Are Dots Vegan and Cruelty Free? The Unchewable Truth

Trying to work out if Dots are vegan can be challenging.

Candy manufacturers often hide their ingredients behind vague terms such as “natural flavors,” and even if they do provide a full list of ingredients, deciphering whether they are vegan can be tricky.

To ensure that you’re only eating food that aligns with your vegan diet and lifestyle, I’ve investigated the ingredients and production processes of Dots.

Here’s what I found out.

Are Dots Vegan Friendly?

No. Dots Gumdrops are not a vegan candy.

Dots Gumdrops, one of Tootsie Roll Industries’ popular candies, are not vegan because they contain refined sugar.

Sugar is a plant-based product and is naturally vegan, but the US sugar industry commonly uses bone char to achieve that desired whiteness, so it can’t be considered vegan unless it is clearly stated that it’s not processed with bone char.

Bone char is a finely ground powder made from the bones of animals (usually cows). It is used to remove impurities and as a decolorizing agent in the sugar industry. So, while sugar itself is vegan, the bone char filtering process makes it non-vegan.

Are Dots Cruelty Free?

No. Dots Gumdrops are not cruelty free.

Dots, as a final product, are not tested on animals at any point of production, but they contain artificial colors and flavors that are routinely tested on animals.

Animal testing is an unethical, outdated, and cruel practice that is still being used today by some companies. This practice involves subjecting animals to cruel and inhumane treatment, often causing them immense pain and suffering, and even death.

There surely are humane alternatives to animal testing that don’t involve such cruelty, so companies that still test on animals should be avoided.

What Are Dots Made Of?

Here are the ingredients of Dots:

  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Modified food starch
  • Malic acid
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Sodium citrate
  • Artificial colors (including FD&C Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1)

Let’s break down each ingredient of original Dots:

Corn syrup

Corn syrup is a liquid sweetener made from cornstarch. It is often used in candies and other sweets because it is cheaper than sugar. Corn syrup is a vegan ingredient.

Sugar

Sugar is a plant-based product that is used as a sweetener. It is not vegan because it is often processed with bone char. Unless the sugar in the product is labeled “raw,” “organic,” or “unrefined,” it is likely not vegan.

Modified food starch

Modified food starch is a type of starch that has been treated to make it more resistant to heat, acid, or other conditions involved in food processing. It is usually made from corn, tapioca, or potatoes. Food starch—modified is a vegan ingredient.

Malic acid

Malic acid is an organic compound found in many fruits and vegetables. It is used as a flavoring agent and has a sour taste. Malic acid is a vegan ingredient.

Natural and artificial flavors

Natural flavors are derived from plant or animal sources, while artificial flavors are created in a laboratory. Natural flavors may be vegan depending on their source, while artificial flavors are vegan.

Sodium citrate

Sodium citrate is a sodium salt of citric acid. It is used as a preservative and to add flavor. Sodium citrate is a vegan ingredient.

Artificial colors (including FD&C Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1)

Artificial colors are created in a laboratory and are used to add color to food. Artificial colors are vegan friendly.

Why Aren’t Dots Vegan?

Dots Gumdrops are not vegan because they contain refined sugar that is likely filtered with bone char. Most sugar companies use bone char to achieve the desired whiteness, which makes the sugar non-vegan. If you’re looking for a vegan candy option, there are many brands that make delicious vegan gumdrops that use a vegan sugar alternative.

Are Sour Dots Vegan?

No. Sour Dots Gumdrops contain refined sugar.

Sour Dots are not vegan friendly candies.

Are Tropical Dots Vegan?

No. Dots Tropical Gumdrops contain refined sugar.

This Dots candy is not vegan friendly.

Are Easter Dots Gumdrops Vegan?

No. Easter Dots Gumdrops contain refined cane sugar.

These gummy candies are not vegan friendly.

Are Valentine Dots Gumdrops Vegan?

No. Valentine Dots Gumdrops contain refined sugar.

This Dots candy is not vegan friendly.

Are Christmas Dots Vegan?

No. Christmas Dots Gumdrops contain refined sugar.

This candy is not vegan friendly.

Are Tropical Dots Vegan?

No. These tropical-flavored gumdrops contain refined sugar. 

This Dots candy flavor is not vegan friendly.

Vegan Alternatives to Dots

If you’re craving some dots but want a vegan version, don’t worry! There are plenty of delicious vegan gumdrops on the market. Here are some of my favorites:

As you can see, there are many delicious vegan candy options available. These vegan candies are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth! So, if you’re looking for a vegan alternative to Dots, you have plenty of choices!

Final Words

So, there you have it! Dots candy is not vegan because of its use of refined sugar. But don’t worry, there are plenty of delicious vegan candy options out there that are as delicious as Dots! Happy munching!