From around the early 1980s, Fruit Roll-Ups has been a popular brand of fruit candy. With numerous versions of the original plain sheets, they’ve come out in punch out shapes and even pro tem tattoos for tongues.
For the reason that this candy has been around for so long, a lot of vegans grew up on the snack; thus want to know if they can continue with it keeping the vegan status intact.
Is the question that is it vegan? Yes, by most standards, Fruit Roll-Ups are considered vegan. They come up in several flavors, and most are more or less some combination of corn syrup, sugar, fruit concentrate, oils, vegetable gums, colors, emulsifiers, vitamin C, and emulsifiers. Generally, the products, as mentioned above, are considered vegan.
Here you will be followed to various reasons why Fruit Roll-Ups are considered vegan by most standards, classifying any ingredients that especially prudent vegans may want to avoid.
Table of Contents
Why Fruit Roll-Ups Are Considered Vegan
Fruit Roll-Ups Don’t Contain Gelatin or Egg Whites.
Usually, Fruit candies are hard or chewy. Animal products are often used to achieve the desired chewy texture—namely, gelatin. Though egg albumen is also used for the same. Thus the latter can be a red flag.
None of the ingredients were found when I’ve scanned its numerous labels. Contrary to this, the candy makes use of several vegetable microbe-derived gums.
For example, the berry/strawberry flavor contains:
- Corn Syrup
- Pear Puree Concentrate
- Palm Oil
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Citrate
- Acetylated Monoglycerides
- Malic Acid
- Xanthan Gum
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Locust Bean Gum
- Potassium Citrate
- Natural Flavor
- Red 40
The snack is termed as a pectin-based fruit-flavored candy, according to Wikipedia.
It’s okay if you run across pectin. It’s merely a polysaccharide (a fancy word for a complex carb) that resides within and between the cell walls of fruits and vegetables.
It is though figured out that the ones checked by me contain other plant-based substances (usually carrageenan and locust bean gums).
Xanthan gum is microbe-derived. It is primarily considered vegan, although the story is a bit more complicated for this additive.
The process of its production is via fermentation with a bacteria known as Xanthomonas Campestris. The cultures are fed sugars, like sucrose and glucose. On the other hand, some of the strains can be cultivated on lactose (the pure sugar in milk).
Egg whites are even used as an ingredient in its processing.
Although the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) classify it to be a safe ingredient for vegans.
Fruit Roll-Ups Use Vegan-Friendly Food Colorants
Those agents that aren’t found in nature or derived from a natural source are termed Artificial food coloring agents.
This is vital in some aspects as the only non-vegan food dye is among the “natural” colors. This is because it is found in nature via the female lac bug. Yes, I am pointing towards Red 4, aka carmine, the food dye derived from beetles.
As Female lac bugs traverse branches, they secrete a substance called sticklac. The sticklac is filtered to yield shellac, which is used to make the confectioner’s glaze.
Beeswax is looked at much like honey, which is taken from bees, a food product considered off-limits by most standards.
Fruit Roll-Ups mostly use Red 40, or Allura Red, which is a food dye. It’s a fact that it is produced as a by-product of the petroleum industry.
It’s considered among the “coal tar” dyes along with Sunset Yellow (Yellow 6) and tartrazine (Yellow 5).
That’s why, while the azo dyes may not be all-natural, they are vegan-friendly.
Fruit Roll-Ups Don’t Contain Beeswax Confectioner’s Glaze.
Isn’t it kind of surprising? When a fruit-flavored candy has a subtle glossy sheen to it, one would wonder that the shiny surface was achieved with the help of a plant-based wax or with the use of non-vegan edible coatings like beeswax and confectioner’s glaze.
Fruit Roll-Ups don’t intend to use any wax, so that’s great news for vegans.
By the way, I am not saying that all self-identifying vegans would avoid a food product containing products like beeswax or confectioner’s glaze, but by most of the community views, it ought to be off-limits.
I don’t prefer consuming insect-derived substances, but I do know several vegans who do so.
Luckily, there are no issues about it with this particular candy.
Maybe that’s all for the vegan status of Fruit Roll-Ups.
It is to be noted that the candy is mostly considered vegans. But, plant-based eaters may vary quite a bit as they avoid certain grey area ingredients that are vegan if sourced from x but non-vegan if sourced from y.
Ingredients like monoglycerides come under this category. They’re produced from glycerol and triglycerides. Plus, both can be found in both plant oils and animal fats.
But actually, the presence of these ingredients may not render a food product non-vegan by most standards.
Although, thanks for reading.
You may also want to check out the following related articles:
- The Little-Known History Of Fruit Roll-ups. http://mentalfloss.com/article/507887/little-known-history-fruit-roll-ups
- Fruit Roll-Ups. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_Roll-Ups
- Xanthan Gum Is Vegan – No Egg Whites. https://www.vrg.org/blog/2018/06/28/xanthan-gum-is-vegan-no-egg-whites/
- Animal-derived Ingredients Resource | Living https://www.peta.org/living/food/animal-ingredients-list/