As with many breakfast kinds of cereal, Trix is tricky. There are several questionable ingredients, but is Trix cereal vegan? The answer is that it is not, well not for strict vegans.
Some may be able to look past some of the animal-derived culprits. Let’s take a closer look at why, and see if there are any truly vegan alternatives.
Trix Cereal Ingredients
General Mills makes this cereal for the North American market, with Nestle sending it further afield, but we are going to look at the version that stays close to home.
They boast that this product does not use high fructose corn syrup, but as with many kinds of cereal, it is the vitamins and minerals that they have fortified the recipe with that are concerning.
Here is what you will find on the label:
Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Rice Flour, Corn Syrup, Canola Oil, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 and Other Color Added, Citric Acid, Malic Acid. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), Iron and Zinc (mineral nutrients), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), Vitamin A (palmitate), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.
Unfortunately, multiple ingredients will stand out for any vegan. And they include:
Unless it is organic or derived from beets or coconut, there is no guarantee that sugar processed in the US is completely vegan.
This is because a lot of brands use bone char to decolorize their sugar and make it a more desirable white. The process involves importing cattle and pig bones from abroad and bleaching sugar.
A lack of transparency makes it difficult to tell which brands use this approach and which do not. Therefore, vegans cannot trust a lot of confectionery, candies, soft drinks, and even cereal.
Bone char remains a grey area for many vegans where they will have to decide how strict their principles are, this is the case for Trix.
Trix includes both Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. These ingredients are derived from non-animal sources, and made from petroleum byproducts, but have been routinely tested on animals.
It was tested on rats as recently as 2019 to ensure it is safe for human consumption. Since these tests often involve rodents consuming copious amounts of Red 40, they can become seriously ill, and often die as a result of testing.
This makes such ingredients non-vegan, although many will turn a blind eye to it.
Another term that is used in a general sense can be derived from either animals or plant-based sources, and companies do not need to specify on the label.
When it is derived from lanolin, vitamin D3 is not vegan. This waxy substance is taken from sheep’s wool and is something they produce to waterproof their coat.
Although it is included to fortify the cereal, there are vegan alternatives. These tend to be less desirable for food companies since they cost more which is why it is easy to assume that the vitamin D3 used in Trix cereal is animal-derived.
Does Trix Cereal Contain Dairy?
It does not. There are no dairy ingredients, or dairy-derived ingredients so you won’t find any whey, milk, lactose, or butter in this cereal.
Are Any Of The Trix Cereal Flavors Vegan?
They are not. Trix has been known to make exclusive versions of their cereal, with Trix Trolls with Marshmallows being one of the most recent.
As you can see from the following ingredients, this version is not vegan:
Whole Grain Corn, Corn Meal, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Dextrose, Canola Oil, Salt, Red 3 & 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, Turmeric Extract (color), Gelatin, Trisodium Phosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Malic Acid.Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), Iron and Zinc (mineral nutrients), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), Vitamin A (palmitate), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3
Not only does this version contain the same culprits as the original flavor, but they also contain gelatin. It is certainly not one for vegans.
Are There Any Vegan Alternatives?
You might consider the original Trix cereal to be vegan, despite some of the questionable ingredients, but if not, here are some plant-based alternatives:
Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Cinnamon Cereal
An alternative that uses organic cane sugar which is not processed with bone char, this is a vegan breakfast cereal with a simple ingredient profile as follows:
Brown rice flour*, whole grain cornmeal*, cane sugar*, corn meal*, yellow corn flour*, inulin*, quinoa*, flax seeds*, buckwheat flour*, sea salt, amaranth*, cinnamon*, molasses*, tocopherols (vitamin E). *Organic
Kashi GO Breakfast Cereal, Vegan Protein, Fiber Cereal, Peanut Butter Crunch
Packed full of protein, this is a great plant-based way to start your day. Non-GMO and with plenty of whole grains, Kashi is a Kellogg’s brand that even states which of their products are vegan on their website.
The ingredients in this product are:
Soy flakes, peanut butter (peanuts), brown rice syrup, whole grain oats, puffed whole grain blend (hard red wheat**, brown rice, barley, rye), cane sugar, expeller pressed canola oil, acacia gum, molasses, sea salt, peanut oil, rosemary extract for freshness.**Certified Transitional
The non-strict vegans of the world may find the controversial ingredients in Trix to be less of a big deal, it is a matter of opinion after all.
For the rest of us, plant-based breakfast cereals may be harder to find, but as we have found above, there are alternatives available.
Featured image by Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)