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Are skittles vegan?

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Are Skittles vegan?

What are Skittles?

Skittles are a popular candy that comes in a variety of fruit flavors. They are small, round, and colorful, making them a favorite among children and adults alike. Skittles are known for their vibrant packaging and the slogan “Taste the Rainbow.”

Ingredients in Skittles

Skittles are made up of several ingredients, and it is important to examine each one to determine if they are vegan-friendly. The ingredients in Skittles include:

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Hydrogenated palm kernel oil
  • Apple juice from concentrate
  • Citric acid
  • Dextrin
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Modified corn starch
  • Colors (including Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 6, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2)
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Are Skittles Vegan?

The question of whether Skittles are vegan or not depends on the definition of veganism. Vegans avoid consuming any animal products or by-products, including ingredients derived from animals. Based on this definition, Skittles are not considered vegan-friendly due to the presence of certain ingredients.

1. Gelatin

Gelatin is a common ingredient found in many candies, including gummy bears and marshmallows. It is derived from animal collagen, typically sourced from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of cows or pigs. Gelatin is used as a thickening agent and gives candies a chewy texture. Unfortunately, Skittles contain gelatin, making them unsuitable for vegans.

2. Shellac

Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug. It is commonly used as a glazing agent in candies to provide a shiny appearance. While shellac is derived from insects, it undergoes extensive processing before being used in food products. Some vegans may choose to avoid shellac due to its animal origin, while others may consider it acceptable since it is a by-product of the lac bug’s natural life cycle.

3. Carmine

Carmine, also known as cochineal or carmine acid, is a red pigment derived from crushed cochineal insects. It is used as a coloring agent in various food and cosmetic products. Skittles do not contain carmine, but they do contain artificial colors such as Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 2, which are vegan-friendly.

4. Sugar

The sugar used in Skittles is typically derived from sugar beets or sugarcane. While sugar itself is plant-based, some vegans choose to avoid certain brands of sugar due to the refining process. Some sugar manufacturers use bone char, which is made from animal bones, to filter and bleach the sugar. However, it is important to note that the use of bone char in sugar production is not a universal practice, and many brands now use alternative methods. Therefore, the vegan status of Skittles may depend on the specific brand and their sugar sourcing practices.

Vegan Alternatives to Skittles

If you are a vegan or prefer to avoid animal-derived ingredients, there are several alternatives to Skittles available:

  • Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears: These gummy bears are made with organic fruit juice and do not contain gelatin or artificial colors.
  • YumEarth Organic Sour Beans: These sour candies are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and made with natural flavors and colors.
  • SmartSweets: SmartSweets offers a variety of plant-based gummy candies that are low in sugar and free from artificial sweeteners.
  • Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers: These fruity gummy candies are gelatin-free and made with natural flavors and colors.

It is always recommended to check the ingredient list and look for vegan certifications when purchasing candies or any other food products.

In Conclusion

While Skittles may be a beloved candy for many, they are not considered vegan due to the presence of gelatin and potential sugar sourcing practices. However, there are plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives available that offer similar fruity flavors and textures. As the demand for vegan products continues to rise, it is likely that more companies will develop plant-based versions of popular candies to cater to a wider range of dietary preferences.