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< prev - next > Food processing Snack foods Gum Sweets (Printable PDF)
1. Introduction
Gum Sweets include any confectionary
containing an animal or vegetable collagen
agent. This agent gives the sweets a uniquely
springy, gummy texture, whereby they
immediately regain their shape after being
squeezed between finger and thumb.
The gums should be transparent and stable,
meaning that their moistness should be well
balanced. This of course depends on their
surroundings and how they are stored.
They are generally very stable sweets, with a
relative humidity balance of 75–85%.
A wide variety of gelling agents can be used, although the most common are: gum arabic,
gelatine, agar-agar, pectin, and modified starches known as penetroses.
Table 1 (below) outlines the characteristics of different gelling agents, and their sensitivity to
atmospheric heat and acidity.
As shown in the table, most gelling agents are heat-sensitive. They must therefore be added
lastly, in order that their gelling capacity is not compromised by hydrolysis or heat damage.
Exposure to direct flame must be avoided at all costs, due to the products’ tendency to stick to
the walls of the mixing container and burn or caramelise.
Table 1 : Characteristics of gelling agents
Gelling agent
Amount used (as a Resulting influence
percentage of total upon the nature of the
To heat
To acidity
Gum arabic
8 - 12%
1 - 2.5%
1.5 - 2.5%
50 - 60%
8 - 12%
Gummy (springy)
Small and tender
Various influences
Very strict pH
2. Gelatine-based gums
For these products the gelling agent used is gelatine extracted from animal bones, cartilage and
tendons, available nowadays in pure form.
The moisture content for commercial gelatine is approximately 10%. It is made up of amino
acids, the constituent of all proteins.
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