How to Make Vegan Gummy Bears with Agar E406 - Recipe & Steps

How to Make Vegan Gummy Bears

How to Make Vegan Gummy Bears with Agar (2)

1. Background

Consumers are increasingly concerned about the source of ingredients in products, and greener and more environmentally friendly ingredients are becoming more attractive to consumers, both inside and out.

In recent years, the concept of plant-based has penetrated into several fields, and in this environment, plant-based gummies, especially vegan gummy bears, have received attention from all sides.

2. Gummy Bears

Gummy Bears (4)

When it comes to Germany's most famous candy, you can't go wrong with gummy bears. In 2020, Haribo, the family-owned company that invented and specialized in gummy bears, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The company's advertising slogan "'Haribo macht Kinder froh' (Haribo makes children happy)" is a household word in Germany, and today not only children love the gummy bears' cute shape, but also adults are fascinated by their fresh, fruity flavor and chewy texture.

Haribo has more than ten factories in Europe and its products are sold in more than 100 countries. In Germany alone, Haribo produces more than 300 varieties of candy, accounting for nearly 60% of the fruit gummy market. Still, no other product can shake the position of gummy bears.

In addition, there is a vegetarian version of gummy bears, which uses pectin instead of gelatin made from animal bones to keep the elasticity of gummy bears.

3. How to make Vegan Gummy Bears

How to make Vegan Gummy Bears (2)

3.1 Recipe

Suggested Ingredients


Agar Agar Powder


Refined Locust Bean Gum


Distilled water A


Refined granulated sugar A


Distilled water B    


Refined granulated sugar B  


Sorbitol powder


Glucose syrup 85 Brix  


Distilled water C    


Citric acid powder    


Food-grade essential oil   


Corn starch

As required

Flavours & Colours  

To taste

3.2 Production Instructions

It is not enough to have the recipe for how to make vegan gummy bears with agar, the following production process instructions are also very important.

1. Pour citric acid into water and heat until completely dissolved and a clear solution is formed. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
2. Heat the water in another pot and keep it at 90°C or above.
3. Dry mix the agar powder, locust bean gum and sugar A. Disperse the powder mixture in hot water A (90°C or above) with frequent stirring for 1-2 minutes until the powder is completely dissolved and the solution is clear. Remove from heat, but keep solution A at a temperature of at least 60°C to maintain fluid.
4. Pour water B, sugar B and corn syrup into another pot and heat to 114°C (±2°C) until all sugar is completely dissolved. Stir frequently to avoid burning of the sugar. Then stop heating.
5. Pour the agar solution into the sugar solution, stirring gently to avoid introducing large amounts of air.
6. Remove the mixture from the heat source and cool to 50°C.
7. Add the citric acid solution, flavors & colors to the agar and sugar mixture. Stir gently to avoid introducing large amounts of air.
8. Spread an appropriate amount of cornstarch on the silicone mold and pat it lightly to shake off the excess starch.
9. Place the molds on a flat baking sheet and fill each mold. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool overnight until firm.
Gummy Bears

4. Advantages of Agar in Vegan Gummy Bears

Why do we make vegan gummy bears?

We all know gummy bears are made with gelatin to begin with, so why do we make vegan gummy bears with agar?

We think the two main reasons are the ingredients source and the gummy properties.

4.1 Source- Animal vs Plant

Gelatin is produced in some connective tissues of animals, such as skin, bones, etc. Through some collagen degradation in the connective tissue, it turns into thin flakes or small granules that are white or yellowish in color
Agar is a polysaccharide extracted from natural seaweeds. One is of animal origin and the other is of algal origin.

Therefore, in order to cater to the trend of the plant-based market, it is inevitable to replace gelatin with agar, carrageenan, or pectin.

4.2 Gummy Properties - Low vs High Melting Point

Since the melting point of gelatin is between 24-28°C, which is relatively low, it is prone to melting and deformation during high-temperature storage and transportation in summer, resulting in the collapse of sugar bodies or sticking to each other. This reduces the consumer experience after consumption and can easily be mistaken for a product with quality problems resulting in complaints. In addition, the use of a large number of gelatin production of soft candy, its taste is too hard and tough, single taste and the risk to food safety.
However, the high thermal stability of agar gummy is outstanding, not to mention the high-temperature storage and transportation in summer, even if the temperature is as high as 70 or 80 degrees, it is difficult to be melted and deformed.

5. Disadvantages of Agar in Vegan Gummy Bears

Although the use of agar (or carrageenan) to make vegan gummy bears has the above advantages, it is not perfect, this is also related to the characteristics of agar. What is it?


Generally, gelatin can dissolve completely when heated to 60 degrees Celsius (no more than 70 degrees) in water, but agar (or carrageenan) needs to be heated to more than 95 degrees Celsius to dissolve fully. Definitely, the energy consumption should be higher.

If agar is not fully dissolved, there will be lumps or precipitation, the gel properties of agar will not be 100% developed, and the gummy candy will be prone to problems.

If a candy factory has been using gelatin to produce gummy bears but now wants to use agar to make vegan gummy bears, the first thing to consider is whether the existing heating and boiling equipment can reach this temperature.

This is the primary problem that many of our customers have encountered so far.

Finally, special thanks to Indiagar for the gummy-making recipe, if you want to know more about gummy ingredients, recipes, and how to make them, please feel free to contact.

How to make Vegan Gummy Bears with Agar

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Agar Agar Powder
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