Mike and Ikes are a popular candy with a wide range of fruit flavors, but if you are vegan then you might be wondering if they are suitable for you to snack on.
In this article, we are going to be looking at whether Mike and Ikes candy is vegan-friendly by going through the ingredients to see what the fruity treats are made up of.
Let’s get started
What Are Mike And Ikes?
Mike and Ikes are an oblong-shaped brand of chewy, fruit-flavored candies that were first introduced into the United States candy market back in 1940 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Whilst we know that the candy was created by the company Just Born Inc, the actual origins of the name Mike and Ike are unknown, though there are various theories surrounding it that range from the candy being named after comic strip characters, or possibly even being named after a vaudeville song!
Are Mike And Ikes Vegan?
Due to including both questionable and non-vegan ingredients, Mike and Ikes are not vegan and would not be suitable for a vegan diet.
Let’s go through both the non-vegan ingredients as well as the somewhat questionable ingredients to be found within Mike and Ikes.
Keep in mind that even though there are different flavors of Mike and Ikes, most of them feature exactly the same ingredients but with the addition of different fruit juice concentrates.
Questionable Mike And Ikes Ingredients
Modified Corn Starch
Whilst it isn’t specified, the modified corn starch within Mike and Ikes may well be made from GMO corn, which isn’t eco-friendly.
The environmental damage that can be caused by GMO corn includes cross-pollination of nearby crops, which can lead to difficulties when it comes to organic farming.
This is also why vegans are wary of modified corn starch as an ingredient.
The situation with citric acid is similar to that of modified corn starch, as it could possibly be made from GMO corn crops.
Stricter vegans might not be willing to consume ingredients that have damaging effects on the environment, such as GMO corn, which is why citric acid might be an ingredient that vegans aren’t happy about.
Refined cane sugar is highly problematic for vegans, as it is put through a refining process that involves animal bone char in order for the sugar to obtain its bright, white coloring.
The bones in this char come from dead animals, and they are heated at very high temperatures until they become charcoal.
There are no bone char particles to be found in the sugar itself, but since the process uses animal bones, it is not suitable for vegans.
However, it is incredibly difficult to know if certain products feature sugar that has been through this process.
Many vegans will avoid products with white sugar just to be sure and instead opt for food products with alternatives, such as beet sugar.
Artificial colors do not contain animal by-products, but the method through which they are obtained is not favored by vegans, as certain artificial colors are tested on animals.
Carnuba wax is another tricky one when it comes to ingredients.
Whilst it seems like a vegan ingredient- due to originating from carnuba plants-, but it has got some issues surrounding it as some blends of the wax include beeswax, which is not a vegan product as it is produced by bees via exploitive processes.
Non-Vegan Ingredients In Mike And Ikes
The only ingredient within Mike and Ikes that you can be absolutely certain is not vegan-friendly is confectioners glaze.
Confectioners glaze is a common ingredient used in candy production, as it gives the sweets their shiny coating.
The glaze is an insect by-product as it is made from the resin of lac beetles, which is called shellac.
Although shellac is naturally excreted by the beetles, and they aren’t killed in the process, this is still an ingredient that is undoubtedly animal-derived.
Due to the use of confectioners glaze to make the shiny shell of this particular candy brand, as well as the use of questionable ingredients such as sugar and carnuba wax, Mike and Ikes candy is not a vegan-friendly choice of candy.