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Are Sour Skittles Vegan? A Vegan Skittle Guide

Posted by Aaron Seminoff on

So, Are Sour Skittles Vegan?

Sour Skittles are a tart, tangy candy with a chewy texture. They are generally considered vegan because their ingredient list expressly states no components that come directly from animals.

However, if you aim for 100-percent purity in your food ingredients and the way that they are produced, you might do well to steer clear of Sour Skittles despite their generally clean ingredient list. Check out these delicious (and healthier) vegan sour gummy worms here.

vegan sour skittles

What Ingredients Are in Sour Skittles?

Whether a food is considered vegan depends mainly on its ingredients. Therefore, if you are wondering whether a candy is acceptable for a vegan to eat, it's important to look at the ingredients list on the package. The following is a list of Sour Skittles ingredients:

  • Corn syrup
  • Citric acid
  • Hydrogenated palm kernel oil
  • Tapioca dextrin
  • Modified corn starch
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Red 40 lake
  • Blue 1 lake
  • Blue 2 lake
  • Yellow 5 lake
  • Yellow 6 lake
  • Red 40
  • Blue 1
  • Yellow 5
  • Yellow 6
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Sodium citrate
  • Carnauba wax

Many of these ingredients, such as carnauba wax, corn syrup and citric acid, are derived from plants. "Lake" colors are often obtained from coal tar. "Natural flavors" can refer to additives derived from plants or animals, so some vegans choose to avoid products that include this vague term in their ingredient lists.

Do Sour Skittles Contain Gelatin?

Many chewy candies get their texture from gelatin. This ingredient automatically makes a candy non vegan because gelatin is derived from animals. Skin, bones, tendons and other body parts are boiled in water to extract the gelatin, and this product is used to give foods texture, thickness or body.

Skittles used to contain gelatin that was obtained from beef. This ingredient made all Skittles firmly non vegan.

Fortunately, the recipe for Skittles changed in 2009. Wrigley, the manufacturer, reformulated Skittles to no longer contain gelatin. This good news made Skittles an acceptable food for many more people than before.

What About the Sugar?

 vegan sour skittle sugar

Some vegans consider sugar a hot topic. That's because cane sugar is often processed using bone char, which is made from heating cattle bones to an extremely high temperature.

The char can then be used to filter sugar. This process removes the color from sugar so it becomes white, which is how most consumers expect their sugar to look.

Because this process relies on using an animal byproduct, some vegans are not comfortable eating sugar that has been processed in this manner. They prefer to use sugar that is certified vegan, such as sugar that is filtered with granular carbon or beet sugar, which isn't refined using bone char.

Others are okay with traditional sugar since no animal traces remain in the final product. This is a matter of personal preference, and different vegans have different levels of comfort with the sugar refining process.

If you are strict about avoiding sugar refined with bone char, it might be smart to stay away from Sour Skittles. Wrigely does not specify how the sugar used in their recipes is produced, but there's a good chance that it could involve bone char.

Are There Alternatives to Sour Skittles?

If you are concerned about the processing of the sugar in Sour Skittles or want to try a candy with healthier ingredients, you might be interested in looking for vegan candies from natural or organic companies. There are multiple sour and chewy candies on the market that fit that bill.

Surf Sweets makes Sour Worms that are similar to traditional gummy worms but with a flavor to pucker your mouth. Not only are these treats vegan and nut-free, but they also contain a good boost of vitamin C.

YumEarth offers two vegan candies for those who loves sour chews. Organic Sour Beans are similar in size to Sour Skittles, and a bag contains four fruity flavors. Organic Sour Twists combine the tasty flavors of watermelon and lemonade into one twisted candy that is coated with a layer of sweet sugar. Both Sour Beans and Sour Twists are GMO-free and gluten-free.

Sour Skittles certainly aren't a health food, but will you continue to indulge in them as an occasional treat? Thanks to their gelatin-free recipe, many vegans feel comfortable grabbing a handful of Sour Skittles now and then. Let us know your thoughts below. As always, share this informative article with your friends so they can decide whether to pucker their lips with the tart taste of Sour Skittles or go with another sour candy instead.


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