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Answer: It depends. Many Mentos varieties are not vegan-friendly but we can confirm that Mentos Hard Mints are safe for vegans.
What Are Mentos?
Mentos are chewy mints that come in different flavors. They were first produced in 1932 by an Italian corporation called Perfetti Van Melle in the Netherlands. Around 1973, cinnamon and mentos flavors were introduced to America, while fruit-flavored mints were introduced to Europe.
In the 90s, Mentos motto was “The Freshmaker.” As the years went by, the old slogan changed to “Stay Fresh.” As of now, Mentos is sold in over 100 countries. These mint rolls and gums are mostly round in shape and have a slightly hard outer layer and a soft, tender texture on the inside. These mints also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which help in keeping the teeth and gum healthy.
Why Are Not All Mentos Vegan?
Mentos typically contain sugar and natural flavors. The sugar is mainly processed with bone char, which makes it non-vegan. Moreover, natural flavors are obtained from both plant and animal sources. The uncertainty of the natural flavors’ origin is problematic for vegans.
Examples of Mentos gum products that are not vegan are Pure Fresh, Fresh Mint, Bubble Fresh, Cotton Candy Ice, and Flurry. The non-vegan Mentos mints include Mentos Mint, Mentos Fruit, Chewy Mint, Grape Mentos, Strawberry Mentos, Cinnamon Mentos, Spearmint Rolls.
One of the major ingredients of Mentos in the United States is beeswax. It is a natural wax made by honey bees. Though it doesn’t necessarily kill them, obtaining beeswax could potentially harm them and definitely exploit them.
Another main ingredient of concern is carmine. It is a red food coloring gotten from an insect species called cochineal. This insect produces carminic acid. It is extracted from the eggs and body, then mixed with calcium salts or aluminum to make carmine dye. This dye is in the coating of Mentos Mint Rolls. It is also used in the textile industry and for painting.
Gelatine is one of the animal-derived substances used in mints and gum productions. It is obtained from animals such as pigs, chickens, and cows. It is used as a gelling agent in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.
Although few Mentos products are vegan-friendly, we can confirm that Mentos Hard Mints are safe for vegans.
It has four flavors: Nowmints Peppermint, Nowmints Wintergreen, Clean Breath Peppermint, and Clean Breath Wintergreen.
The ingredients used in the production of these Mentos are natural and vegan friendly. They also have less sugar than other products. These products have 30 mints in a pocket-friendly pack and help keep a fresh breath.
Only four products probably don’t cut it. More vegan-friendly varieties and flavors should be introduced.
Vegan-Friendly Mint Alternatives
Fortunately for vegan mint lovers, there are other vegan-friendly products on the market. A better alternative for vegans is Tic-Tac. Although they used to use shellac, which is obtained from insects for glazing at the beginning of production, now they use vegan-friendly carnauba wax. Tic-Tac is vegan-friendly, according to the product website tictacusa.com.
Another outstanding alternative mint is Polo mints. These mints are vegan, according to the document released in July 2018.
Peppersmith Mints is another right choice – they kicked off production in 2009, and most of their products contain natural and plant-based ingredients. One of the main components is xylitol, which is an excellent sugar substitute. As seen on their product website, xylitol helps reduce bacteria growth in the mouth and prevents acid attacks caused by sugary foods.
A vegan with a dry mouth condition should consistently use this brand because their products with lemon mints help increase saliva production.
As seen in this article, many Mentos varieties are not vegan-friendly. The ingredients to watch out for are gelatin, beeswax, and carmine. Moreover, the formulation of ingredients depends on the manufacturer’s base country. The ingredients used in making Mentos in America could be different from the ones in the United Kingdom.
This shouldn’t stop vegans from having these refreshing candies – remember to read the label!
We hope you find this article helpful and recommend it to your vegan friends.