Navigating through aisles of food items can be challenging when you’re vegan. Reading every last ingredient on the packaging makes a trip to get some groceries a lot longer!
Gushers were extremely popular in the 90s and have made a comeback with the generation that grew up with them. If you’ve recently adopted a vegan diet then you might be questioning if your favorite candy is still okay to eat.
In this article, we are going to explore what is in Fruit Gushers and if they are vegan. Spoiler alert, apparently they are.
What Are Gushers?
Fruit Gushers or ‘Gushers’ are a snack created for kids and are known for their juicy center filled with a variety of different fruity flavors.
Gushers are produced in a shape similar to a jewel that you’d associate with a video game or Pirate cartoon. The correct term for the shape of the candy is a hexagonal bipyramid.
There are two main components to a Gusher, the semi-soft gummy outer shell and the fruit-flavored juice on the inside. When you bite into the candy, the fruit juice ‘gushes’ out giving it the righty-appointed name. Gushers can be found in a variety of flavors such as Tropical, Island Splash, Mixed Fruit, and Strawberry Splash.
What Is In A Gusher?
Before you turned vegan, you may not have paid much attention to the ingredients list on your favorite foods. When you do, it can look a little overwhelming and even a little dangerous.
What on earth is carrageenan I hear you ask? Taken from red seaweed, carrageenan has been used in the food industry for hundreds of years so don’t panic. But you get the point.
Here is a general list of the Fruit Gushers ingredients:
- Corn syrup
- Dried corn syrup
- Pear puree concentrate
- Modified corn starch
- Palm oil
Contains 2% or less of:
- Cottonseed oil
- Grape juice concentrate
- Citric acid
- Sodium citrate
- Malic acid
- Vitamin C
- Natural flavor
- Potassium Citrate
- Xanthan gum
- Color (red 40, blue 1, yellow 5 & 6)
Spin-off products and different flavors may contain slightly altered ingredients. If you aren’t sure what some of these ingredients are, we recommend doing an internet search to assure yourself they are not derived from animal by-products.
Each packet of Gushers contains 80 calories and 18 grams of sugar. Although they are relatively low-calorie for a snack, they contain a huge amount of sugar. For a balanced and healthy diet, snacks such as Gushers should be enjoyed in moderation.
Are Gushers Vegan?
According to the company that makes Fruit Gushers, they are vegan. They state there are no animal products in the candies.
Although commonly associated with the Betty Crocker brand, General Mills is the company that manufactures the candy.
Information from their website indicates that the sweets are gelatin-free as well as being gluten-free, kosher and are not made with any artificial flavors.
Ingredients To Look Out For
Generally speaking, there are a few ingredients that people often misunderstand or assume are vegan when it comes to candy. These don’t necessarily relate just to Gushers, but to candy in general. One example is gelatin; this animal-based product is often made from the skin and bones of cows and pigs.
If any candy or food item has gelatin in it, then it isn’t suitable for a vegan diet. Unless stated as ‘vegan’ on the packaging of things such as candy and fruit chews, it’s safe to assume that it contains gelatin or some other type of animal product.
Glycerine is a clear, colorless syrupy liquid that is slightly sweet in taste. Although it is a natural compound, it can be derived from either plants or animal fats which means the presence of it isn’t always going to make a product vegan.
In regard to Gushers, the manufacturers have not expressed whether or not the glycerine used in their products is derived from a plant-based source or not.
Although artificial colors are not made with animal-derived products, there are certain products that contain the colors that are tested on animals. From an ethical standpoint, this is problematic for many vegans so is something to be aware of here.
Some of the ingredients may be problematic for those that adopt a vegan lifestyle due to ethical concerns such as palm oil. But on the whole, Gushers do not list any animal products in their candies, making them vegan.