Candy corn is a staple of Halloween and fall festivities. But for those following a vegan or halal diet, the question remains: does candy corn have pork gelatin?
The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. While some brands do use animal-derived ingredients, others offer vegetarian-friendly options.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients in candy corn and explore which brands are safe for those with dietary restrictions.
So grab a handful of candy corn (or your favorite vegan treat) and let’s dive in!
Does Candy Corn Have Pork Gelatin?
Candy corn is a popular treat made from sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients. However, the addition of gelatin, a protein derived from animal parts like hides and bones, makes it unsuitable for those following a vegan or halal diet.
Many popular candy corn brands, such as Brach’s, use gelatin in their recipe. This means that candy corn from these brands is not suitable for those with dietary restrictions.
However, there are some brands that offer vegetarian-friendly options. Jelly Belly, for example, uses a mixture that contains beeswax to coat their candy corn instead of gelatin. This makes their candy corn suitable for vegetarians, but not for vegans.
It’s important to note that some homemade candy corn recipes may also contain animal-derived ingredients like butter or marshmallows (which also contain gelatin). So if you’re looking to make your own candy corn at home, be sure to check the ingredients carefully.
What Is Candy Corn Made Of?
Candy corn is made from a combination of sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients. The exact ingredients can vary depending on the brand, but some common additives include confectioner’s glaze or shellac, both of which are made from insect excretions. Honey is also a common ingredient in candy corn, which is not considered vegan by some. However, the main reason candy corn is not vegan-friendly is due to the use of gelatin in many brands. Gelatin is derived from animal tendons, ligaments, and bones, making it unsuitable for those following a vegan or halal diet. It’s important to check the label carefully before purchasing candy corn to ensure it meets your dietary needs.
The Role Of Gelatin In Candy Corn
Gelatin is a key ingredient in candy corn, providing it with its distinctive texture. However, this protein is derived from animal parts like hides and bones, making it unsuitable for those following a vegan or halal diet.
Gelatin is used in candy corn to give it a chewy texture. It is created by boiling animal tendons, ligaments, and bones until they break down into a gel-like substance. This gelatin is then added to the candy corn mixture to create the desired texture.
While gelatin is a common ingredient in many types of candy, it presents a challenge for those with dietary restrictions. For example, Muslims who follow halal dietary laws are prohibited from consuming pork products, which means they cannot eat candy corn containing pork-derived gelatin.
Vegans also avoid gelatin because it is derived from animal parts. This means that even if the other ingredients in candy corn are vegan-friendly, the addition of gelatin makes it unsuitable for those following a vegan diet.
Brands That Use Pork Gelatin In Their Candy Corn
If you’re looking to avoid candy corn that contains pork gelatin, it’s important to know which brands to avoid. One of the most popular candy corn brands, Brach’s, uses gelatin derived from animal tendons, ligaments, and bones in their recipe. This means that their candy corn is not suitable for those following a vegan or halal diet.
Other popular candy corn brands that use pork gelatin include Zachary Confections, Goetze’s Candy Company, and Ferrara Candy Company. It’s important to check the ingredients list on the packaging before purchasing candy corn from any brand to ensure that it’s suitable for your dietary restrictions.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian-friendly option, Jelly Belly offers a candy corn that uses a mixture containing beeswax instead of gelatin. However, this candy corn is not suitable for vegans.
Vegetarian And Vegan Candy Corn Options
For those following a vegetarian diet, there are a few options available. As mentioned above, Jelly Belly candy corn is a good choice as it does not contain gelatin. However, it does contain beeswax, which some vegetarians may choose to avoid.
If you’re looking for a vegan option, unfortunately, there are no commercially available candy corn brands that are completely vegan. However, making your own candy corn at home is a great way to ensure that it’s vegan-friendly.
PETA offers a recipe for vegan candy corn that uses agar powder instead of gelatin. Agar powder is derived from seaweed and is a common substitute for gelatin in vegan cooking. The recipe also uses coconut oil instead of butter, making it suitable for vegans.
Another vegan candy corn recipe can be found on the Free People blog. This recipe also uses agar powder instead of gelatin and coconut oil instead of butter.
Making your own candy corn can be a fun activity for Halloween or any time of the year. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what ingredients are in your candy and that it’s suitable for your dietary needs.
Other Dietary Restrictions To Consider When Choosing Candy Corn
Aside from gelatin, there are other dietary restrictions to consider when choosing candy corn. For example, some candy corn brands contain honey, which is a controversial ingredient for vegans. While some vegans consume honey, others do not. Additionally, some candy corn brands use confectioner’s glaze or shellac, which are glossy products made from insect excretions. These ingredients may not be suitable for those with insect allergies or those who follow a strict plant-based diet.
For those who follow a halal diet, it’s important to note that gelatin derived from pork is not permissible. While some candy corn brands use gelatin derived from beef or fish, it’s important to check the label to ensure that the gelatin is halal-certified.
How To Make Your Own Vegan Candy Corn At Home
If you’re a vegan or just looking to avoid animal-derived ingredients in your candy corn, making your own at home is a great option. Here’s a simple recipe to try:
– 1 cup brown rice syrup
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup coconut oil
– 3 cups powdered sugar
– 1/2 cup tapioca flour
– Red and yellow food coloring (or natural alternatives like turmeric or beet juice)
1. Line a large workspace and a large baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mix together brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, coconut oil, powdered sugar, and tapioca flour until a thick dough forms.
3. Separate the dough into three evenly sized balls.
4. Tint one dough ball orange by using red and yellow food coloring. Tint another ball yellow. Knead about 1/2 teaspoon of food coloring into dough until evenly colored. If needed, add just enough additional tapioca to mixture to keep dough from becoming overly sticky. It should be the texture of Play-DohTM. Leave the last dough ball uncolored.
5. Sprinkle a little tapioca flour on the parchment paper.
6. Roll about 1 tablespoon of each color of dough into long, thin ropes.
7. Place the ropes next to each other and gently press down until about 1/2 inch thick.
8. Slice the rope into triangle-shaped wedges.
9. Gently remove each candy corn piece and shape as desired.
10. Place on prepared baking sheet.
11. Allow candy corn to air dry for 24 hours to harden.
This recipe uses brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup and does not require any animal-derived ingredients like gelatin or honey. It’s also super easy to make and perfect for Halloween or any autumn festivities.
Remember to always check the ingredients of any store-bought candy corn before purchasing, and if you’re unsure about homemade recipes, do some research or consult with a nutritionist or dietitian to ensure it meets your dietary needs.