Are Mike and Ikes Vegan?

Are Mike and Ikes vegan? This is a question that many people have asked, and there is no clear answer.

The ingredients of the popular candy are mostly vegan, but there is some confusion about two specific ingredients. Some say that they are vegan, while others say they are not. So, it is hard to tell if they are vegan or not.

Candies are nostalgic small things that remind us of childhood. It also reminds you of the time when you used to eat everything without thinking much. But now, as a grown-up adult, you must know what you consume is not harming anyone.

Mike and Ike usually come in fruity flavors though there were some exceptions when they offered variety like root beer.

MIKE AND IKE® are famous for their fruity, chewy candy. Chewy candies are known to be non-vegan as the texture is achieved through animal-derived products. So are Mike and Ikes vegan? Let’s find out together.

Ingredients of Mike and Ike

Ingredients are what makes a food vegan or non-vegan. Always read ingredients and keep knowledge about it. So you will be able to decide for yourself if you want to eat it or not.

Are Mike and Ikes Vegan?
Image From: Amazon
  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Modified food starch
  • Fumaric acid
  • Malic acid
  • Sodium citrate
  • Citric acid
  • Dextrin
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Confectioners glaze
  • Carnauba wax
  • Medium-chain triglycerides
  • Red 40
  • Yellow 5 and 6
  • Blue 1

So, are mike and ikes vegan?

The answer is yes and no. Technically it does not contain any direct animal-derived product. So some vegans like to call it vegan-friendly. But for some strict vegans, it’s not vegan. Because the ingredients used are not ethical for the animals.

Why is Mike and Ikes is considered non-vegan to some people?

The confectioner’s glaze they use is made of shellac. It’s not entirely animal-derived. The shellac is extracted from trees where some kind of bugs make their cocoon.

They collect cocoon lacs and use them to make the confectioner’s glaze. It’s not known if they harm the bugs or if they are kept undisturbed. It’s a form of exploitation for bugs and does not seem ethical to vegan people.

Why do some vegans think Mike and Ikes are vegan?

Does not contain Egg Albumin

Mike and Ike Original Candy
Mike and Ike Original Candy From Amazon

There is a substance called Albumin that is found in eggs, milk, and some vegetables.

And the substance called Albumin is the protein surrounding egg yolk.

The chewy texture that you taste in candies is achieved through this protein. But Mike and Ikes does not contain anything like that.

Does not contain gelatin

Gelatin is a big no in the vegan community. Gelatin is a substance found in cattle and pigs’ bones.

Many animals are harmed in this process and collected the gelatin. This also achieves the chewy texture of the candy. This is also not used in Mike and Ikes at all.

Does not contain red 4

Red 4 is a pigment that is derived from beetles. Thousands of beetles are killed for making the red 4 pigments. However, the production does not end with using the beetles only.

It also uses fish glue, gelatin, and egg white. But Mike and Ikes do not use this pigment. Instead, they use the red 40, which achieves its color through strawberries. So it’s vegan-friendly.

Is Mike and Ike Berry Blast vegan?

Some websites claim that Mike and Ike berry blast is vegan and vegetarian friendly. But we don’t think the same. Look at their ingredient list. 

Mike and Ike Berry Blast Ingredients

From this ingredient list, we can see that Mike and Ike Berry Blast use non-vegan ingredients. Among them, Glazing Agent E904 is confirmed non-vegan. 

And Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) is sometimes vegan and most of the time non-vegan. MCT can be made from an animal source (beef/pork), dairy, or plants (Coconut or plum).

So, we think Mike and Ike Berry Blast is not vegan.

Other varieties of Mike and Ikes

Other than the original signature version of Mike and Ikes there is a version of Mike and Ike Megamix chewy candy and Mike and Ike Mega Mix Sour Chewy Candies.
These have the same ingredients as the original ones. So it is up to you to decide whether you want it.

Mike and Ike Root Beer

The ingredients are pretty much the same as the original one. So if you are somehow a liberal vegan, you would consider it a vegan.

But there is a grey area in this Rootbeer version. And that is lactic acid. Organic lactic acid is found in muscle and blood.

But a synthetic version is produced via coal and crude oil. It also can be achieved by bacterial fermentation. So it’s a small additive you can let go of without overthinking.

Final thoughts

Mike and Ike is nostalgia for all of us. It may seem hard to avoid this candy during the Halloween season.

But it’s all worth it when you will find the peace of saving animals right. Candies are not healthy for us anyway, no matter how much we deny them.

Now you know if Mike and Ike are vegan or not. So, the choice is yours.

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