The popular keto diet focuses on minimizing the intake of carbohydrates in favor of high fat and moderate protein to help lose weight. Some products that are manufactured for this consumer base are also popular with other people who are simply looking for less-sugary or low-carb alternatives to some of their favorite snacks.
Due to a growing demand for keto products, pharmaceutical gummy manufacturers may be looking for alternative sweeteners to sugar in order to offer a more “keto-friendly” option.
If your business is looking to scale its gummy production further by offering a sugar-free alternative, this guide is for you. We’re going to cover some alternative sweeteners that you can consider adding to your products in place of natural or processed sugar.
However, before we begin reviewing different sweetener options for your gummies, we do need to include an important disclaimer. GummyTech and our parent company, CapPlus Technologies, do not endorse or advocate for a keto lifestyle, nor do we condemn it. This article is meant to be an unbiased and neutral resource.
Stevia leaf extract is a natural and calorieless sweetener sourced from the stevia plant. With a melting point of approximately 198 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be used as a standalone sweetener or as a way to cut the amount of sugar in a product.
A plant-based sugar alcohol, erythritol is known for its similarity to sugar in taste but with significantly fewer calories. While it does taste rather similar to sugar, it does not affect blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels – making it safe for many experiencing sugar-sensitive health conditions.
Among other sweeteners on this list, erythritol has the highest melting point. It requires a temperature of slightly over 240 degrees Fahrenheit to melt.
Like erythritol, xylitol is another plant-based sugar alcohol that also offers a remarkably sugary flavor without nearly as many calories. Sourced from corn and birch trees, it metals at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This sweetener is also highly toxic to dogs and should be kept away from them.
Similar to stevia, monk fruit extract is another plant-based sugar alternative that has gained its fair share of popularity. It is widely considered a safe sweetener and friendly to many who have dietary concerns or restrictions. You can use it across a wide range of different types of gummy vitamins and supplements.
Because these alternative sweeteners have different melting points than sugar, you will have to make the necessary adjustments to your gummy production equipment to account for these. Sugar usually melts at much higher temperatures than alternative sweeteners, which could mean that it will also take more time for the other ingredients in the slurry to melt as well.
Most gummy formulas are designed with sugar in mind. The ingredients used are all generally compatible with it. However, if you are using another sweetener, these same ingredients may not mix well with it.
Conduct your research into ingredient compatibility before ordering your materials in bulk. For example, you may decide you need to use another coating, coloring, or flavor agent to ensure a quality finished product.
Because many sugar alternatives are actually more sweet than sugar, you should account for this by adjusting your ingredient ratios ahead of full-scale production. Research your desired sweetener’s dose equivalence to sugar and create a few small test batches to make sure that you have arrived at your desired taste.
A pharmaceutical-grade water activity meter measures the water activity levels in your gummies to identify if they are too high, low, or just where they need to be. If water activity reads too high, this could indicate multiple quality concerns such as premature expiration, microbial growth, and health and safety risks for consumers.
A professional water activity meter can provide an accurate reading within minutes. This enables your quality control team to respond to any batch concerns with more agility and certainty than previously possible.
At GummyTech, our engineers are committed to outfitting your pharmaceutical manufacturing business with the highest-performing gummy production equipment possible. We innovate each of our designs with your team in mind and value quality and consistency as much as you do for your business.
If you are looking to expand your product line to include gummy vitamins and supplements, contact us today to speak with someone from our team.