In one of the previous posts, we looked at the question of are Sour Patch Kids vegan or vegetarian. and also is Are Sour Patch Watermelon Vegan? The answer might surprise some, and is different than a lot of sites have covered.
In this post, let’s look specifically at the question, are Sour Punch Straws vegan?
Let’s look at the answer to this below!
What is Sour Punch?
Sour Punch is a type of sour candy line-up. It comes in five different forms, those being the Straws, Bites, Ropes, Twists and Bits. For these five different forms of the Sour Punch candy, there are five different flavors as well.
Here’s the official Sour Punch website.
Do Sour Punch Straws Have Gelatin?
One of the biggest concerns when we looked at Sour Patch kids being vegan or not, was the question of whether Sour Patch Kids had gelatin. The reason for this, is that gelatin is most definitely a non-vegan food item.
Gelatin is said to be non-vegan by Peta. It is generally made from the bones of animals, especially cows and pigs. So, while it isn’t a blatant non-vegan item or animal product such as meat or dairy, for many vegans who are avoiding animal products completely, then gelatin would be a non-vegan item. So, anything with gelatin would be a non-vegan food.
So, the question to first look at is, do Sour Punch Straws have gelatin?
Well, according to the ingredient label, Sour Punch Straws, just like some of the Sour Patch Kids, don’t have gelatin.
We’ll dive into the Sour Punch Straws ingredients next.
Sour Punch Straws Ingredients
What are Sour Punch Straws made of? Here are the ingredients list for Sour Punch Straws as follows:
- CORN SYRUP
- HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
- WHEAT FLOUR
- CITRIC ACID
- MALIC ACID
- TARTARIC ACID
- GLYCERYL MONOSTEARATE
- ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR
- COLOR ADDED BLUE 1
Gelatin is not listed as an ingredient. Just like the American version of Sour Patch Kids, the gelling agent in Sour Punch Straws is not gelatin, instead it is corn syrup.
Are Sour Punch Straws Vegan?
This is slightly difficult question to answer, as it was with the Sour Patch Kids. We do know that Sour Punch Straws do not have gelatin, which is the number one concern for vegans with this type of product. But are there other ingredients that might make it non-vegan?
Well, the issue is with sugar. A lot of sugar, especially sugar made in the U.S. will be made with bone char. Bone char is made by heating the bones of cows to high temperatures.
If sugar is made from beets, then bone char is not used in the process. But, if sugar is made from cane sugar, then bone char is used in the whitening process. Unless, activated charcoal is used instead.
It really depends on the company that makes the sugar as to which way they make the sugar, and if bone char is used or not. For candy companies who purchase sugar from different suppliers, the creation process of the sugar might be unknown, as is probably the case with Sour Punch Straws. This was also an issue with Sour Patch Kids as well.
The next issue that might make Sour Punch Straws not vegan, even though they don’t have gelatin, is the use of artificial colors or flavors. Artificial colors and flavors are not animal products in themselves. They are usually created synthetically using chemicals.
But, a lot of vegans have problems with artificial colors and flavors because they are tested on animals. Since they are synthetically produced, they are required to be tested for safety. Unfortunately, a lot of these tests are done on animals. Generally, rats are tested the most, but so are rabbit, dogs and other animals. So, depending on how strict of a vegan you are, you may have an issue with artificial colors or flavors being non-vegan. This was also a similar issue with Sour Patch Kids which also contain artificial colors and flavors.
So, even though Sour Punch Straws don’t have gelatin, all of these other issues may make Sour Punch Straws non vegan.
Do Sour Power Straws Have Gelatin?
Another similar item to Sour Punch Straws are the Sour Power Straws. They also do not have gelatin in them. But, just like Sour Punch Straws, they will have some of the same issues with sugar and artificial colors.
Are Sour Punch Straws Bad for You?
Even if we did consider Sour Punch Straws to be vegan friendly, does that mean they are still good for us? Well, if if they are vegan candy, they still fall under the category of “Vegan Junk food” and do not follow a WFPBD or Whole Food diet. The best thing for our health is to eat a whole food plant-based diet. This means to choose plant-based items, but to make sure they are in their whole forms. That means, not broken down into parts or processed into new foods.
Since Sour Punch Straws and pretty much all candies are processed, these don’t have great health benefits for us. Also, Sour Punch Straws have an extra layer of sugar coating on the outside, which also makes them bad for the teeth.
If you are absolutely in need of some vegan candy besides Sour Punch Straws, or you are looking for some for your kids and you are strict vegan, then you can consider some of these alternatives.
- Pixy Stix
- Sweet Tarts
- Jolly Ranchers
- Dark Chocolate – Cacao content of 50% or more. The higher the better. Avoid milk chocolate.
- Swedish Fish – They don’t use gelatin, only animal-free ingredients like cornstarch.
- Twizzlers – They use cornstarch instead of gelatin in Twizzlers.
- Skittles – They originally had gelatin but has been switched out for a plant based version.
- Nerds – They are pretty much just hardened sugar.
- Mary Janes
So, are Sour Punch Straws Vegan? It looks like it might have to do with how strict you are as a vegan. They do not have gelatin, the main non-vegan ingredient to avoid. But, they do have other ingredients which might be something that a vegan is wishing to avoid.