Are Gushers Vegan?

Made by General Mills, these sweet candies may be a childhood favorite for many, but are Gushers vegan? The answer is that because they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, they are. But it’s a little complicated.

But what is it about them that makes them suitable, and are all flavors vegan? We’re going to take a closer look to find out.

Ingredients

Full of fruit juice, there are a couple of ingredients that stand out. Determining if a food is vegan or not isn’t always so black and white, and a quick look at the ingredients shows why:

Sugar, Corn Syrup, Dried Corn Syrup, Pear Puree Concentrate, Modified Corn Starch, Fructose, Maltodextrin, Palm Oil. Contains 2% or less of: Cottonseed Oil, Glycerin, Grape Juice Concentrate, Carrageenan, Citric Acid, Monoglycerides, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Natural Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Agar-Agar, Xanthan Gum, Color (red 40, blue 1, yellow 5 & 6).

There are no animal-derived ingredients to be seen, but a couple is problematic.

Related: Vegan fruit snacks

Palm Oil

A controversial ingredient because of the way it is harvested. Because of the way it displaces endangered animals from their habitat, palm oil is often off the menu for a vegan.

This isn’t always the case but it does raise questions of ethics that many cannot ignore.

Sugar

Another ingredient that raises alarm bells for some following a plant-based diet because it is difficult to determine how it has been processed. Some companies in the US use bone char, a “natural carbon” to decolorize their sugar, making it a more desirable white. 

This is made from cattle bones and imported from abroad. Any sugar that is organic, or made from beets, or coconut will not use this method. Still, it is hard to tell which companies use bone char. 

This is why some vegans avoid processed sugar altogether, as they cannot be sure if it has gone through this process.

When asking a company directly, many will say that they source their sugar from different suppliers. Many vegans will choose to ignore this because it can be difficult to follow the trail, or contact the company directly.

We should also mention that some companies use granular activated carbon to color their sugar whilst it is not too out of the question for some brands to use beets and coconut sugar. However, they will usually mention this.

Food Coloring

This can be problematic for many vegans because some are still tested on animals. The colors included in Gushers should not be an issue as blue 1 and red 40 are derived from coal, petroleum, and tar. However, this might make some people think twice anyway, especially since they were banned in France, Belgium, and Denmark. 

Still, they are fine for consumption in the US and are vegan.

Glycerine is a preservative that can be either vegetable-based or animal-based, so it is another worth being cautious over.

Modified Corn Starch

Because it is difficult to tell where these enzymes are derived this is a hazardous ingredient for any vegan. 

Producers of enzymes often use bacterial cultures which are vegan, however, there are others. Some bacteria are fed on animal products so they produce enzymes. This approach is often more economical, making it more tempting for manufacturers which is why vegans can find issues with it.

Monoglyceride

Any manufacturer who mentions where their monoglyceride comes from is going to seem more trustworthy, but they rarely will. 

It is another that can be derived from both plant and animal products. It is a small ingredient that many turn a blind eye to its inclusion. They are there to improve the texture and the shelf life of a product.

FAQ

Do Gushers Contain Gelatin?

This is the go-to question for many vegans, and when it comes to confectionery, it is easy to see why. So many companies use this ingredient to make their candy chewy, and with the gooey center in Gushers, it is a valid question.

Gelatin is made by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and even bones of cattle and pigs. Including such an ingredient makes any food non-vegan, and thankfully Gushers do not contain gelatin.

Do Gushers contain Dairy?

They do not. There are no ingredients that make up these gooey candies that contain dairy.

How Are Gushers Made?

The wildly popular snack is made up of soft candy on the outside, but with a gooey center. The center gushes out as the consumer bites down, hence the name.

A lot of people will question how they manage to make their candies gooey without gelatin, but the combination of fruit juice along with other vegan-friendly ingredients means that there is nothing in there to concern most vegans.

Of course, the questionable ingredients will be enough to put some off, but many will be able to look past palm oil and others. 

Final Word

So, it is not easy to say that Gushers are strictly vegan, but it all depends on how much you need to know about where certain ingredients are derived from.

Any doubt is based on the unknown, which makes it difficult to say whether or not these candies should be avoided.

The likes of glycerine, monoglycerides and even modified corn starch could be derived from animal products, but they are also likely to be from plant-based sources. This is part of the difficulty of being vegan.

You don’t know for certain that the glycerine used in Gushers is indeed derived from an animal-based source. Likewise, you don’t know this fact about artificial sugar, monoglycerides, and modified corn starch too. All doubts are mere speculations. 

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