Battle of the Gummies: Pectin vs. Gelatin


As the sunny days of the warmer months stretch on well into fall, the high temperatures might make customers second guess that chocolate bar purchase.

The best warm weather bet for sweet treats? Gummies!

Gummies really stand up to the heat (see below for the science behind it).

Showcasing a wide variety of sweet (or sour), chewy gummies in a prominent location in your shop for the warmer months is a great way to help increase impulse sales. Innovation and creativity are driving new products into the market and customers are eating it all up!

The non-chocolate chewy candy market is growing. The National Confectioners Association reports that sales of the chewy candy category increased by 4.1% year over with sales over $2,164,000,000 for the year ending 2017. 1

It seems every customer has their own nostalgic favorite—gummy bears, sour worms, fruit slices— and each of these have different textures and eating experiences. As customers reach for all things gummy this season, you can wow them with some sweet science facts about what makes each type distinctive.

Read on to learn more and explore the characteristics that make pectin and gelatin gummies so unique.

Gelatin gummies — elastic and chewy.37694_D1

The gelling agent, gelatin, is pure protein.

Gelatin creates relatively strong gels that are formed via protein strand associations which tangle and link together to form strong junctions.

That lends the product sturdy stretch but also a quality called thermoreversibility. That means that in high temperatures, the gel reverses and the product becomes liquid. Cool it down, and the product re-gels.

Leave a bag of gummies in a car on a really hot day, and you’ll experience the meltdown

Did you know: gelatin is derived from animal connective tissue? It is created with proteins extracted from skin or bone. So, your vegan and vegetarian customers may ask for gummy alternatives. Perhaps you can satisfy their gummy urge with pectin gummies.

Pectin gummies – softer chew, more tender bite.21825_D1

  • Fruit gems
  • Jelly beans
  • Surf Sweets organic fruity bears

Defining textural characteristics are a more tender, soft bite, but a much shorter, brittle product than gelatin gummies (in layman’s terms –  not as much stretch).

Pectin is a carbohydrate called a polysaccharide that is present in the skin of fruits and vegetables, and most commercial pectin is sourced from apple or citrus. See, it’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

While gelatin creates a pure protein gel, pectin gels are technically labeled as a jelly.

Instead of those junction points that define a gel, polysaccharide jellies are extremely thickened solutions turned solid.

Here’s the science behind Pectin:

There are two types of pectin identified by extra side chains that hang off of the main polysaccharide chain. You can either have a lot of these (high methoxyl), or not many (low methoxyl), and the quantity determines how the ingredient works.

The vast majority of pectin candies use high methoxyl pectin because its gelling is created through high sugar, high acid environments (the perfect storm in gummy candies).

Bonus: pectin generally creates a fast flavor release which makes for a great showcase for the candymaker.

And, Pectin is “hot car safe”.

Products made from this high methoxyl pectin are not thermoreversible and do not melt in higher temperatures. Perfect warm weather sweet treat!

How can you tell which is which?

Pectin and gelatin generate different types of gummies based on how they work. Stretchy gummy worms? Gelatin’s giving you that strength. Short, fast flavorful jelly beans? 2596_D2Pectin’s at work.

So, which one wins the battle? We do! We get endless possibilities of flavor, color, shape, and texture combinations for chewy candy.  Whichever is your customer’s preference, Nassau Candy is the one-stop shop for everything gummy.




2 responses to “Battle of the Gummies: Pectin vs. Gelatin”

  1. primrose barnes Avatar
    primrose barnes

    I try to log in but my pass word won’t wk and I really need to get intuch with your company on line to see price to purchase candys

    1. Nassau Candy Avatar
      Nassau Candy

      Hi, thanks for contacting us. It seems you have not registered as a customer. In order to view prices you must be an approved Nassau Candy customer. Please register here:

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