If you haven’t heard of Tootsie rolls as a child, you were probably living under a rock! Tootsie rolls were every child’s favorite candy during the early days. These taffy-like candies were manufactured in the US around 1907 and became popular for being the first candies to be individually wrapped.
This nostalgic candy is a favorite among most since almost everyone grew up eating these – but the question still remains for those who believe in sustainable eating. Are tootsie rolls vegan? Are tootsie pops vegan? Are Tootsie Fruit Chews Vegan? Let’s answer these questions!
Tootsie – Brand Overview
Tootsie rolls are small, chewy candies that are rectangular in shape. They have a chocolate-like taste with underlying fruit flavors.
The journey of this brand started in 1896 when Leo Hirshfield opened a candy shop in New York City. The shop gained popularity for selling candies that were individually wrapped. These candies could be bought for just a penny, making them accessible. He used recipes he had learned in Europe and continued to use when he came to Austria.
The candy was named after Leo’s five-year-old daughter, who was nicknamed Tootsie, and it seemed to stick.
Since 1945, Tootsie rolls have been the number one selling chocolate candy. They are also extremely popular in Canada, Mexico, and other European countries. Even today, about 64 million tootsie rolls are produced from Tootsie Roll Industry factories each day, and they now also come as tootsie pops, tootsie chew, fruit chews, and tootsie fruit rolls.
Are Tootsie Rolls Vegan?
However, for those who still ask, are tootsie rolls vegan? No, tootsie rolls are not vegan since they contain numerous problematic ingredients such as sugar, palm oil, condensed skim milk, whey, and artificial and natural flavors. Most of them qualify as non-vegan, whereas some fall into the grey area. Either way, Tootsie Rolls are not vegan.
Tootsie Rolls Ingredients
Tootsie fruit rolls are made up of ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup, condensed skim milk, cocoa, whey, soy lecithin, malic acid, natural and artificial flavors, as well as artificial colors such as F, D, and C Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 1 in addition.
Are Tootsie Pops Vegan?
So, sadly Tootsie Pops are not vegan as well since they contain condensed skim milk and whey in the ingredients. The same Tootsie Roll is used in Tootsie Pops, so it is more or less expected for this product to not be vegan.
Tootsie Pops Ingredients
To understand “are tootsie pops vegan,” let’s understand the ingredients it is made up of. Tootsie Pops include ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup, condensed skim milk, palm oil, citric and malic acid, cocoa, whey, soy lecithin, artificial and natural flavors, as well as artificial colors including FD&C Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1 and also Strawberry Powder.
Are Tootsie Fruit Chews Vegan?
Just like the original Tootsie Rolls, the Tootsie Fruit Chews also contain Condensed Skim Milk and Whey. So if the question is “are tootsie fruit chews vegan,” the answer is no. The presence of these ingredients makes them non-vegan, just like all other Tootsie candies.
Tootsie Fruit Chews Ingredients
Let’s address “are tootsie fruit chews vegan” and delve into its ingredients. Tootsie Fruit Chews use ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup, condensed skim milk, palm oil, citric and malic acid, cocoa, whey, soy lecithin, artificial and natural flavors as well as artificial colors including FD&C Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1.
Controversial and Non-Vegan Ingredients
1. Condensed Skim Milk
Condensed Skim Milk is one of the most prominent ingredients and is non-vegan due to the presence of milk solids. It is generally unsweetened in nature and is basically whole milk that has been thickened, which is used, or skimmed milk which has been mixed with water. This ingredient is used in tootsie fruit chews, and so to answer the question, “are tootsie fruit chews vegan,” they are not.
2. Sweetened Condensed Milk
Sweetened condensed milk, like the name suggests, is sweetened and contains about 45% sugar, giving it a caramel-like flavor. The milk is heated to such an extent that all the water evaporates, and the resultant is a thick liquid. Since there are animal-derived ingredients, namely milk protein – it is not vegan-friendly.
3. Evaporated Milk
Evaporated milk comes in a number of varieties, including skim, whole milk, unsweetened milk, and the low-fat alternative. This milk is heated till almost 60% of the water has evaporated, resulting in a slightly sweetened flavor. This ingredient is pretty much the same as fresh milk when boiled and is definitely not vegan friendly.
Whey is a liquid ingredient that is created as a by-product of cheese making. It is obtained by straining curdled milk and so is not vegan. It includes lactose, protein, vitamins, and minerals- and is usually used in protein shakes and other processed foods.
1. Natural Flavors
Natural flavors can be sourced from plant-based sources as well as animal-derived sources. There is a lot of confusion surrounding whether the natural flavors used in tootsie rolls are vegan or not, but for the most part, it is better to steer clear since they are usually non-vegan. This ingredient is used in tootsie rolls and other tootsies, and so to answer the question, “are tootsie rolls vegan,” they are not.
2. Food Coloring and Artificial Flavors
Food coloring that is used in processed foods is unfortunately usually tested on animals, which goes against the foundation of veganism and can be problematic for most vegans. Moreover, there are a number of artificial flavors, such as Red 50 and Yellow 5, which despite using vegan ingredients, go against veganism since animal testing is performed routinely.
Vegan Alternative to Tootsie Rolls, Pop & Fruit Chews
Being a vegan should not come in the way of your sweet tooth. There are a plethora of options out there that one can indulge in occasionally as long as you stay healthy and keep your consumption controlled.
The vegan alternative avoids using animal-derived ingredients such as whey, milk, gelatinous products, casein, carmine, and butter. Here are some alternative options that you can opt for so that you don’t need to compromise on snacking on candies!
It is probably one of the only gummy products to be gelatine-free; sour patch kids do not use any gelatinous ingredients in its recipe. It uses corn syrup, sugar, and food coloring to create its extremely yummy candy gummies. Sour Patch Kids is completely free of all non-vegan ingredients and is great for snacking when you’re craving something sweet. To know more about in detail, refer our article “Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan and Halal?“
Don’t let the name scare you; the Swedish fish candies (check vegan status) do not use any fish or animal-related ingredients. They do not use any gelatinous or animal-derived ingredients and instead opt for mineral oil and cornstarch alternatives. They’re chewy, tasty, and vegan- all in one!
The tastiest vegan lollipops out there, all they use in their recipes is corn syrup and sugar. Free if all animal-derived ingredients, jolly ranchers are completely vegan!
Not only are dots free from all the typical non-vegan ingredients such as gelatine and other obvious animal products, but they also do not contain a carmine color! Carmine color or confectioner’s glaze is a controversial ingredient in the vegan world, and Dots steers clear of it as well, leaving you with nothing to worry about!
Yes, Skittles (check vegan status) used to contain gelatin earlier, but they have replaced it with plant-based ingredients making them officially vegan and animal-friendly. Probably the most popular vegan candies, Skittles are an all-time favorite!
To sum it up, tootsie products are made of tons of ingredients. It’s always a good idea to check the ingredients list on a product and be aware of all the alternative names that a certain ingredient is known by. If you aren’t aware of a certain ingredient, always make sure you look it up!
As far as tootsie products such as tootsie rolls, tootsie fruit chews, and tootsie pops are concerned, they’re not vegan friendly, so it’s best for vegans to opt for the alternatives we suggested!