Cereals often provide several non-vegan surprises, mostly because of the likes of honey or vitamin D. What makes Frosted Mini-Wheats stand out is that this cereal contains gelatin. This makes them non-vegan.
It is a shame to see the ingredient on any list, but we’re going to look at what else goes into this cereal from Kellogs, and see if there are any vega alternatives.
The ingredients list is mostly fine, but the stand out the non-vegan ingredient of gelatin is glaring at us:
Whole grain wheat, sugar, contains 2% or less brown rice syrup, gelatin, BHT for freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Reduced iron, niacinamide, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), zinc oxide, folic acid, vitamin B12.
Gelatin isn’t the only problematic ingredient included in this popular cereal. But it’s a good place to start:
The vegan issue with gelatin is not difficult to decipher. It is made by boiling the ligaments, bones, tendons, and even the skin of cows or pigs.
It is used in a variety of household products from shampoo to cosmetics, but in food, it is often used as a thickener and a stabilizer.
Gelatin is also used for its texture, which is why you iht find it in butter. Although it is high in protein, it is difficult to determine why it is necessary for a breakfast cereal such as Frosted Mini Wheats.
Sometimes you may see agar agar on the label. This can be written as gelatin, but it is vegan and derived from a specific type of seaweed.
Another controversial ingredient although it doesn’t enjoy the same bad reputation as being non-vegan. Many people don’t realize that it is often decolorized with bone char. This method of bleaching sugar makes it a more desirable white but it is not so desirable to a vegan.
Often labeled as natural carbon, it is made by the charring of animal bones, mostly cattle, and is imported to the US and used by food manufacturers.
The issue many vegans have is that it is very difficult to determine which companies use this method. When questioned, a lot of them will say that they source their sugar from a variety of suppliers.
Still, it is also difficult to label a brand using this method without knowing for sure, hence why it is controversial from a vegan point of view.
Do Frosted Mini Wheats Contain Dairy?
The only animal-derived ingredient is gelatin. So, this means that although there is no dairy, Frosted Mini Wheats are not vegan.
How Are Frosted Mini Wheats Made?
Made with ten layers of wheat, they are topped with sugary frosting. The whole grain wheat is designed to fill consumers up beyond breakfast.
Kellogs has confirmed that the Gelatin used in Frosted Mini Wheats in the US is derived from beef.
They also confirmed that sometimes gelatin is used to improve texture. This seems to be the case with this cereal, although it does feel unnecessary. They came under some scrutiny in the past for not revealing that the gelatin used was derived from beef, but have since made an effort to be more transparent.
None of the above changes the fact that this cereal is not vegan, so we have found the following alternatives:
Kashi Breakfast Cereal, Berry Fruitful Organic Fiber Cereal
Featuring vegan protein to get you through the morning, this is as close to Frosted Mini Wheats as a vegan is going to find. The ingredient list makes for pleasant reading as a vegan:
Organic Whole Grain Wheat, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Concord Grape Juice Concentrate, Organic Invert Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Corn Starch, Organic Apple Powder, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Red Raspberry Puree Concentrate, Organic Strawberry Puree Concentrate.
The list of organic ingredients is impressive, and glycerin is also derived from vegetables. They are sweetened by a variety of fruit juices and organic cane juice, making them vegan-friendly.
Kashi Breakfast Cereal, Cinnamon Harvest Fruitful Organic Fiber Cereal
Another vegan-friendly version of the same cereal, only with fewer ingredients.
Whole grain wheat*, cane sugar*, cinnamon*natural flavor.*Organic
Even the technique used seems wholesome. They say that woven into the middle is a combination of organic cinnamon and organic cane sugar. Because it is organic, it cannot have been mixed with bone char.
These are bite-sized, just like Frosted Mini Wheats, but without the cruelty of gelatin.
Three Sisters Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch Original Cereal
Another vegan-friendly option, this contains non-GMO ingredients and is sweetened by evaporated cane sugar.
Anyone looking for dairy may want to know that they are manufactured in a facility that processes milk but the ingredients are as follows:
Whole oat flour, whole wheat flour, evaporated cane sugar, barley malt extract, unsulfured molasses, baking soda, sea salt, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), tocopherols (antioxidants to preserve freshness). Contains wheat.
Barbara’s Bakery Multigrain Spoonfuls Cereal
Another option that is vegan friendly, the vanilla flavor and mix of organic ingredients ensure this is a tasty alternative that is cruelty-free.
There is no gelatin in sight, and it even says it is vegan friendly which is always reassuring. The ingredients read as follows:
Organic Whole Grain Wheat, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Vanilla Bean, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Cornstarch, Natural Flavor.
Although the controversial gelatin can be found in Frosted Mini Wheats, the good news is that no vegan is short of options.
There are some brands putting animals before their cereal, ensuring there are still plenty of options for the breakfast table.