How Are Gummy Bears Made?


Quick Answer

Gummy bears and other gummy candies are made from a mixture of gelatin, sweeteners, water, flavorings and colorings, which are heated together until melted and fully mixed. This thickened mixture is then poured into molds and allowed to harden to form the finished gummy bears.

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Full Answer

Before the hot liquid gummy mixture is poured into the molds, the molds are lined with cornstarch to prevent the candies from sticking. After the candies have cooled and hardened for 24 hours, they are removed from the molds and then mixed with a small amount of oil in a tumbler. This makes the finished candies shiny and keeps them from sticking together in the package.

Gummy candies are made in giant batches, each consisting of many thousands of individual candies. Depending on the manufacturer, the recipes used can be quite different, especially when it comes to the colorings and flavorings. Some of the common flavoring agents include citric acid, fruit juices and a number of different chemical agents; corn syrup and sugar are typically used as sweeteners.

Although gummy candies weren't introduced to the United States until the 1980s, they were actually invented in the 1920s by German candy maker Hans Riegel. Riegel was the founder of the famous Haribo candy company, which is still the world's largest producer of gummy candies as of 2014. The name "gummy" comes from the fact that Riegel originally used gum arabica to provide the chewy texture, although nearly all gummy candies are now made with gelatin instead.

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