Are Chupa Chups Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Chupa Chups?

  • By: Daniel B.
  • Date: January 5, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Answer: It depends.

Depends

Be honest, every time a person says “lollipop” there’s only one name that comes to your mind! Chupa Chups is the brand that became synonymous with that candy on a stick worldwide and is still an all-time favorite for a lot, lot of people.

Chupa Chups lollipops are mostly vegan since the majority of their flavors come from fruits. There are still a few non-vegan flavors, but it would be very easy to avoid them by looking into their ingredients.

The brand and the product itself began as the creative idea of Enric Bernat in 1958. He wanted to introduce to the world an innovative delicacy that you can enjoy like “eating a sweet with a fork.” Today, the popular lollipops have over a hundred flavors, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll only be looking into the ones that are common and readily available in the states.

Flavors On The Table

FlavorVeganNon-Vegan Ingredient/sAllergen Info
Cola/MiniYesN/AGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, dairy, and nuts free
Sour CherryYesN/AN/A
Sour AppleYesN/AN/A
Sour LemonYesN/AN/A
Sour StrawberryYesN/AN/A
Strawberry/MiniYesN/AGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, dairy, and nuts free
Orange/MiniYesN/AGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, dairy, and nuts free
RaspberryYesN/AGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, dairy, and nuts free
Apple/MiniYesN/AGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, dairy and nuts free
CherryUnknownNot indicated to be dairy-freeGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, and nuts free, vegetarian
Cherry BubblegumUnknownNot indicated to be dairy-freeSoybeans free, vegetarian
Strawberry CreamNoWhey permeate, whole milk powderN/A
Raspberry-VanillaNoWhey permeate, whole milk powderGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, and nuts free
Based on the updated ingredients list from Chupa Chups Products

Basic Ingredients

Sugars

In standard food descriptions, the total number of present sugars are compiled together even when these sugar components are divided into other categories.

Sucrose

Sucrose naturally comes from organic sources such as sugarcane and beets. We know it as table sugar and is the one we commonly use every day. It’s the same for Chups and other candy manufacturers as this type of sugar is easily attainable and standardized. Equal parts of glucose and fructose compose sucrose.

Glucose Syrup

Also known as corn syrup, it has very little to no nutritional value and is merely used as a sweetener, texturizer (by preventing sugars from crystallizing), and thickener in candy. Glucose syrup is also gluten-free as cornstarch.

Fruit Puree From Concentrate

Not to be confused with merely fruit puree, fruit puree concentrate is basically dehydrated fruit in which the puree is completely stripped off of its water, vitamins, and essential minerals, and left with only its natural sugar and caloric content. This is basically what gives the fruity flavoring to candy.

Acids

Mellow acids are often used as pH balancers, texture enhancers, and taste managers in candy products.

Lactic Acid

Some vegans are eagerly concerned about the presence of “lactic acid” in most, if not all, of the lollipop flavors from Chups, but there’s no need to worry about this since most of the Chups pops are dairy-free. So, what exactly is lactic acid, and why are some people exaggerating over it?

Well, first off, lactic acid isn’t supposed to be the one that vegans should fret about, but rather, lactose. You see, lactic acid and lactose are entirely separate ingredients and have different origins and uses. Lactic acid comes as a byproduct of the fermentation of sugars from cornstarch or beetroot, while lactose always comes from dairy and therefore should be avoided. The reason why lactic acid is added into lollipops and other candy is that it is used as a preservative, a pH regulator, and a flavor enhancement that counters the intense sweetness of fruit purees. That’s basically it, but if you want to know the keener details on lactic acid, WebMD can get you covered.

Malic Acid

Also known as apple acid, this is usually a synthesized compound extracted from apples and is used as a flavor additive, specifically giving the sharp sourness in candy. Interestingly, malic acid is derived from the Latin word for apples, hence its name. Malic acid also naturally exists in our body in the Krebs cycle for producing energy.

Citric Acid

Commonly comes from citrus fruits, this is another acidifier in candy that also introduces a tangy flavor similar to lemons and limes. Though manufactured citric acid usually doesn’t have that many benefits to offer, natural citric acids from fruit do, and there’s more on that from Healthline. So, as sour as they may be, make sure to add some sour fruits into your diet as well because they help.

Non-Vegan Ingredients

Here comes the ones that you have to avoid and be familiar with because these are very common ingredients in many manufactured candies today.

Whey Permeate

Whey permeate is a byproduct of whey protein isolates but with the proteins, fats, and other solid minerals removed. It is 85% lactose and a combination of other minerals. Whey permeate is commonly used in pastries and confectionaries as a fat-free sweetener and as a replacement for high-fat dairy products without sacrificing the taste and thickness of the results.

Whole Milk Powder

It’s exactly the same as powdered milk, a dehydrated, powdered form of milk with the fats, protein, and carbs still intact as solid minerals. It is commonly used for added flavor, creamy texture, and a milky taste in candy.

Sugar-Free Chupa Chups

For people who love to enjoy the world-renowned lollipop brand but are keeping keen on their sugar intake, here’s Chupa Chups’ most generous response for them. Essentially, these lollipop variants replace sucrose sugar, glucose syrup, and lactic acid with some sugar-free alternatives.

Cherry Sugar-FreeVeganGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, dairy, and nuts free
Strawberry Sugar-FreeVeganGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, dairy, and nuts free
Cola Sugar-FreeVeganGluten, eggs, peanuts, soybeans, dairy, and nuts free
Based on the updated ingredients list from Chupa Chups Products

Sweeteners

Common artificial sweeteners are used in place of sugar due to their healthier benefits than the high-calorie carbohydrate sucrose, especially when it comes to the management of blood sugar and insulin levels. Chupa Chups primarily uses four sugar substitutes and you may have already encountered some of these before. Though they may seem generally healthier than sugar, we still have to remember that too much of anything is not always good.

Isomalt

Isomalt is a bulk sweetener that is only derived from beet sugar, making it a one-of-a-kind, 100% sugar-free sweetener. It may only be half as sweet as sucrose, but it also comes in half the amount of calories at equal measure. The isomalt product by Beneo has a plethora of uses and benefits almost better than natural sucrose, so if you’re wanting to create some recipes with mild sweetness and fewer calories, then isomalt may just be what you need. It’s also most widely used in making cake decorations, especially the clear color gem candies.

Maltitol Syrup

Another sugar substitute is maltitol syrup or simply maltitol, and it is produced from the hydrogenation of maltose. It is a sugar alcohol that naturally comes from some fruits and vegetables. Despite being a natural sugar, maltitol is manufactured from maltose, and just like isomalt, it also has less sweetening power and calories than sucrose.

Though it may seem a fair substitute for sugar, maltitol is still a carbohydrate that you need to be wary of when taking too much. Since maltitol is a sugar alcohol, our bodies don’t absorb them very well, and more so, they also stay longer in the intestinal tract where they are fermented by good bacteria.

Depending on how much of it is taken and the body’s reaction to it, maltitol may act similarly to a laxative, causing some mild bowel discomfort and excess gases. Although, it does benefit diabetic people by slowing down blood sugar and insulin spikes.

Acesulfame K

Acesulfame potassium is an intense sweetener that brings the first two mild sweeteners to a closer sweetness to sucrose. Compared to the first two, ace-K is a calorie-free sweetener, 200 times more potent than sucrose, and has a bit of a controversial background. Amongst the ingredients of sugar-free products, this is one you would want to watch out for due to several reasons.

Our bodies do not and cannot digest ace-K, nor store it. So, consuming too much of it won’t be beneficial to us in any way, and it is only disposed of through the urinary tract. There is not enough evidence out there proving if ace-K is disruptive to the body either, and the FDA approves that a daily intake of 15 mg per kilogram of body weight is acceptably safe, although, further research is still needed for that. The health industry used to suggest that ace-K may cause cancer severity, but unless you’re someone who drinks 1000 cans of soda each day, then you should be safe.

The only thing you need to worry about ace-K is that there are simply not enough shreds of evidence to define it as safe nor unsafe, but the only thing sure is that it is completely useless to our bodies, other than being a sugar substitute.

Sucralose

Also known by its brand name, Splenda is the fourth artificial sweetener in Chups lollipops and is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. Like ace-K, Splenda also claims to be a calorie-free sweetener and sucralose is indigestible. Sucralose has little to no effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, but that may not always be true for those who aren’t used to it.

To be a bit more scientific, sucralose is a disaccharide sugar that is almost similar to the chemical composition of sucrose, C12H22O11, except it has substituted chlorine atoms for hydrogen and oxygen bonds in its structure, C12H19Cl3O8. What makes this important to know is that since table sugar has more hydrogen-oxygen bonds in it, it has a higher melting point than sucralose which has fewer hydrogen bonds. So what?

This simply means that sucralose will melt faster under high heat than table sugar, which makes it not very ideal for high heat baking. Why? When sucralose is melted in high temperatures, it releases potentially harmful substances called chlorophenols. These may disrupt the natural order of our gut bacteria, altering their process of handling carbs and sugars, and potentially leading to cancer severity and male infertility.

Bottom line is that it’s best to manage your intake of Splenda or sucralose in the things you buy and eat, since it has no absolute uses for the body only as a less-calorie, anti-tooth decay substitute for sugar, and that there’s still not enough evidence bases supporting its adverse effects on blood sugar and insulin.

Other Vegan Lollipops

So if you’d care to try out some other vegan lollipop brands, then we’ve also got some for you here and all are readily available on Amazon.

Wrap It Up

At the end of the day, anyone and everyone can enjoy their favorite flavors from the world-renowned lollipop brand, Suck n’ Sucks, just kidding, Chupa Chups. Most lollipops are already vegan, but not all of them are allergen-free and tooth-healthy either. So, you’re still better off choosing the vegan brands of lollipops as these mostly offer healthier and more enjoyable solutions to your sweet candy cravings.

Most vegan branded pops are also gluten and allergen-free, making them ideal for people who have certain sensitivities. Some are low-calorie and sugar-free too, just like Chupa Chups sugar-free lollipops, but always remember that doesn’t mean one ingredient does better than the other, doesn’t mean that it’s already the best as every substitute still has its cons when taken excessively. It’s best to keep a keen eye on the ingredients (especially the sugars) of the food we eat and how much we’re already consuming to ensure the best outcome of our healthy diet and lifestyle.

So, that’s it for today and I hope you would still enjoy licking on those sticky-sweet pops from Chupa Chups and your other favorite vegan brands.