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Gelatine, Pectin or Agar-Agar?

By May 2023June 14th, 2024No Comments

 “Animal, veggi or vegan?” is a question that is also being asked about fruit gums.  “Classic” gummy bears contain gelatine. Agar-agar is often used as a counter term to gelatine. However, more often pectins are used for the production of vegan fruit gums.

All three gelling agents mentioned are first heated in a liquid to dissolve them. Cooling causes the solution to solidify (partially). Reheating can reverse this process. On the whole, the use of all three gelling agents gives similar results, indicating the presence of similar structures.

– Research what gelatin, agar-agar, and pectin can each be made from.

– Find out what the general, molecular structure of the gelling agents is!

In addition to the similarities, there are also differences, for example, in the melting behavior. You can do an experiment on this:

Heat one vegan (i.e. pectin-containing) and one gelatin-containing fruit gum carefully (it should not caramelize) on a spoon over a candle and observe the melting behavior in each case. Note down your observations.

Picture source: Hebi B./Günther on Pixabay
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Chemistry, Classroom Materials
Inquiry-based learning, Reallife Problems, Interdisciplinary Topics
Guiding ideas /
Content-related competences
Substances and their particles, Organic Chemistry
Peter Steurer