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Are Sour Punch Straws Vegan?
Are you a fan of sour candies? Then you must love Sour Punch Straws as well. But since you are here, you must be concerned if they’re vegan. Let’s find out.
The answer is yes. Sour Punch Straws are vegan. The making of Sour Punch Straws is quite straightforward, like any other candy.
Sour Punch Straws are sour candy pieces that are long and resemble the appearance of bendy straws. They are a nice mixture of sweet and sour, which makes the punch. These straws are sticky but, at the same time, soft, chewy, and fairly solid.
But how are these treats vegan-friendly to the strict vegans? Are they healthy? Let’s find out the details.
How Are Sour Punch Straws Made?
Sour Punch Straws is a candy variety produced by the American Licorice Company. It is also one of the very first companies to bring about sour candy into the market in the ’90s. The other varieties, along with Sour Punch Straws, are Ropes, Bites, Shapes, and Twists.
Sounds delicious and fun? They indeed are. And the fact that they’re vegan makes them even more desirable.
But you may be wondering how this vegan treat is made after all.
The ingredients are simply like any other sour candies. It is a mixture of sugar, flour, corn syrup, and water; all stirred in a gigantic kettle. It is vegan for the less-restrictive vegans, but the strict vegans may differ in opinion. However, the ingredients list has no animal ingredients.
- Corn syrup
- Artificial flavor
- Citric acid
- Malic acid
- Wheat flour
- Tartaric acid
- Glyceryl monostearate
- Artificial color added (blue 1, blue 1 lake, yellow 5 (tartrazine), yellow 5 lake).
All the ingredients are blended well to make the sour punch straws with the right color and flavor. They take one batch and heat it at 170 degrees. Then, they pump it up in a cooker and let out the excess moisture.
Once it gets the required moisture, the candy flows through an inclined belt and then through a cooling tunnel to chill the batch to 70 degrees.
In the end, the candies are coated with their signature sweet and sour taste. Next, they’re cut into their signature lengths and packeted for delivery.
Ingredients Vegans Might Question
While Sour Punch Straws don’t have any animal ingredients, sugar, glycerine, artificial flavors, and a few more are questionable in the vegan community.
However, some ingredients aren’t explicit about their origin or their method of extraction. Nor are they transparent about their various extraction conditions.
Let’s take a look at the questionable ingredients.
Sugar is derived from sugarcane and sugar beets. Both are similar in taste and are almost equally used in the United States. But they are processed differently, which involves different techniques and ingredients.
For instance, sugar beets are filtered using a diffuser, and additives are mixed to achieve the required crystallization. But sugarcanes are filtered and bleached using a bone char to gain the pure white color of the sugar.
Bone char is the result of heated bones of cattle at high temperatures. It reduces them to a black, charcoal-like powder. It is suggested an off-road for vegans according to the article by PETA.
Certain B2C companies source sugar from varying suppliers to test the different types of sugar in the market. For example, Oreos and Ghirardelli depend on various suppliers, which leaves you with no way to track back to the product.
Given that Sour Punch is an American company, the brand is popular and bone char is common in the United States. The Sour Punch products may use bone char to filter their sugar.
Glycerin is an odorless liquid and viscous. It is hygroscopic, which means it can absorb water. That is what makes glycerin an essential ingredient in various products. It prevents moisture.
So, glycerin is usable for various purposes, such as making lotion, fruit storage, making cakes, and candies like Sour Punch Straws.
Glycerin can be extracted in two different ways. It can be either extracted from plant-derived vegetable oil or the natural fat of animals. If the latter is used in making a product, it is no more vegan as it violates the vegan guidelines directly by involving animal degradation.
However, to the best of your concern, glycerol extracted from vegetable oil derived from plants is the one that is widely used in the United States.
Artificial Flavors and Colors
The issue of the product’s artificial flavors and colors is not with the origin of the ingredient. The problem lies with what happens to the flavors and colors before they’re introduced to the product.
Any ingredient, fully or partially synthetic, must be regulated beforehand. That is why it needs to be tested at different intervals to make the product safe for consumption.
Sadly, these tests are conducted on rodents, even guinea pigs, rabbits, and sometimes dogs or puppies. The tests involve feeding the animals with these ingredients or applying them to their eyes or skin to analyze their potential effects.
That is why many vegans, whether strict or not, are not cool with consuming such products that contain artificial flavors or colors in any way or type.
Other Ingredients to Look Out for in Vegan Candies
Here is a list of some extra ingredients you should avoid when looking for vegan candies like Sour Punch Straws.
- Gelatin: It involves boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones of pigs and cows.
- Shellac: It is a resin made of female lac bug and found on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It gives the candies their glossy appearance or, as you may have heard, their glaze.
- Carmine: It is a red pigment made of scale insects like cochineal scale and Porphyrophora species.
Are Sour Punch Straws Healthy?
Here is the list of their nutrient content, and then it is for you to decide if they are fit for you.
A pack of Sour Punch Straws contains 120cal.
A pack of Sour Punch Straws contains 5mg of sodium.
Glucose is the form of fuel your body needs. It is available to the body in the form of carbohydrates to ensure the top working conditions of your body. A pack of Sour Punch Straws contains 18g of glucose.
Sour Punch: The Brand and the Company That Sells It
Sour Punch Straws got introduced in the market in the 1990s. Sour Punch Brand candy was among the first brands to launch the major sour candies, sold, and popularized in the United States.
Sour Punch brand introduced five different types of snacks with five different candy straw flavors dipped in sour sugar. These are hollow candy straws, and you can slurp through the liquid.
These were invented to serve the purpose of a fun snack that can be slurped up and chewed. Soft but chewy simultaneously, the sour candy straws offer a strong, fruity flavor which is a finely blended combination of sweet and sour.
Other Sour Punch Brand Snacks
Here are the various sour snacks in line with the Sour Punch Straws produced by the Sour Punch Brand that you may be craving or take as alternatives to the Sour Punch Straws:
- Sour Punch Bites
- Sour Punch Ropes
- Sour Punch Bits
- Sour Patch Sour “Punch Punches”
So, from a technical point of view, Sour Punch Straws do not contain any animal-based ingredients. They are, thus, considered to be vegan.
However, one can’t deny that making candies includes specific ingredients that aren’t totally vegan by nature. Such components involve processing or tests that involve animals.
Therefore, whether or not you accept Sour Punch Straws to be vegan depends on your definition of veganism.