Determining whether a product like Just Ranch is vegan can prove a complex task.
The ambiguity often stems from manufacturers obscuring the origin and nature of their ingredients.
However, this article seeks to unearth the truth, guiding you in your admirable pursuit of a vegan lifestyle.
Is Just Ranch Vegan?
Regrettably, Just Ranch is not vegan. The presence of certain ingredients refrains it from earning the vegan label. The particular non-vegan ingredient found in Just Ranch is lactic acid.
Lactic acid, commonly included in many food products like ranch dressings, can sometimes be vegan, originating from plant sources. However, in other instances, it’s derived from dairy sources, making it a non-vegan ingredient.
Is Just Ranch Cruelty-Free?
Despite not being vegan, Just Ranch is indeed cruelty-free. This means that during the production process, no animal testing was conducted. This can be reassuring for those who are concerned about animal welfare but do not strictly follow a vegan diet.
What Is Just Ranch Made Of?
Just Ranch is a popular vegan ranch dressing produced by the food company JUST Inc. This plant-based alternative to traditional ranch dressing offers a tangy, creamy flavor that closely resembles the classic version. But what exactly is it made of?
The following ingredients are used in Just Ranch:
- Expeller-pressed canola oil
- White distilled vinegar
- Cane sugar
- Contains less than 2% of: salt, spice, modified food starch, pea protein, lemon juice concentrate, fruit and vegetable juice (for color), calcium disodium EDTA (to preserve freshness).
Water is a universal solvent and is used in a wide range of food products to dissolve various ingredients. It comes from natural sources and is completely vegan.
Expeller-pressed canola oil
Expeller-pressed canola oil is derived from the seeds of the canola plant. The oil is extracted using a mechanical process that involves no chemical solvents, which is why it’s called “expeller-pressed.” It provides the creamy texture and contributes to the mouthfeel of the ranch dressing. It is plant derived and, therefore, vegan.
White distilled vinegar
White distilled vinegar is produced by fermenting distilled alcohol. It provides the tangy taste that is characteristic of ranch dressings. Vinegar is typically vegan because it is made from grains or fruit.
Cane sugar is a sweetener derived from the sugarcane plant. It provides a hint of sweetness to balance the tangy flavor of the dressing.
Most cane sugar is considered vegan, but it’s important to note that some sugar is processed with bone char, which is an animal product. However, because Just Ranch is a vegan product, we can assume that the cane sugar used here is vegan friendly.
Salt, used as a seasoning in virtually all food products, is sourced from either the sea or rock deposits. It enhances the overall flavor of the dressing. As a mineral, it is vegan.
Spice in food labeling typically refers to any of the numerous vegetable products that add flavor or aroma. The exact spices used in Just Ranch aren’t specified. Since they are derived from plants, they are vegan.
Modified food starch
Modified food starch is derived from a variety of plant sources, including corn, potatoes, and wheat. It serves as a thickener and stabilizer in food products like dressing. It’s vegan friendly.
Pea protein is a plant-based protein extracted from yellow peas. It’s used in food products to enhance texture and increase protein content. As a plant-derived ingredient, it’s vegan.
Lemon juice concentrate
Lemon juice concentrate is simply lemon juice that has had most of its water content removed. It’s used in food products to add flavor. Being fruit derived, it is vegan.
Fruit and vegetable juice (for color)
These juices are derived from various fruits and vegetables and are used to naturally color the dressing. They are vegan since they are plant derived.
Calcium disodium EDTA
Calcium disodium EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is a synthetic compound used in food products to preserve freshness by binding to metals that can promote oxidation. It’s synthetically produced and does not involve animal products or byproducts in its manufacture, making it vegan.
Vegan Alternatives to Just Ranch
If you’re looking for alternatives to Just Ranch that fit your vegan lifestyle, you’re in luck. There are various products on the market that serve as wonderful vegan ranch dressings. Some of these include:
- Primal Kitchen’s Ranch: Made from avocado oil and free from dairy, gluten, soy, and eggs.
- Daiya Ranch: Known for its creamy texture, Daiya’s ranch dressing is a great vegan alternative.
- Simple Truth Organic Vegan Ranch: An exclusive brand of Kroger grocery stores, this dressing is also gluten-free and dairy-free.
While Just Ranch dressing offers a unique taste, it is unfortunately not vegan due to the presence of dairy-derived lactic acid.
However, it is cruelty-free, which might still appeal to some individuals. In your quest for vegan alternatives, consider options like Primal Kitchen’s Ranch or Daiya Ranch.
Your commitment to a vegan lifestyle is commendable and this research should aid you in making more informed food choices in the future.