The increased interest in functional materials of natural origin has resulted in a higher market demand for preservative-free, "clean label", or natural ingredients-based products. The gummy bear food supplements are more acceptable to consumers and have fewer limitations compared to other dosage forms. The aim of our study was to produce natural ingredients-based gummy bear composition, and evaluate the influence of the selected ingredients on the product's textural properties, its acceptance in vivo, and the gummy bear's quality. The optimal base composition was determined using a surface response design: gelatin 4.3 g and agave syrup 6.3 g. The investigated sweeteners did not affect the textural properties (p > 0.05). However, further studies demonstrated that a 100% increase of agave results in up to 27% higher flexibility (p < 0.05). The addition of calcium and cholecalciferol reduced firmness by 59.59 ± 1.45% (p < 0.05). On the other hand, acai berry extract had no significant effect. The presence of calcium resulted in a decreased smell and taste; however, the data indicated that experimental texture analysis is a more accurate technique than in vivo evaluation. The acai berry extract did not improve all of the tested sensory properties. We can conclude that the suggested gummy bear base can be supplemented with various active ingredients and commercialized, though further studies are needed to investigate the other natural sources to mask the unpleasant taste of active ingredients and avoid water loss.
Keywords: chewable dosage form; experimental design; gelatin; gummy bear.