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Ingredient Options for Gummies without Gelatin

Consumers can find gelatin across many different types of products on store shelves, including foods and personal care goods. It is also used by pharmaceutical manufacturers as the most common base ingredient for gummies. 

As demand for vegan and vegetarian products increases, you may be wondering how you can provide a plant-based alternative to your customers. Fortunately, there are many types of gelatin substitutes that you can use in its place. 

Today, we’re going to review some common gelatin substitutes, their properties, and note any adjustments to your manufacturing process you might have to account for. 

But First, Let’s Establish Some Facts About Gelatin 

Before we can discuss gelatin substitutes, it’s important to first review some key traits about gelatin itself. This will provide us a benchmark we can use to compare alternatives. 


Gelatin is an animal byproduct commonly made from cow or pig bones, but it can also be made from other animals like chickens and goats. It is an inactive ingredient that acts as a carrier for flavors and active ingredients, such as vitamins or other added supplements. 

Made of collagen, gelatin is created by boiling animal body parts and is most commonly produced in sheets. It is used in many foods to create a squishy, soft texture and can be easily digested by humans. 

Temperature Facts 

No matter which animal it originated from, common gelatin has a melting point that can range from 89.06F to 93.56F (31.7C to 34.2C). This temperature will vary based on the animal it is sourced from and the body part used. 

Ethical Concerns 

In recent years, consumers have become more aware of ethical concerns surrounding the animal agriculture trade. For example, one research survey found the following statistics: 

  • Over 47% of individuals expressed desire to ban slaughterhouses 
  • One-third expressed desire to ban all animal agriculture practices 
  • Over two-third of respondents stated that consumers should replace a significant portion of meat in their diet with plant-based alternatives. 

Because gelatin requires the killing of an animal and then boiling parts of its body, it raises many issues for people who share these values. As such, many who are looking to remove aspects of animal agriculture from their purchasing behavior may avoid products made of gelatin. 

Similarly, religious or cultural diet restrictions may prevent other consumers from consuming gelatin. For example, both Jewish and Muslim laws prevent adherents from eating pork, and people of the Hindu faith do not eat beef. Because most manufacturers do not specify the type of gelatin they use, it may be easier for many to avoid the ingredient altogether. 

Base Ingredients for Gummies without Gelatin 

Agar Agar 

Agar is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless plant-based ingredient with a similar consistency to gelatin. However, agar is noticeably firmer than gelatin and has a higher melting point at around 185F (85C). 


Also commonly called Irish moss, carrageenan is derived from seaweed and used as a common gelatin substitute. Unlike Agar, it has a softer consistency than common gelatin. It melts at about 122-158F (50-70C). 


Most commonly taken from the skins of citrus fruits, pectin is a plant-based gelling agent that is also widely used in many foods and candies. However, unlike gelatin, gummies made with pectin will have more of a jelly or gumdrop-like consistency. It has a much higher melting point than gelatin at about 288-291F (142-144C). 

Important Factors to Consider 

When using a gelatin substitute, there are some key factors to consider that may affect the manufacturing process. Chief among these are: 


Not every gelatin substitute will be a perfect 1:1 swap with gelatin in your formula. This may necessitate adjusting the amount of your new base ingredient required to produce gummies at the volume you require. 


Temperatures, especially during the cooking phase, will directly affect the finished product’s qualities. Each gummy base will require different temperatures when manufacturing. This must be accounted for if you wish to produce a plant-based gummy as similar to a gelatin-based one as possible. 


The cooking process is mostly the same when using agar agar or carrageenan, but has some significant differences when using pectin. Generally, the kitchen purchased with a gummy machine should be tailored to the kind of gelling agent that will be used.. Other than this, you should follow the same manufacturing and quality control practices that have resulted in successful gelatin-based gummies.

For more information on gummy vitamin manufacturing, check out our ultimate guide

Make Better Gummies without Gelatin

Manufacturing a great gummy pharmaceutical starts with the right equipment. To learn more about the best solution for your facility, view our selection of industry-leading gummy manufacturing equipment or contact us anytime for more information.