It is not possible to trace the exact origins of the Jelly Bean. Only part of its history remains and the rest are lost in time.
The process known as panning was made in 17th century France and was used to make Jordan Almonds. Panning was done mostly by hand is now automatic, but the process has remained essentially unchanged throughout the last three centuries. The panning process gave birth to shell coating and today, big rotating pans are used to perform the heavy work. It’s the Master Confectioners that work on the art of mixing and adding the ingredients to create the perfect shell.
Somehow, these processes reached the factories in the usa. The Jelly Beans began production there and soon earned a place among the many glass’penny candy’ jars that were on display from the candy shops. Generally stores, the Jelly Beans were sold by weight and given to the buyers put in paper bags. They had been associated with the Easter Bunny was believed to deliver eggs on Easter as a sign of new life and the beginning of spring.
Manufacturing a Jelly Bean begins with the making of its center. To do this, ingredients such as sugar and corn syrup among others are put in large boilers which are heated to cook the mixture. The heated mixture is then passed through pipes and travels to the starch casting region. At this time, there are many trays containing impressions of the size and shape of the middle of the jellybean that are layered with cornstarch by machines. The mixture is then squirted out onto the trays and dried overnight. The next day, the cornstarch coating is removed and the beans are run via a moisture steam bath and are sprayed with sugar. The beans are then set aside for 24 to 48 hours.
What sets the jellybean apart from other candies is its special shell coating. This is achieved by the panning process. The beans are poured into a rotating drum which is called the’engrossing pan’. While the middle of the drum rotates, sugar is slowly added to build up the shell. Then, different colors and flavors are added to the mixture to provide the jellybean its signature taste and appearance. The shiny look is because of the addition of Confectioner’s Glaze which is a process that may take 2 to 4 times. After the beans are’polished’, they are packed and ready for shipping to candy stores around the world.
There have been two kinds of jellybeans since 1976. These are the traditional and the gourmet jellybeans. Even though both types require 6 to 10 days to create, the difference is in their recipes which provides each their distinctive qualities. The traditional jelly bean normally holds its taste just in the shells. The gourmet varieties however have flavored shells and centers. They also are softer and smaller than the conventional jellybeans.