Vegans enjoy candy just as much as anybody else. But many popular varieties aren’t vegan-friendly. If you’re fond of candies, you might be wondering if cult-favorite skittles have gelatin.
Fortunately, skittles don’t contain gelatin and are vegan. Also, skittles don’t have any other animal-derived ingredients.
This article delves into what skittles are made of and addresses any related questions you might have. Let’s get started!
What are Skittles?
Skittles are rainbow-colored sugary treats that come in tiny shapes. The Wrigley Company originally produced these fruit-flavored candies.
Today, many candy factories worldwide make similar candies in many flavors. Skittle candies come in various flavors such as wild berry, tropical, dessert, and sour.
The current version of skittles is vegan-friendly with no direct animal-derived ingredients. However, some debatable ingredients might make strict vegans want to keep their distance.
The original recipe of Skittles used gelatin to make the other ingredients in these sweet candies stick together. Gelatin is an animal-derived ingredient sourced from the bones, cartilage, and skin of cattle or fish. For this reason, the Skittle was unsuitable for vegans. However, Skittle factories within the U.S. removed this ingredient back in 2010.
Nutritional breakdown of Gelatin-Free Skittles
The ingredients in the original Skittles are as follows:
Skittles contain conventional white sugar you’ll find in most sweet treats. It comes from sugar cane and is refined into small, white granules.
This is made from corn starch and has many uses in Skittles production. It softens, adds volume, and prevents sugar crystallization.
Hydrogenated palm kernel oil
This comes from the kernel of the palm plant Elaeis guineensis. In candy, it’s used to improve flavor and texture.
Citric acid increases acidity, improves flavor, and preserves ingredients in the Skittles production process.
Derived from the yucca plant, this starch extract is an adhesive candy coating that helps preserve flavor and color.
Modified corn starch
This emulsifying and gelling agent contains corn and is a big reason why Skittles are as gummy.
Natural and Artificial flavors
Companies don’t disclose the details of these flavors, but a good guess is that Skittle flavors come from natural sources or are artificially made to mimic fruity flavors.
Skittles are bright and use artificial colors derived from raw materials derived from petroleum.
This ingredient is the sodium salt of citric acid. It provides a tart flavor and is also used as a preservative.
This comes from the wax of the palm plant leaves. It helps keep the coating shiny and prevents the Skittles from melting.
Skittles might come out with a special limited-edition flavor that uses animal-derived ingredients that aren’t found in their original flavors. If you want to eat one of these and you’re vegan, make sure to read the ingredients list carefully.
Are Wild Berry Skittles gelatin-free?
Yes. Wild Berry Skittles are a lot like original Skittles, but with new flavors like strawberry, berry punch, melon berry, wild cherry, and raspberry.
Here’s the ingredient list of Wild Berry Skittles:
Sugar, Corn Syrup, less than 2% Citric Acid, Dextrin, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Fruit Juice From Concentrate (Strawberry, Cherry, Raspberry, Grape, Blackberry) Artificial and Natural Flavors, Coloring ( Red 40 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).
Based on the ingredient list, we can confirm that wildberry skittles are gelatin-free and vegan.
Are Tropical Skittles gelatin-free?
Yes, tropical skittles are gelatin-free and come in flavors like kiwi lime, banana berry, mango tangelo, pineapple passionfruit, and strawberry star fruit.
Tropical Skittles contain these ingredients:
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Tapioca Dextrin, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Colors, Sodium Citrate, Carnauba Wax.
With this list, you can see that they don’t vary from Original Skittles, making them gelatin-free.
Are Sour Skittles gluten-free?
Sour Skittles are very similar to original Skittles but have a sour coating. Enjoy flavors like sour strawberry, sour lemon, sour green apple, sour orange, and sour grape.
Sour Skittles have the same ingredients as original Skittles, with additional sodium citrate to provide the tangy flavor.
Sour Skittles are also gluten-free!
Are Skittles Darkside gelatin-free?
Skittles Darkside features a darker shade and tastes different from the original Skittles. You can enjoy flavors like dark berry, forbidden fruit, midnight lime, pomegranate, and blood orange.
Skittles Darkside is gelatin- and gluten-free, as indicated on their ingredients list.
Are Skittles Brightside gelatin-free?
Skittles Brightside offers new flavors to the original Skittles you’re used to. You can expect flavors like watermelon, kiwi banana, paradise punch, pink lemonade, and tangerine.
Skittles Brightside has these ingredients:
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Tapioca Dextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Colors (Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 6, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1), Carnauba Wax, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil; Less than 2% of Citric Acid.
Yes, they are also gelatin-free.
Are Zombie Skittles gelatin-free?
Zombie Skittles are like Bertie Bott’s flavored beans if you’re a Harry Potter fan. Some Skittles taste like melon, citrus punch, black cherry, red berry, while others taste like a rotten zombie! Don’t ask me what those taste like, because I don’t want to ever find out!
Their ingredient lists contain:
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Tapioca Dextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Colors, Sodium Citrate, Carnauba Wax, Natural and Artificial Flavors.
With this list in mind, you can say that yes, they are gelatin-free.
Are Skittles gummies gelatin-free?
Skittles gummies have all the flavors of your favorite Skittles candy but with a chewy texture. These gummies aren’t gelatin free, making them unsafe for vegetarians.
The ingredients in this gelatin-free candy are corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, water, less than 20% of citric acid, malic acid, natural and artificial flavors, colors, and carnauba wax.
Knowing these ingredients, we can say these aren’t safe to enjoy on a gelatin-free diet.
Other Debatable Ingredients to Watch in Skittles
Even though most Skittles are vegan-friendly, some people may be concerned about other ingredients.
This type of sugar may be processed with animal bone char to remove any impurities and give the sugar its white coloring.
Although palm oil doesn’t come from animals, cultivating palm oil harms the environment and animal life.
Non-Vegan Skittles Flavors List
Some of the Skittles flavors non-vegan are listed below.
Non-Vegan Skittles Flavors
Skittles Gummies: Launched in the U.S., these are not easily available anywhere else. These chewy candies don’t have the outer shell like the original Skittles. The main ingredients are palm fat, gelatin, sugar, artificial colors, and flavorings.
Sour Skittles: The ingredients of these sours kittles are common to Tropical Skittles. These are sugar, palm kernel oil, natural flavors, and colors. Though these may be are controversial for vegans, it’s up to you whether to eat them.
Tropical Skittles: Though tropical skittles don’t have gelatin or E120, the ingredients white sugar and palm kernel oil are still controversial for vegans.
What are the Alternatives to Skittles?
As some Skittles are not vegan, you must be looking for alternatives that fit a vegan-friendly diet. We’ve listed a few gelatin-free skittles alternatives below:
Vegan Gummy Bears
Many popular brands are producing vegan gummy bears. These gummies are kosher, gluten-free, gelatin-free, and low-calorie as well. The Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bear variety makes a good skittles alternative for vegans.
Hubba Bubba Chewing Gum
This is a tasty, vegan-friendly gum.
These caramel-coated bars are vegan as they contain apple crisp, peanut butter, roasted almond, brown maple sugar, cinnamon, and pecan crunch.
Skittles are gelatin-free and safe for a gelatin-free diet. They are also gluten and dairy-free and can be enjoyed without worry.
I hope if you’re a Skittles fan, you can feel good about eating them on your vegetarian diet after reading this post! If you want to know what other candy is gelatin-free, check out these gluten-free candy brands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Skittles dairy-free?
If you follow a dairy-free diet in addition to avoiding gelatin, you may be wondering if Skittles contain any dairy products. Lucky for you, Skittles don’t contain dairy products and are safe to eat on a dairy-free diet.
Are Skittles safe for celiac?
Yes, Skittles are gluten- and gelatin-free. They proudly print this information on the back of every Skittles wrapper.
Do Skittles contain pork?
Skittles changed their formula a few years ago and no longer contain gelatin derived from pork skins, pork, cattle bones, or split cattle hides.
Can vegetarians eat Skittles?
Skittles are vegan, and they don’t contain animal-derived ingredients. As a general reminder, a vegan diet excludes animal-derived products, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and lesser-known ingredients like carmine, gelatin, and egg whites.
Are red Skittles Haram?
Skittles are sugary, sweet, and tangy snacks, but can Muslims eat them? The good news is that, yes, most Skittles products are absolutely fine for vegetarians, vegans, and those following a halal diet.