Refreshers are a popular candy brand, and their products come in various types and flavors. They’ve become a staple in the snack aisle, loved by many for their fruity flavors and chewy textures. While they’re known to bring joy to the palate, their compatibility with a vegan lifestyle has become a common inquiry.
This article will delve into the vegan status of Refreshers, their ingredients, and a broader discussion on their compatibility with a vegetarian lifestyle.
What are Refreshers?
Refreshers are a well-loved confectionery product. Originating from the UK, these candies have delighted generations with their unique flavors and textures. There are several variants of Refreshers, including Refreshers Chews, Refreshers Squashies, and Refreshers Choos. Each type has a distinctive taste, primarily fruity and sweet, and is known for its vibrant, enticing colors.
Refreshers Chews, perhaps the most iconic variant, are small, individually wrapped candies that are both tangy and fizzy. They come in several flavors, like strawberry and lemon, and are known for their soft, chewy texture.
The Refreshers Squashies, on the other hand, are a softer, ‘squashier’ version of the classic candy. They are similarly flavored but come in a unique, squishy format that’s a big hit among candy lovers. Lastly, the Refreshers Choos are chewy candies that pack a fruity punch, and they come in various fruity flavors like raspberry, pineapple, and apple.
Despite their popularity and widespread availability, Refreshers have raised questions among consumers, particularly those following vegan and vegetarian diets. The reason behind this is the ingredients used in their production, some of which are of animal origin. Therefore, examining these ingredients and their sources becomes essential to establish whether Refreshers align with vegan or vegetarian lifestyles.
Refreshers Common used Ingredients List:
- Glucose Syrup and Sugar: These are common sweetening agents used in candies. Both are typically derived from plant sources like corn, wheat, and sugar beets.
- Vegetable Oils (palm, Palm Kernel): These are plant-based fats used in confectionery products for texture and flavor.
- Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid; Modified Starch: These are plant-based ingredients used to control the acidity levels and texture in candies.
- Anti-caking Agent: Stearic Acid, Magnesium Carbonate, Magnesium Stearate: These agents prevent the ingredients from clumping together.
- Flavourings, Glycerine, Lysed Soya Protein, Emulsifier: Glycerol Mono Stearate: These are used to enhance taste and texture. Glycerine can be plant-based or animal-based. However, in the case of Refreshers, it’s likely plant-based.
- Colours: Anthocyanin, Copper Chlorophyllin, Lutein, Paprika Extract: These are colorings used to give the candies their vibrant hues.
- Gelling Agent: Gelatine: This is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, or bones from cows or pigs. It is used in Refreshers Squashies and is the main reason this variant isn’t vegan.
Are Refreshers Vegan?
Yes and No. It depends on the variant of Refreshers. While the Refreshers Choos and Refreshers Chews are vegan as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, the Refreshers Squashies are not vegan. They contain gelatin, a protein derived from animals’ skin, bones, and connective tissues, mainly cows and pigs.
|Varieties & Flavors||Is It Vegan?||Non-vegan Ingredient|
Veganism extends beyond a dietary preference. It’s a lifestyle choice to avoid all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, encompassing food, clothing, and other purposes. In this regard, the presence of gelatin in Refreshers Squashies disqualifies it from being vegan, as the production of gelatin involves the slaughter of animals.
It’s worth noting that while the other Refreshers variants don’t contain explicitly animal-based ingredients, strict vegans might also scrutinize other components like sugar, which can be processed using bone char (animal-derived), and colors, which can be tested on animals. The use of these ingredients doesn’t make a product non-vegan per se, but it’s a grey area that many vegans choose to avoid.
Are Refreshers Vegetarian?
Yes, all variants of Refreshers, including the Refreshers Squashies, are vegetarian. While gelatin is an animal-derived ingredient, it is still deemed suitable for vegetarians who consume other animal products such as dairy and eggs, as long as they don’t contain meat. Therefore, while not all Refreshers products meet the vegan standard, they meet the vegetarian diet criteria.
|Varieties & Flavors||Is It Vegetarian?||Non-vegetarian Ingredient|
|REFRESHERS SQUASHIES||NO||Gelatin Pork & Pigs|
Vegetarianism, unlike veganism, permits the consumption of animal by-products as long as they don’t involve the direct killing of the animal. Thus, ingredients like milk, eggs, honey, and, in many cases, gelatin are considered vegetarian. Consequently, although the Refreshers Squashies contain gelatin, they are considered suitable for a vegetarian diet.
It’s also worth noting that vegetarianism, like veganism, varies in strictness. Some vegetarians might choose to avoid gelatin, while others are fine with its consumption. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice based on one’s ethical, health, or environmental concerns.
In conclusion, Refreshers candies’ vegan or vegetarian status depends on the specific variant. While the Refreshers Choos and Refreshers Chews are vegan-friendly, the Refreshers Squashies, containing gelatin, aren’t suitable for a vegan diet. However, all variants of Refreshers are suitable for vegetarians.
It’s essential for consumers, especially those following specific dietary lifestyles, to examine food labels and ingredients carefully. Brands often use different formulations for different products, making some suitable for particular dietary requirements and others not.
Remember, definitions of what’s acceptable vary among individuals within the vegan and vegetarian communities. Some might be okay with certain ingredients, while others might not. Making food choices that align with your beliefs and health requirements is always best.