Manufacturing packaged consumable goods requires precision, consistency, and excellent quality control. Not only will this help protect the consumer against potentially contaminated products, but it can also help maintain your business’s excellent reputation.
For gummy vitamin manufacturers, there are several quality control concerns unique to the product category. Effectively managing these concerns ensures the production of gummies that are safe, taste great, and are perfectly consistent from unit to unit.
If your team is setting up a new or expanded gummy production line, here are the top five quality control issues to watch for.
You have an intended taste in mind for your gummy products. Consistent production practices and careful quality control are required to maintain this taste across different batches.
If products come out of your production line with an odd or undesired flavor, this indicates that your ingredients ratios could be improved. For example, you may need to increase or decrease the amount of sweetener or flavoring agent in the formula.
Taste problems can often be fixed by adjusting your recipe. Keep in mind that if you’re using a non-sugar sweetener, this product will not always be interchangeable with sugar on a 1-to-1 ratio. More or less sweetener may be required in comparison to a recipe that calls for sugar or a different type of sweetener.
A faulty seal is a death sentence for a package of gummies. The water content plus long-term exposure to oxygen can encourage premature expiration or microbial growth.
To ensure safe, consistent sealing, use high-quality containers and equipment and maintain close monitoring of your production line’s sealing phase.
Sealing methods depend on the form of packaging you use. For example, for sealing plastic bottles, you can use an induction sealer and a capping machine. Induction sealers typically add a thermoplastic seal over the bottle’s opening. The seal is then topped with a cap by a capping machine.
Moisture is a necessary component of gummies, but too much moisture can allow bacterial growth and reduce a product’s shelf life.
To maintain optimal and consistent moisture content, gummy manufacturers measure water activity levels with a handheld water activity meter. These tools produce measurements in units of aw. The ideal aw range for gummies is typically between 0.55 and 0.70.
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Unit weight should be nearly identical across packages and batches. If your production line is creating inconsistent weights, this could indicate a variety of minor mechanical issues.
To improve quality control of product weight, use a high-quality inline check weigher. These machines provide precise measurements and let your team know when any deviation from your reference weight occurs.
Each gummy should present a smooth surface and a pleasantly chewy texture. If you notice texture problems, one of the following production issues may be present.
Precise temperature control is required for gummy production.
The most common base ingredient for gummies is gelatin, with a melting point range of 31.7-34.2°C. If you use a plant-based gelatin alternative, you’ll need to adjust your temperature settings to that product’s melting point.
Miscalculated ingredient ratios are a common hangup, especially during the research and development phases. For example, using too much gelatin may result in a tough, overly-chewy texture.
If your gummy texture isn’t quite right, revisit your ingredient ratios. Adjusting the percentages of each ingredient can help you refine your recipe until the perfect mix is achieved.
Molds are used to determine the shape of gummy units. Sometimes, gummies stick to their molds. This can tear apart the products and slow down production lines.
To avoid sticking, use high-quality molds that are sprayed with anti-sticking oils designed for gummy manufacturing. Learn more about The Importance of High-Quality Gummy Molds in our recent blog post.
Some gummy manufacturers add an extra layer of coating to their products. Coatings can be used to improve taste and texture, prevent gummies from sticking together, and control moisture.
If your gummy coatings are appearing asymmetrical or uneven, your equipment might not be functioning properly. Professional gummy coating equipment designed specifically for gummies is needed to ensure consistent results.
Gummy Tech is a division of CapPlus Technologies, a leading provider of pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment.
At Gummy Tech, we leverage decades of manufacturing expertise to provide innovative solutions for the rapidly-expanding gummy industry. All of our solutions are designed, tested, and produced in-house by our team of engineers in Phoenix, AZ.
To learn more about Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Gummy Processing Equipment, contact our team of experts today.