A starch molding process is a common way by which gummy candy is manufactured in an industrial setting. In this process, the candy is first made and then loaded into starched lined trays. These trays are then cooled overnight. Candies formed after cooling are removed from the trays and packaged. Now, let’s look more closely into the steps involved in the industrial production of gummy candy.
The manufacture of gummy candy starts with pharmaceutical compounding. Professional factory workers, called compounders, physically pour the correct amount of gummy raw materials into the main mixing container based on the given set of instructions for the candies. Mixing containers are large tanks equipped with heating and cooling capabilities. The compounding step is usually completed in an hour or two, depending on the type of the gummy candy. Upon completion of the compounding process, the batch is sent to QC (quality control) labs to ensure that the candies meet the requisite specifications.
The first step in quality control involves the evaluation of the quality of raw materials. Testing involves assessing various characteristics, such as the form, odor, color and taste of the raw material. Many other characteristics, like the viscosity of the oil, pH of the liquid, and particle size of the solid are also studied by qualified chemists and technicians. The usual testing procedure involves comparing them with the company-specified or industry-specified standards. QC testing ensures that the ingredients produce good quality of gummy candy.
After passing the stringent QC test, the gummy candy batch is pumped to a starch molding machine called a Mogul. The Mogul performs multiple tasks pertaining to the making of a gummy candy automatically. It starts with cooling the trays filled with a mixture of gummy candy ingredients. The trays, after cooling, are sent through the conveyor belt into the final part of the assembly, called the starch buck.
Upon reaching the starch buck, the trays are emptied into a sieve, which is a vibrating metal screen. The sieve filters out any excess starch from the candy. The filtered pieces of candy then move along the conveyor belt for additional decoration or coating and are finally packed in their specified packaging.
Challenges In Gummy Candy Manufacturing
Presently, the priority of gummy bears manufacturers lies in increasing the speed, efficiency, and safety of the manufacturing process. Especially in the case of the starch molding stage, safety is a major concern, as starch dryers pose an explosion hazard. The US government has recommended the use of spark-proof switches, blast walls and other such safety methods to minimize these hazards.