Identifying whether or not Life Savers candy is vegan proves to be quite a challenge.
This difficulty arises due to the often ambiguous and hidden nature of manufacturers’ ingredient sourcing and processing.
However, this article is here to demystify the vegan status of Life Savers and support you on your admirable journey towards an animal and planet-friendly lifestyle.
Are Life Savers Vegan?
Despite the sweet allure of these round treats, Life Savers, unfortunately, are not completely vegan friendly.
Several ingredients within both Life Savers hard candies and Life Savers gummies raise concerns for vegans. These include stearic acid, artificial colors like yellow 5 and blue 1, and natural and artificial flavors. There’s a possibility that these ingredients could come from animal-based sources instead of plant-based ones.
Stearic acid, found in Life Savers hard candies, often has animal-based sources, including boiling animal skin, and is therefore not vegan. Similarly, artificial colors are frequently tested on animals, which makes them non-vegan.
Natural and artificial flavors, as found in Life Savers gummies and hard candies, can be derived from both plant and animal sources, but without explicit clarification from the manufacturer, we cannot determine their vegan status.
Are Life Savers Cruelty-Free?
Though the brand may not intentionally harm animals in its production process, Life Savers candy cannot be classified as completely cruelty-free.
This primarily rests on the use of artificial colors. These ingredients, such as yellow 5 and blue 1, are often subject to animal testing, which directly opposes the ethos of cruelty-free production.
What Are Life Savers Made Of?
Life Savers candies, whether they’re the hard candy version or the gummies, are made from a variety of ingredients. Here’s a general list:
- Corn syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- Citric acid
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Artificial colors (including yellow 5 and blue 1)
- Stearic acid (in hard candies)
- Modified cornstarch (in gummies)
Sugar, one of the main ingredients, is typically derived from either cane sugar or beet sugar. While beet sugar is vegan-friendly, cane sugar is often processed using bone char, an animal-derived product, raising concerns about its vegan status.
Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup
Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are both plant-based sweeteners. They’re vegan-friendly but are controversial due to their health implications and the environmental impact of corn cultivation.
Citric acid acts as a natural preservative and gives Life Savers their slightly tart treat flavor. It’s usually derived from citrus fruits, making it vegan friendly.
Natural and artificial flavors
Natural and artificial flavors are a tricky bunch. They can be derived from both plant and animal sources, and without explicit clarification from the manufacturer, we cannot confidently state their vegan status.
Artificial colors, such as yellow 5 and blue 1, are synthetically produced and are often tested on animals, making them non-vegan.
Present in Life Savers hard candies, stearic acid is a fatty acid often derived from animal sources, which makes it non-vegan.
Found in Life Savers gummies, modified corn starch is plant-based and vegan friendly, used to provide a gel-like consistency in food products.
Vegan Alternatives to Life Savers
While it may be disappointing to find that Life Savers aren’t completely vegan, there are plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives available. Some categories of products include hard candies, gummies, and mints, all free from animal-derived ingredients.
- Torie & Howard Organic Hard Candy: These hard candies are not only vegan but also gluten-free and made with natural flavors.
- Surf Sweets Organic Fruity Bears: These gummies are completely vegan, offering a comparable texture to Life Savers gummies.
- Simply Mints: For fans of mint candies, these are vegan and contain no artificial flavors or sweeteners.
While Life Savers candy, both the hard candies and the gummies, may seem like a simple, slightly tart treat, they unfortunately don’t pass the vegan test due to ingredients like stearic acid, artificial colors, and unspecified natural and artificial flavors.
However, with a range of vegan-friendly alternatives available from various brands, it’s entirely possible to find similar sweet delights that align with a compassionate, planet-friendly lifestyle.