Welch's uses pork or beef gelatin for its fruit snacks, depending on product availability. The company also uses pectin to make its jellies, jams and spreads.
Gelatin is a protein boiled out of the skins, cartilage and bones of animals, like cows and pigs. This gel-like substance is mostly clear with a yellow tinge and almost no taste. Gelatin is used by Welch's for its fruit snacks because it helps give the snacks a firm yet gummy texture. It does not impart any animal flavor to the snacks. This protein only needs to be left alone in a cool environment to set; no added ingredients are necessary.
Welch's also uses pectin, which is a plant-based carbohydrate, in other products like its jams. The type of pectin used is derived from apples or citrus peel. Pectin gels and firms up, but it does not hold together the way gelatin does. Additionally, pectin requires added ingredients, namely sugar and an acid, to activate. The high sugar content may alter the flavor of any food that pectin is used in. As a result, pectin is found in many high-sugar foods. Gelatin may also be found in sugary or savory foods like cheese, yogurt, soup, marshmallows and frosting.