Prevent Gummies from Sticking During Manufacturing
Keeping gummy vitamins from sticking together can help remove operational headaches and potential loss of profit from your manufacturing cycle. By following a few best practices and using the right equipment, this can be achieved on a recurring basis at nearly any production scale.
Today, we are going to discuss some ways that you can prevent your gummy vitamin and supplement products from sticking together. First, let’s explore why your gummies might be sticking in the first place.
Why Are My Gummy Vitamins Sticking?
There are a number of reasons for gummy vitamins possibly sticking together during the manufacturing process. Some common causes can include:
Gummies that have the wrong ratio of sugar and glucose syrup could potentially stick together. This is often due to an excessive amount of either ingredient in the gummy formula. The easiest way to correct this is by balancing the ratios to prevent this.
Too Much Water Activity
Water activity (measured as aW on a water activity meter) directly affects the properties of a finished gummy product. If the water activity is too high, this can give the gummies a wetter and slippery texture. As they sit in a package, this could cause them to stick together.
During the quality control phase, it is important to always check the water activity levels. Beyond a potentially sticky gummy, high water activity can also lead to shorter shelf life, microbial growth, and an undesirable texture.
Improper Storage Methods
As a general best practice, gummy vitamins should be stored in a cool and dry place. If they are placed in a storage area that is too hot or humid, the product could soften and become stickier over time. Depending on the ingredients in the product and the degree of humidity they were exposed to, formulas could become destabilized to a point where reversal isn’t possible. It is also important to remember just how heavy gummies are. It is best to store them in small containers so the gummies on the bottom aren’t being squished by too many more gummies on the top.
Temperature Settings During Manufacturing
As with water activity, temperature settings have a direct impact on the gummy’s final properties. Depending on the ingredients used in your manufacturing properties, they could require different cooking and chilling points compared to “standard” materials like gelatin, pectin, and sugar. If these temperature differences are not accounted for and the equipment is not adjusted to compensate, the gummy may not be provided adequate time to cool before it is packaged.
Packaging that is improperly sealed or closed can allow environmental heat and moisture to enter the container. This can cause the gummies to “sweat” within their packages and stick together.
Best Practices for Keeping Gummy Vitamins from Sticking Together
Familiarize Yourself with Ingredient Melting and Freezing Points
Gummy manufacturers may opt for a non-gelatin gummy base to offer consumers a vegan option. Sugar substitutes like stevia can also help reduce or eliminate sugars in the product. However, with alternatives like these, melting and freezing points will vary.
When you are sourcing ingredients, refer to any literature or ask your supplier about melting and freezing points. This will help you calibrate your system’s temperature settings to ensure that these components are properly melted and cooled during production.
Use Professional-Grade Systems
High-quality gummy machines should offer a complete range of user controls to allow you to appropriately adjust temperature settings through each phase of the production cycle to prevent improper melting and freezing from impacting product quality.
Consider Adding a Gummy Coating
Gummy coatings like wax and cornstarch are intended to prevent gummies from sticking together. These coatings can be added after the gummies have cooled, dried, and have been removed from their molds. When used in conservative amounts, neither ingredient will not have a noticeable effect on taste or consistency.
Measure for Water Activity During Quality Control
Water activity meters allow you to measure the aW of a batch or specific gummy unit in a matter of minutes. This can allow your quality control team to identify any defective product so that the source of the issue can be traced and resolved before further unusable batches are made.
Use High-Quality Packaging Machines
Professional-grade packaging machines can redundantly close and seal containers at large volumes. This ensures that all packages are appropriately secured before shipping them to store shelves.
Store Gummies in a Humidity-Controlled Environment
Storing gummies in a cool, dry, and climate-controlled space prevents environmental threats like heat and humidity from compromising product integrity. Humidity control also offers other additional benefits like reducing incurred losses from spoiled units and greater consumer trust.
Find a Shipping Partner with Temperature-Controlled Transportation
If your business contracts with shipping providers to distribute your products, look for one that offers climate-controlled transportation vehicles. A temperature-regulated cabin prevents your gummies from exposure to unnecessary threats from heat or humidity as they travel from your facility to retail locations.
Get Professional-Grade Gummy Equipment Today
From production to coating, packaging, quality control, and even custom molds, our team at CapPlus connects pharmaceutical manufacturers with the highest grade equipment possible. To learn more about finding the right solution for your needs, contact us anytime.