A new approach to fortified gummy production

Gelita, Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen (WDS) and Hänsel Processing have joined forces to develop a novel processing method for fortified gelatin gummies.

The so called ‘fast forward process’ is a starch-free process that is said to avoid starch-based cross-contamination and reduces the production time of gelatin gummies from 24 hours to one hour or less. Instead of using traditional starch trays, the production method uses reusable silicone moulds and provides a cleaner working environment.

The advantage of the currently used mogul lines is its flexibility. By changing the stamp, various shape and size variations are possible, and the processing method enables companies to adapt quickly to current trends and consumer demands. However, when it comes to producing fortified gummies, other priorities dominate. Product safety and hygiene is paramount.

A key problem when bringing active ingredients into the formulation is starch-based cross-contamination. This could only be avoided by replacing the starch during each changeover. However, this would be an almost impossible effort and would exceed all reasonable costs, Gelita says. For each mogul machine tray, 5-6kg of starch is used. A regular mogul line can process around 30 trays per minute, which adds up to 10.8 tons of starch per hour. This means that on one day alone, almost 260 tons of starch are used on a regular mogul line.

With traditional manufacturing method, the drying time for gummy candies is around 24 hours, sometimes even 48 hours. The gummies have to remain in the starch trays to set, lose moisture and obtain the required texture for demolding. As a consequence, large storage facilities with controlled temperature and humidity are an absolute necessity.

To overcome the challenges of cross-contamination and time, starch-free production offers a solution, Gelita says, adding that the approach is already working well with gelling agents such as pectin or carrageenan. However, these products don’t provide the required texture and chewiness that can be achieved with gelatin.

Dr Margarethe Plotkowiak from Gelita, says, “Fast Forward Process technology reduces the time required to make a gummy to a fraction of the standard starch mogul system while immensely improving the hygiene required for the new developments. Our new high speed setting solution allows for almost immediate demolding and marks the beginning of a new era in gelatin gummy production.”

The new technology is tailored to the requirement of quick demolding, resulting in an innovative gummy formulation from Gelita, a novel cooking process adjusted to this new recipe and requirements developed by Hänsel and a new depositing line from WDS to handle the depositing masses successfully.

The combination of these three elements shortens the gelatin gummy manufacturing time up to the moment of demolding from one day to less than two hours. In addition, lengthy drying times in the tray are no longer required. The new process only requires some hundreds of reusable silicone moulds, compared to tens of thousands of starch trays previously. This subsequently leads to savings in energy costs and labour, while production space can also be minimised.

In addition, the absence of starch significantly reduces material handling and avoids dust, residues or cross-contamination when using different fortifications such as vitamins, minerals or other active ingredients in the formulation.

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