Are Hot Tamales Vegan?

We all have a love-hate relationship with candies. We do not want to eat them for health reasons but can’t stop once we start. Hot tamales are a popular candy that has a signature flavor of cinnamon and a little spicy with sweetness. 

Do not confuse it with Mexican tamales because it’s just the name of the candy. No matter how much you stop yourself from eating candy the whole year, you have to fall for on Halloween. So the question of hot tamales being vegan comes. And we are going to discuss that today.

Hot Tamales Vegan

Ingredients of hot tamales

  • Sugar, corn syrup, and modified food starch
  • Pear juice concentrate
  • citric, malic, and fumaric acid
  • sodium citrate and magnesium hydroxide
  • pectin
  • confectioner’s glaze and carnauba
  • white mineral oil
  • artificial colors as red 3, red 40, yellow 5,6 and blue 1,2

Why can you consider hot tamales to be vegan?

There is a big debate between vegans if hot tamales are vegan or not. Some think it’s vegan and some think it’s not. Here are some reasons for hot tamales to be vegan.

  • Does not contain egg albumin

We all know that any animal-derived product is a big no for vegans. There are so many candies in the market that contain egg albumin. 

Egg albumin is the water of the egg white which is 58% of an egg. Mostly chewy candies are made of egg albumin. But hot tamales do not contain anything like that. 

  • Does not contain gelatin

Gelatin is usually a big part of candy making. Gelatin is the colorless and translucent stuff that is extracted from the animal part. Mostly it comes from pork skin and cattle bones. Hot tamales do not contain any gelatin at all.  

  • Does not contain animal-derived color

The color that hot tamales have is red 40 and red 3. These are azo dyes that are derived from coal tar. Some colors come from carmine acid which is extracted from beetles. That color is known as red 4. To produce this color tons of beetles are killed or tons of fish glue is needed. As hot tamales do not have any of these animal derived colors it’s safe for vegans. 

Why do some vegans avoid hot tamales?

Confectioner’s glaze requires a substance from a bug that is not strictly animal-derived. But strict vegans avoid this for some emotional value. The substance they use is a sac that bugs make as cocoons that contain shellac. 

To get one kg of shellac they have to take around 50000 to 30000 bug’s sac. The process wouldn’t normally harm the bugs but take the sac only. But who knows if they were harmed or not. That makes strict vegans skeptical about hot tamales.

This debate is just like other debates around the bees, silkworms, and bugs. The American vegan society does not agree with the fact that these bugs are being labored for no benefit of themselves at all. Just like they do not agree with bees collecting honey for them.

Is there any alternative to hot tamales?

Candies are irresistible. If you do not have an alternative you may not stop yourself from indulging sometimes. You can try Brach’s cinnamon imperial candy. By no means it’s the same as hot tamales. But it sure does not contain any ingredient that is unaccepted by vegans. 

Another option you can try is Zachary cinnamon bears candy. The only wax this candy contains is carnauba wax. Others are just basic corn syrup, sugar, modified food starch, and other basic stuff. 

Final thoughts

Candies are addictive. No matter if they are vegan or not, none of the candies are good for health. You cannot expect a healthy lifestyle and eat candies all the time. So limit candies for Halloween time and stay healthy. Thus veganism will benefit your health and the animal world at the same time.

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