Frosted Flakes cereal is a popular, sugary breakfast made primarily of corn with added frosting. It also contains puzzling and unfamiliar ingredients such as pyridoxine hydrochloride and sodium ascorbate.
You may wonder if frosted flakes cereal is appropriate for vegans. That's a complicated question, but the short answer is no. Although frosted flakes may seem to be an "accidentally vegan" product, it is not. It likely contains small amounts of sheep's wool. Vegans looking for a truly plant-based frosted flakes vegan alternative should try EnviroKids Organic Lightly Frosted Amazon Flakes instead. Amazon Flakes are clearly marked "vegan" on the side of the box so there's no mystery animal products hiding in there.
Frosted Flakes Ingredients
- Milled corn
- Malt flavoring
- High fructose corn syrup
- Sodium ascorbate
- Ascorbic acid
- Reduced iron
- Pyroxidine hydrochloride
- Thiamine hydrochloride
- Vitamin A palmitate
- Folic acid
- Vitamin b12
- Vitamin D
Is Frosted Flakes Vegan?
The longer answer is no. Frosted flakes probably contain animal products, so it is not safe for vegans. You may look at the ingredients list and think that the animal products are probably hiding in some of the strange words, like niacinamide or BHT, however, that's not it. The main ingredient of concern is actually Vitamin D. You probably know that Vitamin D is essential for good health, hence it being added to sugary cereals to make them seem healthier than they really are.
The problem with frosted flakes is that the type of vitamin D typically used to fortify breakfast cereal is Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is almost always created from lanolin. What is lanolin? It's a substance derived from sheep's wool. It's unfortunate that food companies use lanolin-based vitamin D when plant-based alternative exist. Vegans should consider writing emails and giving feedback to companies on this issue so they are pressured into making the switch. In the meantime, it's best for vegans to avoid frosted flakes and try other foods for breakfast.
Another thing you may not be aware of is the vegan controversy around sugar. Some vegetarians abstain from products containing sugar. Why? It has to do with the way sugar is manufactured. In many countries, such as the United States, cane sugar is filtered through something called "bone char." Bone char is simply burnt animal bones, usually the bones of cattle. No bone char ends up in the sugar. Some vegans have no problem with sugar, saying it is a minor issue and does not directly contribute to animal abuse. On the other hand, other vegans would rather avoid it anyway, based on the principle. Whatever your position, you can look for the "vegan" label on products to see if the sugar was processed with animal bones.
Frosted Flakes Are Probably Not Safe for Vegans
In conclusion, the Vitamin D in frosted flakes cereal most likely contains lanolin from sheep's wool. It also contains the controversial added sugar, which may or may not be considered acceptable for vegans. Due to these two ingredients, vegans should eat something clearly labelled "vegan" instead. This is especially true if you're a particularly careful and outspoken vegan, the type that always is sharing cool plant-based recipes with friends and wearing cute shirts with vegetarian messages. It can be tough finding tasty breakfast cereals while avoiding animal products, but hopefully know you're a bit more educated and more confident as well.