Gummies sticking together can quickly become one of the most frustrating operational headaches in pharmaceutical manufacturing. In many cases, they cannot be separated without damaging the individual product units.
Stuck gummies can result in product and revenue loss as well as a loss in momentum. However, with some adjustments, this issue can be corrected and you can continue progressing with your production operations.
First, let’s discuss what could be causing your gummies to stick together:
Sweeteners like sugar and glucose syrup can create a sticky situation for your gummies if too much is added during the cooking phase. As the gummies dry, the excessive amount of sweetener can become stickier and cause individual units to bond together before they are ready to be packaged.
If the sweeteners are to blame, this can be corrected by readjusting the ratio of sugar or glucose to the rest of the ingredients in your formula. It may also require a reexamination of the temperature settings for your preheating kettle or storage tank.
Additionally, non-gelatin substitutes for the gummy’s base could also result in a stickier consistency. Common substitutes like pectin may have different melting points and require that you adjust the heated components of the machinery accordingly.
The water activity (measured as aW on a water activity meter) has an immediate impact on the final characteristics of a gummy product. If the water activity is too great, the gummies will have a wetter consistency and a more slippery texture. This might cause them to stick together after being packaged in their container.
During quality control, measure the gummies’ levels with an aW meter. This handheld device is easily portable and can provide an accurate read within a few minutes. You can swiftly identify any water activity issues and take steps to correct them before the rest of the batch is compromised.
Packaged gummy products need to be stored in a cool, dry place free of environmental moisture. A space with too high of a temperature or humidity level could cause the gummies in the container to soften and stick together over time.
In some cases, this can be corrected and the package can be resealed. However, certain ingredients may destabilize past the point of saving.
Combined with where and how the gummies are stored, the packaging itself could also contribute to stickiness issues. Improper sealing could result in moisture breaching the interior of the container, softening the units inside, and causing them to stick.
Softer packaging mediums like cartons and bags can also create a situation that encourages stickiness. For example, boxes of units stacked on top of each other could create too much weight and place more pressure on the ones at the bottom. This could cause the gummies further down to be compressed together.
The melting and freezing points of your ingredients will influence the final properties of your gummies. If they are not accurately accounted for during production, this could result in a stickier consistency that increases the risk of product loss.
If you are planning to use alternative or nonstandard ingredients for your gummies, ask the supplier about their melting points. This will provide you with a stronger foundation to start manufacturing your gummies with greater confidence and a minimized risk of them sticking together.
A gummy coating can provide additional friction between individual units and discourage them from sticking together. A powder coating like tapioca starch will create a drier outer surface that can also help defend against potential exposure to environmental moisture in storage.
Gummies should be stored in a cool, dry, and temperature-controlled area to avoid environmental dangers like heat and humidity from damaging the product. Humidity control also has several more advantages, such as lowering spoilage chances and improved consumer trust.
Look for a shipping company that uses climate-controlled transportation vehicles if your business hires courier services to deliver its items. As your gummies travel from your factory to store locations, they are kept cool and protected thanks to their temperature-regulated cabin.
Using high-performance gummy manufacturing equipment plays an instrumental role in your production operations, resulting in a quality finished product that you can distribute with confidence.
At Gummy Tech, we provide a complete range of the most innovative gummy manufacturing solutions on the market. To learn more about how you can improve your product quality today, contact us to speak with someone from our team.