Gummy Candies: Origins
Gummy candies were first introduced by German company Haribo in 1922. Their initial shape was the dancing bear, an ancestor to today's popular Gummy Bear. These chewy treats were inspired by earlier fruit gum candies.
The Gummy Formula
Gummies are made from a mixture of sugar, glucose syrup, starch, flavoring, food coloring, citric acid, and gelatin. Gelatin, a substance derived from animal collagen, gives gummies their unique chewy texture.
Global Gummy Variations
Gummy candies vary globally. In Japan, gummies often incorporate local flavors like lychee or green tea. The United States favors gummy worms and bears, while Europe enjoys a broader array of shapes, including cars and other objects.
Vegan Gummy Alternatives
Traditional gummies use gelatin, but vegan alternatives utilize pectin or starches derived from fruits and vegetables. These plant-based options cater to dietary restrictions while maintaining the candy's beloved chewiness.
Beyond snacks, gummy candies have evolved into vitamin supplements and medicines, offering an enjoyable way to consume beneficial compounds. Adult gummies have gained popularity, containing everything from melatonin to CBD.
Gummies in Science
Gummies have even been used in scientific studies to aid in medication adherence for children and to develop new delivery systems for drugs, utilizing the candy's appealing taste and texture to encourage proper dosage.
Gummy candies' popularity has environmental implications. Gelatin production is resource-intensive, and gummies often contain non-biodegradable ingredients like plasticizers. Eco-conscious companies are exploring more sustainable manufacturing processes.