How to Make Cannabis Gummies that won’t go Moldy
A good batch of homemade cannabis gummies can quickly be ruined by mold. Karen Lloyd offers some handy tips for preventing your gummies from getting spoiled.
There’s only one kind of mold your gummies should ever come into contact with, and that is a squeaky-clean mold made of silicone.
Mold — the fungus — can grow just about anywhere but it thrives on organic materials stored in warm, moist environments. In other words, if you don’t take special measures when preparing, producing, and packing up your gummies, they could be a magnet for mold.
Fortunately, it’s easy to make gummies at home that won’t go moldy and you don’t even need those fancy dehumidified rooms with dehydrators. However, understanding mold and how it works can go a long way to help you stop it from growing on your gummies. A few preservatives, found in the baking aisle at your local grocer, will certainly help, too.
Mold and Why it Likes Cannabis Gummies
Black, white, orange, green, or purple, and visible to the naked eye, mold flourishes in damp, dark spaces with temperatures between 55-70°F. If you look closely in your bathroom, there’s probably a good chance you’ll find mold growing between the tiles of your shower. Perhaps it’s just getting started behind your kitchen sink faucet, a place that’s almost impossible to keep dry. Since a traveling mold spore requires water, food, air, and a comfortable temperature to develop, your homemade gummies could potentially become a very generous host.
Preventing Mold from Developing on Gummies
If you’re hoping to make a large batch of gummies that won’t eventually go moldy, you must keep your gummy-making station clean.
Before you pull out any ingredients, give your counters a thorough wipe down with a reliable antibacterial solution like bleach and water. Then, wash and sanitize all your cooking equipment, including your gummy molds, and don’t forget to wash your hands, too.
Powdery mildew is a type of mold that affects many fruits and vegetables, but has a particular fondness for cannabis plants. The best way to prevent mold from developing on your gummies is to prevent powdery mildew from infecting your marijuana plants. Certainly, avoid using contaminated cannabis in your gummy recipe.
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The most common way to reduce mold and increase the shelf life of your gummies is by using preservatives. With a splash here and a dash there, these safe-to-consume chemical ingredients can deter mold in a variety of ways, and potentially shield your gummies for months.
Potassium — Consider adding one percent potassium sorbate to your cannabis gummies recipe. Nothing compares to a preservative and mold inhibitor like potassium when it comes to binding free water. This can help to extend the shelf life of your gummies considerably. One cannabis gummy maker reported no signs of mold after leaving their gummies in a Tupperware container at room temperature for nine months.
Acid —The lower the pH content, the longer the shelf life. These are words to live by if your goal is to make weed gummies at home that won’t moldy. By increasing the acidity of your recipe with ingredients like sorbic acid and citric acid, you’ll not only create a less viable habitat for mold, but your gummies will have that iconic Sour Patch Kid flavor. For best results, citric acid should be added to your gummy gel immediately after you remove it from the stove and right before you pour it into the molds.
Sugar — Sugar binds up the water, like potassium, and will make your gummies unlivable for mold. When it comes to shelf life and mold prevention in food, the more sugar, the better. Try using powdered sugar on your gummies as both a safeguard and a savory coating.
A Word on Water
Generally speaking, hard, dense foods, like candy, aren’t easily penetrated by mold. That said, reducing the amount of water slightly from what your gummy recipe calls for may help to restrict, or at least delay, the onset of mold growth. By decreasing the water content to 20 percent of the total gummy recipe, you can still produce chewy gummies, but they won’t be very attractive to mold.
After all that (not so hard) work it’s equally important to ensure your gummies are properly stored in a moisture-proof package and then vacuum sealed. If there is no oxygen present around your gummies, mold won’t grow. You can easily find a home vacuum packager on Amazon that will suction all the air out of your gummy packet and then heat-seal the opening. An air-tight Tupperware container also works.
Mold is generally harmless in small amounts but if you do find some furry fungus developing on your gummies, be sure to toss them out immediately.