, the United States FDA and other national organizations and countries consider the risk of BSE transmission through gelatin to be minuscule as long as precautions are followed during manufacturing .


In the United States, Haribo gummi bears come in raspberry (red), orange, strawberry (green), pineapple (clear), and lemon (yellow), however, many offshoot companies (typically the vegan or health-related gummi bears) use more exotic flavors and colors.

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