If you're a vegan, or have someone in your life who is, you've probably been asked the question "are nerds vegan?" The answer to that question is a little more complicated than you might think. Let's take a closer look at this popular candy and see if it's really suitable for vegans.
Are Nerds Vegan?
Most Regular Nerds are NOT vegan; in fact, they contain carmine color, which is derived from crushed insects. Carmine is used to give nerds their bright colored hues, and it's also found in other candies, as well as some cosmetics and food coloring. While some companies are now using synthetic dyes to avoid using carmine, many Nerds products still contain the ingredient.
So, if you're looking for a vegan-friendly candy, Nerds are probably not the best choice unless they are grape flavored.
However, there are a few vegan options on the market that use vegetable-based dyes instead of carmine. Next time you're at the store, be sure to check the ingredients list before you buy!
What Is Carmine Coloring Made From?
As we mentioned, carmine is made from crushed insects. The specific insect used is the cochineal beetle, which is native to South America. Cochineal beetles are collected and then dried before they're ground into a powder.
This powder is then used as a food coloring or cosmetic pigment. While it may sound gross, carmine has been used for centuries in a variety of products. It's only recently that some companies have started to look for alternatives to this controversial ingredient.
Is Carmine Coloring Safe?
The safety of carmine has been debated for many years. Some people believe that it's perfectly safe to use, while others think that it could cause allergic reactions in some people.
The FDA considers carmine to be safe, but they do require companies to list it on the ingredients label so that people with allergies can avoid it. If you're concerned about eating products that contain carmine, you can always check the ingredients list before you buy.
Do Nerds Have Pork In Them?
Regular Nerds candy does NOT contain any pork or pork derived ingredients. The manufacturers ingredients for Nerds candy are sugar, dextrose, malic acid, carmine coloring and natural and artificial flavors and colors. There is no mention of pork or any other animal products in the ingredients other than carmine coloring, which is derived from insects.
However, it is always important to check the label of any product before eating it, as manufacturers can change their ingredients at any time without notice. Some nerds candies such as Nerd Ropes & Spicy Nerds (the ones that look like miniature hot peppers) DO contain pork gelatin.
Are Nerds Gluten Free?
Yes, Regular Nerds candy is gluten free. The main ingredients in Nerds are sugar, maltodextrin, and dextrose, all of which are derived from corn and do not contain gluten. In addition, the candy is coated with carnauba wax, which is also a gluten-free ingredient.
While Nerds do not contain any explicit gluten-containing ingredients, it is worth noting that they are manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat.
However, the manufacturing process is designed to prevent cross-contamination, and Nerds are considered safe for people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
So if you're looking for a tasty treat that's also gluten-free, Nerds candy is a great option!
Are Nerds Made With Eggs?
Nerds are a popular type of candy that comes in a variety of flavors. The small, round candies are usually sold in small boxes or bags, and they can be eaten one at a time or by the handful. While Nerds are delicious, many people wonder if they are made with eggs.
The answer is no, Regular Nerds candy is not made with any egg product. However, the candies are manufactured in a facility that handles egg, so there may be trace amounts of egg in the finished product. For people with severe egg allergies, this could be a problem.
What Makes Nerds Not Vegan?
As we mentioned before, the main reason Nerds are not vegan is because they contain carmine color. Carmine is a red pigment that is derived from crushed insects. While it is safe to eat, many vegans avoid products that contain it.
In addition, some flavors of Nerds candy (such as Nerd Ropes & Spicy Nerds) contain pork gelatin. Gelatin is a protein that is derived from animal collagen, and it is often used to give candy a chewy texture. For vegetarians and vegans, this ingredient is a no-go.
Is Nerds Halal or Haram?
Classic or Regular Nerds candy is considered to be Halal by some people and Haram by others. Due to the added carmine ingredient and its origins (crushing beetles for their color) some Muslims may consider nerds candy as haram (the opposite of Halal). The main ingredients in Nerds are sugar, maltodextrin, and dextrose, all of which are derived from corn and do not contain any animal products.
However, the Islamic ruling on carmine is disputed, and many scholars consider it to be permissible. So, while Nerds candy is not technically halal, it could be considered halal by some Muslims.
What Flavor/Color Nerds Are Vegan?
Grape (purple) nerds ARE vegan, as of 2022 grape flavored nerds candy does not contain any carmine, which is an ingredient derived from beetles. All other flavors and colors of Nerds candy DO contain carmine, and are therefore not technically vegan.
If you're looking for a tasty, vegan-friendly candy option, grape Nerds are an acceptable choice! Just be sure to check the label before purchasing, as ingredients can change at any time without notice.
Are Nerds Vegan: Our Conclusion
Nerds candy is not vegan, as it contains carmine color which is derived from crushed insects. In addition, some flavors of Nerds contain pork gelatin. However, grape-flavored Nerds are vegan-friendly, as they do not contain any carmine. For a delicious and vegan-approved treat, opt for grape Nerds!
Do you have a favorite flavor of Nerds candy? Be sure to check Bargain Boxed for discounted Nerds Candies! And be sure to check out our other blog post that answers the topic: Are Airheads Vegan?
Thanks for reading! :)