Overcoming the Challenges of Gummy Applications
Market demand for gummy multivitamin formats has been increasing at nearly 5% annually. The majority of the market share increase is from Vitamin Gummies at 86.1% followed by 7.6% from Supplement Gummies and 6.3% from Mineral Gummies.
The National Institute of Health states that ‘the majority of adults in the United States take one or more dietary supplements either every day or occasionally. Many dietary supplements are incorporated into either gummy-based forms or soft chews so that all age groups have an option to swallowing a tablet or capsule.
While gummy applications are growing more popular, they still do present some challenges. At Sensient® Laboratories we have been working to increase consumer appeal by developing solutions for the following challenges in a single product, FlexiCoat™:
1. Decreasing Stickiness
The market need for an application that keeps gummy products from sticking is apparent when looking at many on the store shelves that have conglomerated at the bottom of the jar. Shelf appearance is compromised. The consumer experience is also, as they will struggle to get a single gummy out of a bottle where they are stuck together.
Sensient scientists developed a process to measure the tackiness of gummy products, to develop a solution that would be far better than traditional oil coatings. Using a texture analyzer, a plate plunger approaches the sample at 2.0mm/s until a 5 g trigger force is detected. The plunger then compresses the gummy sample against the base until it reaches a force of 50g for 1 second to allow good contact between the plunger, base and sample. The force required to release the sample from the plunger, to a distance of 4mm away from the sample, at a maximum speed of 10.0mm/s is the measurement of stickiness.
FlexiCoat’s single-coat spray-on solution makes surfaces up to 80% less tacky, compared to traditional gummy treated surfaces. The shelf appearance is greatly enhanced, as well as the consumer experience in getting the last of them out of the jar
2. Masking Bitterness and Astringency
Expanding consumer appeal begins with understanding where some of the off-taste is coming from. Various minerals and vitamins can have a unique taste, which exhibits strong lingering after-tastes in the mouth.
The metallic and astringent after-tastes of uncoated gummies can reside in the mouth for up to several minutes and astringent tastes can last even longer- nearly 10 minutes, leaving either a dry mouth or an unpleasant experience for consumers. The challenge is that it takes a coating that is firm enough to block bitter tastes, but still flexible enough to withstand the pliable nature of chewables. The FlexiCoat formulation solves those challenges.
3. Keeping it Natural
This can all be accomplished while using natural ingredients with FlexiCoat using color, flavor and maskants all from natural sources.
4. Simple Application
Flexicoat can be applied at low coating temperatures as compared to the high temperatures required for ladling on oil finishes and is sprayed on in a single coat. Additionally, minimal weight gain is required with low viscosity at high solids.
5. Gummy Core Options
FlexiCoat is so successful at applying color, flavor, aesthetics and masking to the exterior of the gummy that all color and flavor can be eliminated from the gummy core. The advantages of having color and flavor on the exterior of the gummy are that interaction of the color and flavor with the dietary supplement package can be minimized. This reduced interaction can improve and preserve color and flavor integrity, improve stability of the dietary supplements in the core, provide more flexibility in manufacturing by being able to switch colors and flavors post demolding, all while reducing the color and flavor spend by up to 90%.
6. Increased Melt Temperature
FlexiCoat also increases the melt temperature of gummies by over 15 degrees Celsius. This increase in melt temperature could mean the difference in maintaining individual pieces of gummies or creating a melted mass of gummy material in a bottle during shipping or in the consumer’s possession.
FlexiCoat is a breakthrough product providing improved mouthfeel and masking ability, great visual and flavor appeal, excellent melt protection and reduced stickiness while reducing the cost of color and flavor addition by up to 90%.
*Source: Mintel GNPD