When most people think of lollipops, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Dum Dums.
Chances are that you were given some as a child when you went to the doctor, or dentist, or did well on a test at school. They’re small, packed full of flavor, and are one of the most iconic candies in America.
However, are Dum Dums vegan?
As it turns out, Dum Dums ARE vegan! They’re made of simple ingredients including sugar, corn syrup, citric and malic acid, and artificial coloring/flavors.
Ethical vegans may take issue with the refined white sugar used in Dum Dums, but dietarily speaking, they are 100% vegan-friendly and made from plant-based and artificial ingredients only.
I’ve always loved Dum Dums. Whenever I’m having a sugar craving and don’t want to go overboard, I just pop a 25-calorie sucker in my mouth and I’m good to go.
In today’s post, I’m going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Dum Dums, give you a full rundown of all of the ingredients, and answer some other questions about eating lollipops on a vegan diet.
Let’s check it out!
Can Vegans Eat Lollipops?
Okay, so Dum Dums are vegan. But what about other types of lollipops? Are all lollipops vegan?
For the most part, lollipops are generally vegan! Most of the store-bought lollipops you’ll find contain all-vegan or mostly-vegan ingredients.
That being said, there are non-vegan lollipops out there. So, it’s always best to double-check the ingredients list and make sure that the lollipop you’re about to suck on is vegan-friendly before you put it in your mouth.
I’ve found that “artisan” lollipops tend to be the least vegan. They often contain extra added ingredients that may be dairy-based and contain shellac, confectioner’s glaze, gelatin, or another non-vegan product.
Additionally, many artisan lollipops are hand-made at a bakery, so they may not come with an accompanying ingredients list.
In general, most desserts from bakeries (unless they’re a vegan-friendly bakery or candy maker) tend to include questionable ingredients, so it’s always best to check with whoever is working the counter.
Do Dum Dums Have Gelatin?
Gelatin is one of the most common non-vegan additives used in candy and sweets. It’s in everything from Pop-Tarts to gummy bears and acts as an emulsifier that helps hold the candy together. There’s only one problem – gelatin is made from pure animal fat.
Thankfully, Dum Dums don’t contain any gelatin! Furthermore, Dum Dums have never used gelatin. Since it’s a hard candy, there’s no need for any gelatin to be used.
The same goes for most other brands of lollipops as well. Gelatin is typically used more in soft candies that have a chewy, gummy-like consistency. It’s rarely used in hard candy or solid sweets.
What Are Dum Dum Lollipops Made Of?
I never expect any of my readers to take my word alone for it. I’m a big advocate for learning more about your food and the ingredients used to make it. So, with that in mind, here’s a brief rundown of the ingredients used in the original Dum Dums:
Sugar is the main ingredient used in Dum Dums (and most other lollipops).
While dietary vegans are usually okay with sugar, ethical vegans try to avoid consuming refined white sugar. Unlike raw cane sugar, white sugar is refined and bleached by filtering it through animal bone char.
2) Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is used along with the sugar to provide more sweetening and sustained flavor.
3) Citric Acid
Citric acid is a natural, plant-derived acid that’s used as a natural preservative in Dum Dums. It also contributes to the citrusy flavor you’ll taste in certain Dum Dums.
4) Malic Acid
Malic acid is a natural plant-based acid that’s found in tart fruits like grapes, blackberries, raspberries, and more. It’s used as a natural flavoring agent in the tart flavors of Dum Dums.
A bit of salt is added to prevent the Dum Dums from being too sweet and it helps balance out the sharpness of the acid.
6) Artificial Flavoring
All Dum Dums are flavored with vegan-friendly artificial flavorings. These don’t ever come from animals, so they’re 100% vegan!
7) Artificial Coloring
All Dum Dums are artificially colored with vegan-friendly food coloring as well.
Are Tootsie Roll Lollipops Vegan?
Now, you may be wondering about the famous Tootsie Roll lollipops with a small piece of sweet chocolate at the center. Chocolate is often a source of concern for vegans, as many types of chocolate contain dairy and milk products.
However, Tootsie Rolls are 100% vegan, and they don’t contain any dairy whatsoever. This, in turn, means that Tootsie Roll lollipops are also vegan-friendly.
Aside from the sugar, which many ethical vegans try to avoid, all of the ingredients used in Tootsie Roll lollipops are either plant-based or artificial.
Fun Fact: It takes over 9,000 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop!
Are Bubblegum Lollipops Vegan?
Okay, so Dum Dums and Tootsie Roll lollipops are vegan, but what about Blow Pops? They’re pretty much the same size as the Tootsie Roll pops, but have a small piece of bubble gum at the center for you to chew on once you’re done with the lollipop.
For the most part, Bubble Gum Blow Pops are vegan! The two questionable ingredients you’ll find in bubble gum and Blow Pops are glycerin and gum base.
While these ingredients can come from animal sources, they’re more often derived from plant-based sources when they’re being used in chewing gum.
Are Red Lollipops Vegan?
There’s always a lot of debate when it comes to red-colored food and sweets in the vegan community. This is because most red-colored food products in the past used bug-derived carmine, which is made from crushing up the bright red exoskeletons of the cochineal beetle.
For years, this was the cheapest form of red food coloring. That is until the internet came out and people started researching the ingredients used in their food and cosmetics…
Most people (non-vegans included) weren’t too happy to find out they were consuming beetles in their everyday household products. This is why most major food brands started using red 40 artificial food coloring instead of carmine dye.
Today, most red-colored lollipops, including Dum Dums are made with vegan-friendly red 40. So you shouldn’t have to worry about eating a side of beetles with your candy!
Conclusion – Dum Dums Are Dietarily Vegan
Not only are Dum Dums vegan-friendly, but they’re a great low-calorie way to stave off sugar cravings throughout the day. It’s a sweet, relatively low-sugar treat that kids and adults both enjoy!
If you liked this post, then be sure to read my last post answering whether or not sprinkles are vegan next!