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Do Gummies Go Bad? A Quality Control Guide

Make Sure Your Gummy Products Remain Fresh and Safe to Consume

As a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, you may have encountered a popular myth that gummies do not go bad. 

Like any other product that contains water in its formula, gummies do have a shelf life. Without proper quality control during the manufacturing process, this expiration date can arrive far sooner than originally intended. 

For the health and safety of your customers as well as your reputation as a manufacturer, it is important to prioritize quality control during gummy vitamin production. To help you identify warning signs that a gummy batch might have spoiled prematurely, we have compiled this guide outlining key indicators to look out for. 

Quality Control Warning Signs for Gummy Manufacturing 

1: Excessively Wet or Slippery Textures 

Depending on your manufacturing process, some gummies may have a juicier or wetter consistency. This is due to a higher level of water activity in the formula. Whether intentional or unintentional, if this level exceeds acceptable limits, this can present itself as a major warning sign for quality control. 

If a batch of gummies looks or feels too wet or slippery, this likely indicates a high water activity level. To rectify this issue, a reassessment of the ingredient ratios is necessary. 

2: Torn or Ripped Gummies 

Does the gummy look like it has been torn or ripped in parts? Look for jagged edges as well as uneven coatings that could indicate the product unit has suffered damage.  

If the gummy does look uneven, misshapen, or torn, it could mean that part of the product was sticking to its mold. Some possible causes for this could include: 

  • The mold was not sufficiently sprayed with oil before depositing 
  • The mold has a structural defect that is causing the gummies to stick 
  • The gummies are not being chilled properly in their molds 
  • The mold’s material does not contain appropriate anti-stick properties 

Instead, by using a high-quality gummy mold, you can avoid many of these issues along with practicing proper manufacturing practices. This will avoid sticking and ensure more consistently intact gummies. 

3: Discoloration 

Does the gummy appear to have more than one color unintentionally? Sometimes, this could be due to dyes accidentally being mixed in during the manufacturing process. In other cases, this could be a warning sign that microbial growth has occurred. 

Microbial growth indicates that harmful bacteria have contaminated the gummies, which can also pose a safety risk to consumers

If you are uncertain what caused the discoloration, ask the following questions: 

  • Is the gummy’s texture different at the site of the discoloration (i.e., fuzzy-looking, etc.)?
  • Is there also a foul odor coming from the discolored gummy? 
  • Does the gummy have a visible wetness or liquid surrounding it? 
  • Is the discoloration consistent (like an intentional swirl design) or splotchy? 
  • When using a water activity meter, is the level beyond acceptable limits? 

If you have answered “yes” to one or all of these questions, there is a highly possible chance that the gummy is contaminated. It should be disposed of promptly and the other units in the same batch should also be inspected for similar warning signs. 

It is important to also remember that any discoloration may not occur immediately. The contamination can happen over a short period of time. Preventing this from happening with meticulous preparation, manufacturing, and quality control processes is essential. 

4: Foul Odor 

Considering that most gummies are fruit-flavored, they often have a sweet yet faint aroma. However, as a contaminated batch degrades, they could emit a foul or rotten odor that smells the opposite of pleasant. 

If you notice a foul odor coming from the gummies, check them for any signs of discoloration as well. When both warning signs are present, you can estimate with greater certainty that the batch is contaminated.  

5: Tough Texture 

Does the gummy feel dry, tough, or rigid? Unlike a gummy that feels too wet or slippery, one that does not have enough softness to it could be dried out and unpalatable to consumers. To correct this, you should examine the water activity levels to see if they are below an acceptable threshold. 

Manufacture Better Gummies with the Right Production Equipment

At CapPlus, we are the proud leading provider of the highest-performing gummy production equipment to the pharmaceutical industry. With high-end machinery, thoughtful manufacturing procedures, and an emphasis on quality control, you can consistently create excellent gummy vitamins and supplements for consumers to enjoy. 

To get started on upgrading your facility’s gummy operations, contact us today to speak with someone from our team.