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Jellies - a late variation of sweet confectionary

When it comes to the invention of confectionary, people have always been full of bright ideas. But the road to the invention of the first jellies was a long one, one on which people sweetened their days with a multitude of other sweet things. The ancient Greeks and Romans valued, in particular, baked goods sweetened with date juice or honey or laced with grape juice. In the Middle Ages, aromatic spiced breads and gingerbreads of all kinds were valued. Finally, in the 16th century, seafarers brought the cocoa bean from Central America to Europe and this was soon developed into a refined ingredient for the manufacture of sweet things.


The emergence of sugar in European ingredient lists was, of course, the decisive milestone in the history of sweet treats. However, cane sugar imported from the Arab world via Venice to Europe at the turn of the first millennium was initially an expensive luxury commodity. Only the nobility and rich citizens could afford cane sugar as a spice or medicine.

Only much later did wider sections of the population gain access to the luxury goods of sugar. In Germany, it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that the production of beet sugar, which had just been developed, began. From the middle of the 19th century, (sugar beet) sugar finally became an affordable and everyday food. The fact that sugar is a basic ingredient in the production of fruit gums and thus in the production of gummy bears was not known until then.

Gummi arabicum – the key jelly ingredient

In the 19th century, resourceful sugar bakers also discovered that sugar could be combined with gum arabic, the resin of a certain acacia tree. The crude resin was boiled with the sugar, and with the addition of fruit and other flavorings, the first soft fruit gums were obtained - the precursors of the famous HARIBO gummy bears .

Gelatine and starch – the alternatives to Gummi arabicum

These ingredients have long since changed and for many years, jelly products like the famous GOLDBEARS from HARIBO have contained gelatine rather than Gummi arabicum. This ingredient achieves a softer consistency and a more enjoyable chewing experience and flavour. Some jelly products are also made with starch.

The production process

Fruchtgummi Herstellung

How the GOLDBEARS get into the bag

Find out more about production

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