Getting a Feel for Things
Texture is another important—and potentially vexing—consideration in gummy formulation. As Brown explains, gummy texture comes mainly from the colloidal base, but in the case of gelatin gummies in particular, some ingredients can compromise the base structure.
Consider calcium, which reduces the gelatin base’s water content. Switching to a plant base, Brown says, resolves the issue.
“To prevent crosslinking from impacting gummy stability and texture,” he continues, “more gelling agent is used to maintain the bond’s strength.”
And opting for micro-ionized forms of some nutritional ingredients, when available, can head off any grittiness in the mouthfeel while at the same time helping to address possible flavor and nutrient-loading issues.
What about those nutritionals themselves: How well does the gummy matrix protect and preserve vulnerable or highly labile nutrients?
“Gummies are an excellent protective medium for most nutritional ingredients,” Brown says. “Absorption is similar to other delivery systems.”
Nevertheless, gummy production involves complex temperature, humidity, and pH conditions that Brown says “require careful stewardship of ingredients.”
Probiotics can suffer especially “as most strains don’t hold up to this type of process,” Brown says. In response, Sirio developed a proprietary probiotic process that ensures their survival and potency in the finished gummy. They’ve even devoted an entire facility to the process, he says.
Finally, manufacturers can’t get into the gummy game without taking clean labeling into account. “Consumers have expressed a clear preference for uncompromising clean, natural ingredients with full transparency,” Brown says.
Thus, his company offers plant-based, low-sugar, and no-sugar versions of its gummies with comparable taste to traditional offerings. “We readily choose natural materials for all aspects of production, so clean label is part of our DNA,” he says.
In fact, he thinks going clean makes gummy production less complicated. Given the dynamic state of the gummy supplement market, that’s good news for all involved.
- Transparency Market Research. "Gummy Vitamins Market (Product - Single Vitamin (Biotin, Omega & DHA, Vitamin C, CoQ10, Vitamin D, Melatonin, and High-fiber Formulas) and Multivitamins; Age Group - Children and Adults) Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2017 - 2025." October 2017. Accessed at: www.transparencymarketresearch.com/gummy-vitamins-market.html