How does one fill gummy bear molds easily?
March 18, 2017 3:18 PM   Subscribe

What tool, device, dropper, or whatever can I use to accurately and quickly fill 1.5 mL gummy bear molds with hot sugary sticky gummy mixture?

Hey MeFites! I have been making homemade gummy bears for the last several months for myself and friends, and have run into a conundrum that I can't seem to get around: How the hell do you fill the molds easily and relatively mess-free?

I have several molds such as these from Amazon that I use. I know that the individual bears hold 1.5 mL each, or 75 mL for the sheet. I have tried using the cheapo eye dropper that comes with, but those tend to be difficult to use, and they're also terribly inaccurate. The other problem with the dropper is that it takes too long to fill the molds: my batch size is typically 200-500 bears at once. Time is of the essence, as once the gummy mixture is hot, filling must be done quickly or the mixture will set.

I have recently resorted to simply pouring in ~75 mL at a time to fill the whole mold, scraping the gummy goo into the molds. While quick, that tends to be messy and makes for rather ugly bears.

My google-fu is failing me this round, so I ask you MeFi: what can I use to fill these little bastards? Is there something like a micropipette that would quickly and accurately fill 1.5 mL? Is there one that will tolerate temperatures of ~190F (the temperature of molten gummy)? Is there some other device(s) that I'm not thinking of?
posted by Mister Fabulous to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What you need is a glass pipette, which is used all the time in chemistry type stuff and obtainable from lab supply stores. you can either get the rubber bulb to suction the goo up from the tip or maybe fill the top end with a funnel. they're available in all sizes, you could either do a 2ml and fill for each bear or get a big out (like 100ml) and do a bunch at once. usually your thumb over the top is enough vacuum to keep the liquid inside.
posted by genmonster at 3:27 PM on March 18

A dosing syringe might work; 25 or 50 ml could do a good number of bears before refilling. Not sure about temperature on the standard kind. They do make some that can go in an autoclave.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:31 PM on March 18 [2 favorites]

I'd just use a regular old (microwave safe type) squeeze bottle. That's what I've done in the past with chocolate melts. Pour it in with a funnel and then squeeze into each mold.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:39 PM on March 18 [5 favorites]

They also make fancy funnels for candy dispensing.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:40 PM on March 18

People who do a lot of cell culture literally do this kind of thing all day long for their jobs, and have developed tools that allow them to do so with a minimum of hand strain. My mind went to something like this. The serological pipettes that go with it can withstand sterilization so should be okay. You can fill 10 or 25 mL at a time and just eject in 1.5 mL per shot.

It's probably a pricy solution for gummy bears; there are less expensive fluid handling tools for the same serological pipettes. But if you are regularly doing this at the multi-thousand gummy scale, you might want to consider repetitive stress too.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:15 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]

A squeeze bottle is super cheap, so I'm starting there. But the dosing syringe is almost exactly what I envisioned initially. Thank for you for the help!
posted by Mister Fabulous at 7:18 PM on March 18

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