Fruit Gushers are indeed vegan even though some ingredients may raise suspicion.
With veganism on the rise, it’s only natural for some people to wonder if their favorite snacks contain any animal products.
So here I am, analyzing the ingredient list in Fruit Gushers to see whether they’re suitable for a vegan diet.
Are Gushers vegan friendly?
Fruit Gushers themselves don’t contain any animal products so they can be classified as vegan.
New varieties of Gushers released recently don’t contain gelatin and instead use plant-based sources for the ingredients that bind together for a chewy texture.
This makes Gushers a great option for vegans who are looking for a sweet chewy snack but only if all possible risks are considered.
What are Gushers?
Fruit Gushers, or simply Gushers are a type of fruit-flavored snack made by Betty Crocker in 1991.
Based on the products currently listed on the Gushers website, they come in two flavors: Strawberry Splash and Tropical Flavor.
You can also find a Gushers Variety Pack and Gushers Mini Size Strawberry Splash on their products list.
These juicy snacks are made from sugar, corn syrup, fructose, real fruit juice and other ingredients and are packaged in a convenient, single-serving pouch.
Ingredients in Gushers
The ingredients in Gushers may vary a little depending on the flavor.
Gusher Strawberry Splash contains:
- Corn Syrup
- Dried Corn Syrup
- Pear Puree Concentrate
- Modified Corn Starch
- Palm Oil
- 2% or less of: Cottonseed Oil, Glycerin, Grape Juice Concentrate, Carrageenan, Citric Acid, Monoglycerides, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Natural Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Agar-Agar, Red 40, Xanthan Gum.
Gushers Tropical Flavor contains the same basic ingredients with the addition of some other food colors – blue 1 and yellow 5 & 6.
Even though all the ingredients in Gushers are plant-based, some of them may not be completely cruelty-free.
Glycerin is one questionable ingredient. It can be derived from both animal fat and vegetables.
Most manufacturers today use plant-based glycerin but it’s unclear which kind is used in Gushers. So it’s best to be cautious of this ingredient.
- Modified corn starch
Another component raising questions is modified corn starch. The use of animal-derived enzymes in the processing could render some modified starches non-vegan.
- Food Colors
Additionally, Fruit Gushers use artificial colors, like red 40, blue 1, yellow 5 and yellow 6 which may be subjected to animal testing.
- Natural flavors
Natural flavors can be either plant-based (such as spices, herbs, and fruits) or animal-based (meat, dairy, eggs).
The labels of many products often don’t reveal the precise origin of natural flavors. Some companies include animal ingredients while others do not.
When it comes to these ingredients, it’s best to be aware of their manufacturing process.
My recommendation is to check the label or contact the manufacturer to confirm if a product is suitable for strict vegans.
Are Fruit Gushers good for you?
Fruit Gushers are not a nutritious snack. Made with real fruit juice, yet nonetheless loaded with sugar and calories.
More than two teaspoons of sugar, or 10 grams, can be found in just one serving of Fruit Gushers.
Furthermore, Fruit Gushers are not as nutritious as whole fruits because they are processed and lack fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
There are also many who worry that Fruit Gushers contain unhealthy amounts of artificial ingredients including dyes and flavors.
More research is needed to understand the long-term impact of these substances on health, however, they have been related to issues like allergies, hyperactivity, and cancer.
Fruit Gushers are fine as an occasional pleasure, but not as a regular part of a balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are examples of whole, unprocessed foods that should make up the bulk of a healthy, balanced diet.
Healthier alternatives to Gushers
If you’re looking for some sweet and juicy treats, there are several healthier options to consider:
- Fresh fruit. Berries, citrus fruits, apples, peaches and melons are healthy alternatives that also provide a juicy taste.
- Frozen fruit. Eating frozen fruit can be quite refreshing and simply delicious, especially during the summer months.
- Homemade fruit roll-ups. These snacks are easy to make and provide many valuable vitamins and minerals.
- Smoothies. You can make your own fruit drink any way you like – with fresh or frozen fruit, juice, vegan yogurt or milk.
- Fruit and nut bars. Made with real fruit, nuts and seeds, these sweets can make really delicious and filling snacks.
- Fruit cups. Many commercially available fruit cups contain only fruit and no added sugar.
Fruit Gushers FAQs
No, Gushers don’t contain any dairy products.
The source of sugar used in Fruit Gushers is unclear.
Some sugars are made using bone char, a byproduct of animal bones. So it’s vital to check with the manufacturer to find out the specifics.
No, Gushers don’t contain gelatin. They include agar agar and carrageenan to give the snacks their chewy texture.
Yes, all Gushers flavors are vegan, but they contain a number of ingredients that could be of concern to some vegans.
The colors in Gushers, like red 40, blue 1, yellow 5 and yellow 6, come from plant-based sources but they may have been tested on animals.
Yes, Gushers are gluten-free, gelatin free, kosher and made with no artificial flavors.
Now, there are two flavors available – Strawberry Splash and Tropical Flavor. You can also get a Fruit Gushers Variety Pack which includes a combination of both flavors and Gushers Mini Size Strawberry Splash.
Unfortunately, Gushers aren’t the healthiest food choice. They’re high in sugar and don’t contain enough valuable nutrients.
It’s possible that some food additives were either developed using animals or had animal origins. The usage of additives obtained from animals is something you should verify with the manufacturer.
BOTTOM LINE: Fruit Gushers today are made using agar agar and carrageenan extracted from red algae instead of gelatin, they are safe for vegans to consume. It’s possible that animal-derived enzymes were used in the production of Fruit Gushers’ glycerin and modified corn starch, so the product might not be fully cruelty-free.