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Fruit gums - 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 fruit gums 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.

Cane sugar - a luxury product

The appearance of sugar in the list of European ingredients was of course the decisive milestone in the history of sweet things. The cane sugar imported at the turn of the first millennium from the Arabic countries via Venice to Europe was, however, initially an expensive luxury good. Only the nobility and the rich were able to use it as a sweetener or as medicine.

Beet sugar brings luxury and democracy

Only much later, the wider populace gained access to the luxury good sugar. In Germany, at the beginning of the 19th century the recently developed beet sugar production process began to take off. As of the middle of the 19th century, (beet) sugar increasingly became an affordable daily foodstuff for the wider populace.

Gummi arabicum – the key fruit gum ingredient

In the 19th century, smart confectioners discovered that it was possible to mix sugar with Gummi arabicum, the resin of a particular acacia tree. The raw resin is boiled up with sugar and fruit and other flavourings are added to create the first soft fruit gums - the predecessors of the famous HARIBO fruit gums.

Gelatine, starch, agar-agar – the alternatives to Gummi arabicum

But for a long time now, fruit gum products like the famous GOLDBEARS from HARIBO have contained pork gelatine rather than Gummi arabicum. This ingredient achieves a softer consistency and a more pleasing chewing experience and flavour. Some fruit gum products are also made with starch or agar-agar, a tropical algae. These items can be enjoyed by vegetarians or people who practise the Islamic faith.

The production process

How the GOLDBEARS get into the bag

Find out more about the production
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