By Harold McGee
Confectioners also give a firmer body to certain candies with a number of ingredients that bond to each other and to water to form solid but moist gels. These ingredients include gelatin, egg white, grain starches and flours, pectin, and plant gums. Gelatin and pectin in particular are used to make gummy and jelly candies, often in combination. Gelatin provides a tough chewiness, while pectin makes a more tender gel. Gum tragacanth, a carbohydrate from a West Asian shrub in the bean family (Astragalus), has been used for centuries to make the sugar dough from which lozenges are cut and dried.