Answer: It depends. Cotton candy made from refined sugar is not vegan. Pay attention to what kind of sugar it contains.
Being vegan is challenging in today’s era. Tons of everyday food contribute to animal abuse. It makes it very hard to decide what is vegan and what is not.
Cotton candy is popular food at amusement parks and carnivals. It is heaven for vegans because it provides a quick dessert for a light mood with minimum calorie intake. Since it is tough to find vegan desserts such as dark chocolate or baked goods that are entirely organic and vegan, cotton candy is usually considered ideal for light snacking, but is cotton candy vegan? This question is still up for debate.
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How Is Cotton Candy Made?
Most of us have wondered about this since our childhood. How is cotton candy made? As for me, I believed it to be crafted by witches and hand-delivered to me by the wizard of Oz. It turns out it is not the case. Disappointing, isn’t it?
Making cotton candy is straightforward, with a handful of ingredients. Cotton candy is made from confectioners sugar, a mix of refined sugar, and corn starch.
Sugar is heated in the cotton candy maker to turn it into syrup. This syrup is whipped through tiny holes in the container by the machine’s high-speed spinning motion. The melted syrup is cooled rapidly by high-speed spinning and airflow. Sugar does not have enough time to recrystallize. Instead of a crystalline structure, it is converted to thin strands of fluffy, cotton-like, delicious material called cotton candy.
Additional food coloring and flavoring are added to the sugar syrup to make it more desirable. Flavors include natural and artificial flavors like vanilla, blueberry, grapes, and apple. The most commonly used food colorings are red, blue, yellow, and green, mixed in different proportions to give it a soft pastel shade.
Is Cotton Candy Vegan?
The point of veganism is to be informed about our purchases and how they affect the world around us. It stems from the concerns of cruelty to animals and promoting health benefits while protecting the environment. Cotton candy that is not vegan certified is usually made from refined sugar, flavors, and food coloring. Fifty percent of sugar is refined using animal char as a decolorizing agent.
What Is Animal Bone Char?
Animal char is charred and grounded animal bones that act as a bleaching agent in sugar processing. It gives it the characteristic white crystal color of refined sugar. Animal bone char is made by heating animal bones, particularly cattle bones. It is then added to sugar to remove the impurities of sugar.
It just acts as a purifying agent and for bleaching purposes. It is removed afterward from the refined sugar. Therefore, it is not a part of the final product. Refined sugar does not contain animal char, which is why it is kosher-free.
Although zero percent of the animal bone char ends up in the end product, its processing and refining still contribute to animal cruelty. The use of animal-based products makes it potentially non-vegan. It makes eating refined sugar or any of its recipes against vegan ethics.
Use of Non-vegan Food Dye
Moreover, as the sugar used in cotton candy manufacturing is white, food dye is required to color cotton candy and make it a desired and delicious-looking treat. Food coloring used to dye cotton candy may contain carmine.
Carmine is a bright red pigment used in foods and cosmetics. It is the same pigment used in cotton candy to dye it pink. Carmine is made by crushing, grounding, boiling the cochineal beetles’ bodies, and then extracting the carminic acid from them. Carminic acid is then used in pigmentation, thus making it non-vegan.
Can You Make Vegan Cotton Candy?
Organic sugar, raw sugar, or unrefined sugar, usually free from animal char, is ideal for making vegan cotton candy. Sugar-based sugarbeet does not require bleaching through animal char, so it is plant-based and can make vegan cotton candy that is 100% organic.
You can make your cotton candy at home using organic sugar with no additives and coloring or buy organic cotton candy from a trusted seller.
Are There Any Vegan Options?
Yes! There are vegan cotton candy options out there. While finding all organic cotton candy at a carnival is hard, various stores deliver 100% organic and vegan cotton candy. These are usually free of additives that promote animal cruelty.
- Organic cotton candy is made from organic sugar. Organic sugar is not filtered, and it is without any bleaching agent. It has a high molasses content compared to refined sugar and a distinct taste.
- Sugar made from sugar beet does not require char to refine it. Beetroot sugar is 100% organic and plant-based. The pink color of cotton candy comes from synthetic pigments or beetroot pigmentation. Fully beetroot-based cotton candy is an idea for a vegan option at your home party.
- Other decolorizing agents exist, such as granulated carbon or an ion-exchange system. These are synthetic and are certified vegan. Simple cane sugar is processed using these methods to give the same result as well as vegan certification.
To look for 100% organic cotton candy, please visit:
Where Do I Get Ingredients for Vegan Cotton Candy?
Amazon offers several ingredients for making vegan cotton candy at home:
If you own a cotton candy machine, these ingredients will help you stay updated about what you are putting in your mouth. Cotton candy is not only a fun treat to have; it is also entertaining to make it. Watching simple sugar magically turn into fairy floss is undoubtedly a great time spending idea with your kids. It is worth every bit of your time and money.
Does Organic Cotton Candy Have Any Health Benefits?
Organic cotton candy has no added health benefits over Non-organic cotton candy made from refined sugar. They are both the same and have little to no nutritional value.
Cotton candy is pure sugar. It is detrimental to health. Its fluff cotton-like consistency loves to stick to teeth and stay there for bacteria to feed on it. It also contributes to cavity formation and plaque built up on your teeth. It is excellent for a little snacking now and then. I won’t recommend eating it daily if you are conscious about your health.
Does Vegan Cotton Candy Taste Different?
Vegan cotton candy does not taste different from classic cotton candy made from refined sugar. It has the same cotton candy flavor and the same texture as the synthetic one. Not adding any additional flavor or food coloring may affect the overall taste of cotton candy. It still retains the characteristic cotton candy flavor.
Do I Have to Stop Eating Cotton Candy?
Veganism is all about making an informed decision about your purchases. It is about knowing what your money supports and what kind of products you are furthering in the future. Veganism is not about perfection. It is tough to avoid everything with a background of animal/human abuse.
Do you have to stop eating cotton candy altogether? It all depends on how strict of a vegan you are. Very strict vegans avoid eating sugar because of its refining process, even in their coffee and other daily routine items. Different types of vegans consider it a necessary evil.
Whether you should eat cotton candy or not is a matter of debate. It depends on your definition of veganism and the positioning of your moral ethics. You have every bit of information about how cotton candy is not vegan. From this information, you can make your own informed decision. Happy fairy flossing!