Agar Agar in Vegan Jelly Candy: The Application and Production Method

Agar Agar in Vegan Jelly Candy



Jelly candy is mainly made of edible gum and sugar, and the characteristics are different depending on the hydrocolloids used. For example, the jelly candies made from agar are transparent, tough and brittle, but less extensible than those made from starch.  Therefore, it is also mixed with other materials, such as gelatin, modified starch, fruit puree or melon, etc., which helps to improve the flavor and texture and is more easily enjoyed by consumers.

What is Jelly Candy?

When it comes to jelly candy, many people love its QQ bouncy texture, especially the children like it very much, so what is jelly candy made of?

Jelly candy is a kind of candy with high moisture content, soft, elastic and tough. Some are sticky and some are brittle. There are clear ones as well as translucent and opaque ones. It is mainly made of edible gum and sugar, and the characteristics are different because of the different hydrocolloids used, such as jelly candy made of agar, which is transparent, tough and brittle, but the extensibility is worse than that of jelly candy made of starch.

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Agar is also known as Agar-Aagr and kanten, which is extracted from seaweed. The content of agar in seaweed is 25-35%. Agar is made by polymerization of galactose. It is called chain agar which is composed of galactose combined into straight chain, and its gel power is strong; the gel power of branched agar is less.

No.1 Agar in Crystal Jelly Candy

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Agar easily absorbs water and swells, and dissolves into a viscous aqueous solution in hot water, then solidifies into a transparent gel after cooling, which is mostly used in the production of crystal jelly candy, fruit jellies candy and marshmallow.

However, because agar is not absorbed in human digestive organs and does not rot, it can retain a lot of water, so most agar products have laxative effect.

According to the gel ability of agar, the amount of agar in fondant is generally 1%-2.5%, and the carbohydrates are mainly sucrose and secondary starch syrup, the ratio of which is about 3:2.

The jelly candy made with agar has better transparency, quality and taste than other gummies candy.  However, because the aqueous solution of agar is stable in the range of pH4.5~9, it is decomposed and destroyed under the acidic condition below pH4.5, and loses the ability of gelation.

 Therefore, agar agar candy is mostly made into sweet type but not into sour type.

No.2 Agar Agar Candy

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Agar Agar Candy is made with agar as a colloid. This type of candy has good transparency, good elasticity, toughness and brittleness. It's mostly made into fruit-flavored, cool-flavored and milk-flavored ones. Crystal jelly candy is a kind of agar agar candy. The water content is about between 18 and 24%.

No.3 How to Make Agar Agar Candy?

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Soak the selected agar in cold water with about 20 times the amount of water, depending on the quality of agar. It can be heated to 85-95℃, and filtered after melting.

The ratio of granulated sugar to starch syrup varies according to block molding or pouring molding. The amount of starch syrup for block molding is high, and the amount of granulated sugar for mold molding is high. Caramelized sugar can also be used instead of starch syrup.

Firstly, dissolve sugar with water, add the melted agar, heat and boil to 105~106℃, add starch syrup and boil again until the required concentration.

The concentration of jelly candy made by pouring mold should be 78-79%; if it is made by block molding, the concentration can be slightly lower before it comes out of the pot.

After the sugar solution is evacuated from the fire source, add coloring and flavor. Put in citric acid when the temperature of sugar solution drops to below 76℃. In order to protect agar from acid decomposition, add sodium citrate equivalent to one-fifth of acid addition as a buffer before putting in acid. The acidity of agar agar candy should be controlled at pH4.5~5.0.

It includes block molding or pouring molding. Before the cutting and molding, the sugar liquid should be condensed on the cooling table, and the condensation time is about 0.5~1 hour. And then cut the block to shape. For pouring mold forming, the temperature of powder mold should be kept at 32~35℃ and the temperature of sugar syrup should not be lower than 65℃. After pouring, it needs to be condensed for more than 3 hours. The proper temperature of condensation is about 38℃.

After being formed, the agar jelly candy needs to be dried in the drying room to remove some water. The temperature of the drying room should be 26~43℃. Too high temperature and too fast drying speed will make the outer layer of jellies candies into a hard shell and the surface will be wrinkled. When dried to non-sticky hands, the water content of not more than 20%, it is appropriate. In order to prevent mildew, the agar fondant must be packed tightly.

agar agar in vegan jelly candy 874-620 (3)

High temperature and long time boiling will destroy the gel ability of agar. Therefore, the boiling temperature should be controlled after adding agar, generally at 105-109℃.

Although the texture is soft and tender, but the structure is weak and not solid, so it needs to be dried to remove some water and increase its toughness.

Agar has a long history of use as a traditional gel substance in jellies candies production, but with the rapid development of the food industry, adding only agar can no longer meet the taste requirements of consumers.

It is often mixed with other materials, such as gelatin, modified starch, fruit puree or melon fruit, etc. The crystal jelly candy made of agar and other materials has the advantages of variability and diversity, which is conducive to improving the flavor and taste and more easily loved by consumers.

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