Fact sheet

Formulating gelatin-free gummy confections

Mimic the texture of gelatin in gummies suitable for kosher, halal, vegetarian, or vegan dietary guidelines with tips from the SOLUTION GURUS™

Whether snacking on tart gummy candy or supplementing our diets with fortified gummy vitamins, we have come to expect a specific texture from gummies. Consumers might use terms like "sticky" or "chewy" to describe this unique texture that is usually created with gelatin.

Yet despite the functionality of gelatin, some consumers seek to eliminate it from their diets. For some, the avoidance of gelatin may be in observance of religious practices like kosher or halal dietary guidelines, while for others, it's a choice related to the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

One thing is certain — removing gelatin from a gummy confection application is tricky. In fact, no single ingredient can be used to duplicate these characteristics.

Gelatin-free isn't so easy

Texture aside, gelatin-containing gels have specific properties that are critical for gel formation and manufacturability. Activation temperatures and times of any ingredient replacing gelatin must be similar to that of gelatin and the resulting formulation must have a hot viscosity that makes for easy depositing during manufacturing.

And to maintain the integrity and product quality of the finished gummies through shipping and storage, the temperature at which the gels become sticky and melt is critical. Nobody wants a bag of stuck-together candy.

Defining gummy texture

In order to replace gelatin in gummy confections, we first need to understand the individual texture attributes that gelatin modifies. Ingredion's SOLUTION GURUS have identified four key texture characteristics associated with gummy confections:

Texture attribute Definition


Degree to which sample deforms rather than crumbles, breaks or rupture


Force to attain a given deformation, usually force to bite completely through sample with incisors or molars


Degree to which the sample recovers after the force is removed


Degree to which product sticks to surface of teeth

Selecting stabilizers that mimic gummy texture

Once the key texture attributes have been identified, formulators can evaluate various stabilizers that replicate those attributes. To provide a head start, our food systems experts have developed the TICAGEL® GC line of stabilizing systems, which are specifically designed to meet label and functionality requirements while mimicking gelatin in applications like gummy candies or nutritional delivery systems like vitamins. 

Stabilizer solution Gummy texture achieved

Softer, more chewy texture

Firmer, springier texture

Contact our food systems experts

To request a sample of one of these stabilizer systems for evaluation in your application, or to speak with our SOLUTION GURUS™ about formulating for your specific texture, stability and nutrition goals, just chat with us or call 1-800-713-0208.