The main ingredients in jelly beans are sugar, food starch, and corn syrup, which combine to give them a soft but chewy texture. Although jelly beans are considered vegetarian because they are not made from animal products, they are not classified as vegan because their outer shells are made from an animal byproduct. Shellac is responsible for providing the exterior that makes jelly beans shiny. It is produced from the secretions of female lac beetles. After the substance is dissolved in alcohol, it is applied to jelly beans and other candies to create a glossy shell that protects the softer middle from melting or sticking to packaging.
More about jelly beans:
- U.S. President Ronald Reagan had such a well-publicized love of jelly beans that the Jelly Belly® candy company created a blueberry-flavored jelly bean just for him. There is even a portrait created entirely from jelly beans in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
- It can take from one to three weeks to produce a jelly bean.
- Jelly beans were the first candy to be sold by weight instead of per piece.