What are Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers made of?

Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers are a popular sour candy made by Trolli, a division of the Ferrara Candy Company. These bite-sized gummy candies are shaped like little critters and are coated in a sour sugar sanding. Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers come in a variety of bright colors and sour flavors. But what exactly are the ingredients that give these candies their texture, shape, color, and that signature puckering sour taste? Read on to find out everything that goes into making Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers!

The Main Ingredients

The bulk of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers is made up of just a few key ingredients:

Corn syrup

Corn syrup gives Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers their chewy, gummy texture. It acts as a binding agent and sweetener. Corn syrup is made from cornstarch and contains glucose syrup that prevents the gummies from crystallizing.


Sugar is added both in the form of granulated cane sugar as well as corn syrup to sweeten the gummies. The combination of both types of sugars is important for achieving the right sweetness and texture.


Gelatin is what gives Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers their characteristic gummy bear texture. It acts as a gelling agent that causes the candies to set up into a chewy solid. Gelatin is derived from collagen typically obtained from the bones and skin of pigs and cows.

Citric acid

Citric acid is added to give Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers their signature sour taste. It stimulates the sour receptors on the tongue and causes that lip-puckering sensation.

Food coloring

Artificial food dyes are used to give Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers their vibrant colors. Colors like Red 40, Yellow 5, and Blue 1 are commonly used.


Natural and artificial flavors are also added to give each color and variety of Trolli Sour Brite Crawler its distinct taste. Common flavors include raspberry, lemon, lime, watermelon, green apple, and orange.

The Coating

In addition to the gummy interior, the outside of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers is coated in a layer of sour sanding sugar. This coating is made up of:


The main ingredient in the sour sanding is dextrose, a type of glucose sugar. The fine grains of sugar give the coating its sandy texture.

Citric acid

Citric acid is added to the sugar coating to provide that extra puckering sour intensity. The sour sanding has a higher concentration of citric acid than the gummy interior.

Fumaric acid

Fumaric acid is another common sour acid used along with citric acid in the coating. It adds to the overall sour flavor profile.


Natural and artificial fruit flavors are used in the sour sanding to complement the interior gummy flavors. These flavorings tend to be more concentrated in the coating.


Food dyes are added to the sour sugar coating to match the vibrant interior gummy colors. This gives each Sour Brite Crawler a uniform color throughout.

Other Minor Ingredients

Some other ingredients found in trace amounts in Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers include:

– Malic acid – Another fruit acid that adds sour taste
– Fruit and vegetable juice concentrates – For color and flavor
– Confectioner’s glaze – An additive made from shellac used to coat the exterior
– Soybean oil – Used to coat the molds the gummies are formed in
– Carnauba wax – Helps retain moisture
– Beeswax – Used as a glazing agent

So while the main ingredients are simple – corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, and citric acid – it takes the right combination plus minor additives to achieve the taste, texture, and appearance of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers!

Nutritional Facts

Now that we know what’s in them, here is the nutritional breakdown of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers:

Nutrition Facts Per 1/4 cup (28g)
Calories 100
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 5mg
Total Carbohydrate 26g
Sugars 22g
Protein 0g

As you can see, the main nutrients in Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers come from carbohydrates and sugars. A 1/4 cup serving contains 100 calories, none of which come from fat or protein. The sour coating accounts for the 5mg of sodium per serving.

So while these gummy candies are low fat and contain no cholesterol, the high sugar content means they should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The sour flavors make it easy to overindulge!

Ingredients By Variety

While the main ingredients remain the same across all Trolli Sour Brite Crawler varieties, some minor differences in the flavoring ingredients give each variety its distinct taste and colors:

Sour Brite Crawlers Original

– Red – Red 40, Blue 1
– Orange – Red 40, Yellow 6
– Lemon – Yellow 5, Blue 1
– Lime – Blue 1, Yellow 5

Sour Brite Crawlers Tropical

– Pink – Red 40, Yellow 5
– Orange – Red 40, Yellow 6
– Green – Yellow 5, Blue 1
– Blue – Blue 1

Sour Brite Crawlers Sour Neon

– Pink – Red 40, Yellow 5
– Green – Yellow 5, Blue 1
– Orange – Yellow 6, Red 40
– Purple – Red 40, Blue 1

Sour Brite Crawlers Very Berry

– Red – Red 40, Blue 1
– Green – Blue 1, Yellow 5
– Orange – Yellow 6, Red 40
– Purple – Red 40, Blue 1

As you can see, while the coloring ingredients vary by variety, Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are commonly used food dyes. The differences in added flavors like raspberry, watermelon, and green apple also distinguish the taste profile of each assortment.

Production Process

Now let’s take a look at how Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers are made:

1. Creating the gummy base

The sugar, corn syrup and other minor dry ingredients are dissolved in water and heated. Once the liquid reaches the proper temperature, the gelatin is added and fully hydrated. Flavoring and food coloring is mixed in to achieve the desired taste and vibrant colors.

2. Depositing into molds

The gummy liquid is deposited into cornstarch coated molds in the shape of worms, frogs, sharks, and other critters.

3. Sour coating

The molded gummies are removed and tumbled in the sour sanding mixture to coat the exterior. The sour sugar sticks to the moist gummy surface.

4. Drying and conditioning

The candies are allowed to dry and set fully before being packaged. This helps achieve the right chewy texture. They are conditioned in a controlled climate to prevent stickiness.

5. Packaging

The fully dried and conditioned gummies are packaged into bags, boxes, or stand-up pouches. Nitrogen is used when packing the bags to keep the Crawlers fresh.

History of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers

Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers were first introduced in the early 1990s, though the exact year is unclear. Based on trademarks and package designs, the product likely debuted around 1993.

The concept of sour gummy worms had existed before then, but Trolli was the first major candy company to develop popular packaged sour gummies in fun shapes like insects and reptiles. Their innovation took the sour gummy trend mainstream.

Originally called “Brite Crawlers,” at some point in the late 90s/early 2000s the name was changed to “Sour Brite Crawlers” to better emphasize the sour aspect of the candies.

Over the decades, Trolli has introduced special limited edition varieties and tie-ins with brands like Hot Wheels. But the classic assorted Sour Brite Crawlers have remained a staple.

Today, Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers remain one of the top selling sour candy brands on the market and a nostalgic favorite for kids and adults alike. Their signature flavors, textures, and unique critter shapes have made them iconic.

Common Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers:

Are Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers vegan?

No, Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers are not vegan because they contain gelatin, which is derived from animal collagen. The gelatin gives the gummies their chewy texture but precludes them from being vegan.

Are Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers gluten-free?

Yes, Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers are certified gluten-free. They do not contain any wheat, barley, rye or grain ingredients. The gummies are made with corn syrup instead of wheat-based ingredients.

Do Trolli gummies contain peanut or nut products?

No, Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers are nut-free and do not contain peanuts or tree nuts. They are safe for people with peanut and nut allergies.

What is the shelf-life of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers?

Properly stored in a cool, dry place, Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers typically have a shelf life of about 9-12 months. Heat and humidity can shorten the shelf life. Unopened bags last longer than opened ones.

Are Trolli candies made in the USA?

No, Trolli candies are made in Mexico. The brand is owned by Ferrara Candy Company, which produces many of its candies south of the border.


Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers are a long-time favorite sour gummy candy thanks to their tangy flavors, chewy texture, fun shapes, and addictively sour coating. Simple ingredients like corn syrup, gelatin, sugar, and citric acid form the basis of these gummy treats. Vibrant colors and flavors distinguish the different assortments. While not the healthiest candy option, Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers remain a tasty, nostalgic treat when enjoyed in moderation. So pucker up and let the wriggling, squeaking enjoyment begin!

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