Gummy machines are used by pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce batches of gummy products that can range from classic candies to modern vitamins and supplements. Unlike a tablet, capsule, or soft gel, gummies offer a sweet and chewable alternative that many consumers find tastier and more convenient.
As with many other pharmaceutical products, gummies require specific equipment and machinery to produce at scale. This includes components like a cooking machine, depositor, high-quality molds, and cooling equipment along with finishing and packaging solutions.
Gummies are typically made using the following ingredients:
Gelatin is the most common base ingredient for gummy products and gives them their soft, chewy, yet solid “gel” texture. Some manufacturers may use a non-animal-derived alternative to offer a vegan option for a gelling agent. The most common vegan alternative is pectin, which offers a slightly softer chew than gelatin.
Water is another standard base ingredient for gummies. It keeps the gummies moist and chewable and prevents them from drying out. However, it is important to balance water activity levels to preserve shelf life and prevent early expiration.
Sugar or a lower-calorie sweetener gives gummies their palatable and enjoyable taste. Other alternatives like stevia or monk fruit can help reduce the carbohydrate content but often involve different melting point settings from sugar.
Dyes and flavorings are optional but can enhance the taste and appearance of a gummy product. Gummies can be produced in a range of colors and flavors or in a single variety.
Citric acid is an important ingredient for balancing the pH of the gummy formula. This helps ensure a stable mixture that will retain its properties throughout the product life cycle.
Gummy coatings can enhance the taste, texture, and appearance of a gummy. These are completely optional, but many manufacturers prefer to include them. Two typical types of coating are sugar granules and tapioca starch.
Unlike candies, gummy vitamins and supplements will contain some sort of active ingredient that provides a medicinal or therapeutic benefit. Though these ingredients are technically optional, they are necessary to distinguish pharmaceutical products from candies.
Gummy machines are used to mass-produce product units in a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. They are designed for generating large batches at a single time where they are mixed, deposited, and dried.
“Small” batch size for gummies would be around 15,000-20,000 gummies. This can also exceed hundreds of thousands if the equipment is able to handle the demand.
The gummy manufacturing process contains three steps: Cooking, Depositing and Cooling, and Coating and Quality Control.
Whether candies or pharmaceuticals, all gummies begin at the cooking phase. Ingredients are placed in a preheated kettle where they are cooked to their desired temperature.
The kettle’s temperature settings have a direct impact on the final properties of the gummies themselves. Be sure to double-check your settings before you begin the cooking phase to ensure that the final product matches your intention.
Cooking the ingredients in the kettle results in a liquid mixture that is known as a slurry. Once it reaches its intended temperature, the slurry is removed and enters a mixing tank where it is stored before depositing into molds. During this step, other ingredients are added such as citric acid, color, flavor, and active ingredients.
After cooking has finished, the slurry is transferred through heated pipes. It arrives at a hopper attached to the depositor where a precise portion of the slurry will be placed into the molds, which are pre-chilled and sprayed with oil to prevent sticking.
After this portion of the second phase has been completed, the molds are sent through a chilling tunnel to rapidly cool the product and allow it to set before the gummies are ejected from the molds and placed on drying trays.
As the gummies dry, manufacturers can elect to add an optional coating using a gummy coating machine. If not, the quality control phase begins. This important final step ensures that gummies are in the proper condition to package and distribute to retail locations.
Quality control can involve multiple steps, such as verifying bottle counts and ingredient standards. However, the most important aspect is measuring the proper water activity using a water activity meter.
Too high or too low of water activity can spoil the product in a variety of ways. These range from an unpalatable texture to premature expiration or microbial growth.
At Gummy Tech, we combine decades of pharmaceutical engineering experience to create the finest gummy manufacturing machines on the market today. To find out which one of our products is right for your business’s production needs, contact us today to speak with one of our gummy experts.