Ingredients: Traditional vs. vegetarian gummy bears
To understand why typical gummy bears are unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans, you should review the typical ingredients found in the popular candy.
- Ingredient number one: “Sugar and dextrose” – so that the gummy bears are as sweet as they are, these ingredients can’t be missing. Overall, the candy consists of around 46 percent of sweeteners.
- We continue with “flavors” – a very comprehensive term, by which we mean everything and nothing. More precisely, these flavors consist of a fruit-juice concentrate mixture of the respective flavor.
- There are also “natural colorings” – these are, roughly speaking, obtained from various plant and fruit extracts. For example, a green gummy bear gets its color from a mixture of apple, kiwi, spinach, and nettle.
- And finally: “Gelatin” – the main component of a gummy bear. And the term gelatine also hides the culprit that makes typical gummy bears unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans, because gelatine is obtained from pork rinds and is, therefore, an animal ingredient.
Vegetable instead of animal
So that you, as a vegetarian, do not have to do without the sweet bears, vegetarian versions are now also being produced. These are mixed with binding, plant-based substitutes. They don’t quite have the familiar consistency, but the taste of the vegetarian gummy bears is at least as good. You can now find out exactly what herbal ingredients are used:
- “Starch” is a well-known thickening agent and is mainly used for soups and sauces, but also for puddings. It is also definitely an option for making vegetarian gummy bears.
- “Pectin” is also an alternative gelling agent, which is mainly obtained from apples and lemons. In the supermarket or online shops, you can buy it either in powder form, but also in liquid form.
- “Agar-Agar” is one of the most popular vegetable binding agents and is made from red algae. It is usually sold in powder form and needs to be boiled. But be careful: If you cook it too long, agar-agar loses its binding capacity.