Swedish Fish have a texture that might make you question if they are truly vegan or not. As we explored in Are Sour Patch Vegan? there are ways now to make gummy candies without using gelatin or animal products. But some candies still use these.
So in this post, we will explore Swedish Fish to see what is in them and if they are truly vegan or not.
Are Swedish Fish Vegan?
Swedish Fish are now vegan, however, some older versions may not be vegan. To determine if Swedish Fish are vegan or not, we must have a look at the ingredients. Also, for strict vegans, there are some ingredients that might make Swedish Fish not vegan-friendly. We will go over these below.
At one point, Swedish Fish used beeswax which was a non-vegan ingredient. Although Swedish Fish have gone away from using beeswax as an ingredient, and instead are using carnauba wax, some older versions of Swedish Fish had beeswax as an ingredient.
If you are buying new Swedish Fish, you should probably be fine. But, if you happen to have an older version of Swedish Fish, you might have a box that still contains beeswax.
By checking the ingredients you can determine if beeswax is present or not.
There are a couple of other ingredients that might be a concern for strict vegans. They are not ingredients that have directly animal-derived ingredients, but they have some connection to animals in the processing.
First, there are some slight concerns with sugar. While most sugar is vegan now (See Why Most Sugar is Vegan Now) there is still some sugar that uses bone char in the processing. Bone char is made from the burned bones of cattle. Although no bone char ends up in the final product of sugar, this could make it non-vegan for some.
Another ingredient of concern is the artificial colors, such as Red 40. This is because even those these are usually plant-derived, sometimes they are tested on animals for safety.
But what about gelatin?
Swedish Fish Nutrition Facts
According to boxes of Swedish Fish in the U.S. here are the ingredients:
- Invert sugar
- Corn syrup
- Modified corn starch
- Citric acid
- Natural and artificial flavors
- White mineral oil
- Carnauba wax or Beeswax
- Red (Dye) #40
- Yellow (Dye) #6
- Yellow (Dye) #5
- Blue (Dye) #1
Swedish Fish contains 110 calories for every 5 pieces. This is made up of 27 grams of carbs, of which 23 grams are added sugar.
There is no protein and no fat found in Swedish Fish.
You can find more info on Swedish Fish and its ingredients at the Swedish Fish website.
What Flavor Are Swedish Fish?
The flavor of Swedish Fish is lingonberry, a berry that is found growing in Sweden and Scandinavia. Many Americans describe the flavor of Swedish Fish as fruit punch or think it might be cherry because of the red flavor, but it is actually lingonberry, a berry not common in the U.S. but popular in Sweden.
Do Swedish Fish Have Gelatin?
Because Swedish Fish have a gummy texture to them, you might wonder if gelatin might have been used. This is because gelatin is commonly used to make foods have a gummy or soft texture, much like jello.
But Swedish Fish do not have gelatin in them. Instead, they use modified corn starch and corn syrup to create the chewiness of the Swedish Fish.
Learn more at Do Swedish Fish Have Gelatin?
Are Swedish Fish Dairy Free?
Swedish fish are dairy-free and do not contain any dairy or milk products. Swedish Fish are fine for anyone on a dairy-free diet or with a dairy allergy.
Are Swedish Fish Halal?
Swedish Fish do not contain any animal products or alcohol and are halal. Swedish Fish do not have any gelatin, so there is no concern that they might include any pork.
Are Swedish Fish Kosher?
Swedish Fish do not have any ingredients that would make them not Kosher. But, they are not officially listed as Kosher and there are claims they are not Kosher.
Are Swedish Fish Gluten-Free?
Swedish Fish are gluten-free. They contain no wheat or added gluten. They are acceptable to eat on a gluten-free diet.
Are Swedish Fish Vegan and Gluten-Free?
Swedish Fish are vegan and gluten-free. Some older Swedish Fish, however, might not be vegan and might contain beeswax. So check the ingredients list in order to make sure.
Are Swedish Fish Healthy?
Swedish Fish are not a healthy food to consume a lot. Although they are plant-based and vegan, they are not whole food plant-based. It would be better to consume whole foods that are plant-based, such as oats, grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables instead.
If you eat Swedish Fish, eat them in moderation and only as a snack or treat.
Vegan Friendly Candy
Have a look at some of our other articles on popular vegan candies!
Some of these might be vegan candies you might want to try instead.