Fruit Loops have been one of the most popular breakfast cereals in America since they first hit store shelves in 1963. I still remember the old “Toucan Sam” commercials with the Fruit Loops mascot in the jungle!
Unfortunately, cereal is known for having non-vegan ingredients and additives, which makes it a bit of a tricky item.
So, are Fruit Loops vegan?
Unfortunately, Fruit Loops are NOT vegan.
Although the cereal has mostly natural ingredients, it contains refined white sugar (filtered through bone char) and vitamin D3 (which is typically derived from animal hairs). Therefore, Fruit Loops aren’t a great choice for plant-based eaters.
That being said, there are several brands of vegan-friendly Fruit Loops on the market. You can usually find these online from Amazon or at your favorite health foods store.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you a full breakdown of all of the ingredients in Fruit Loops so you can see for yourself exactly why they aren’t vegan. But first, let me take a minute to answer some questions…
Are Fruit Loops Dairy-Free?
Dairy is a common additive in today’s breakfast cereals. The most common culprit is whey powder, which is added to give the cereal a higher protein content and help bind flavors to the cereal nuggets.
Sometimes, non-fat milk is also added to give the cereal a smoother texture or flavor.
Thankfully, Fruit Loops are dairy-free!
So, if you’re lactose intolerant, then they shouldn’t cause you any problems. However, this isn’t a reason for vegans to get excited, as the cereal still remains non-vegan and contains other animal products.
Do Fruit Loops Have Gelatin?
Like dairy, gelatin is another common non-vegan additive found in food. Most people think of Jell-O when they hear about this additive. However, what most people don’t know is that gelatin is pretty much pure powdered animal fat.
That’s right, to get gelatin, slaughterhouses boil down the leftover bones of the animals they butchered and extract the gelatin from the bones and fatty tissues. It’s then processed to remove all of the flavors, resulting in a tasteless, hard-to-detect additive.
Fruit Loops do NOT contain any beef or pork-based gelatin.
Overall, Fruit Loops is a simple cereal, and there’s no need for binding agents and emulsifiers (which is what gelatin is used for).
Why Are Fruit Loops Non-Vegan? A Look At The Ingredients
If you weren’t paying close attention to the ingredients, you’d probably think that Fruit Loops were vegan-friendly. All of the main ingredients are either plant-based or artificial, and there are no obvious animal ingredients like dairy or gelatin. Look for yourself:
However, the vitamin and mineral additives include vitamin D3, which is almost always obtained from sheep’s wool. Unfortunately, wool is non-vegan.
Below, I’ll give you a full breakdown of the ingredients. This will help you become more familiar with reading ingredients labels so that you can tell the difference between vegan and non-vegan foods by yourself.
1) Corn Flour Blend
Fruit Loops are primarily made with cornflour. Corn flour is 100% vegan and was first made over 10,000 years ago by ancient Mesoamericans. This simple plant-based flour is made by drying and shelling corn.
The corn kernels are then ground into a fine powder that’s used for foods such as tortillas, chips, dog food, and cereal.
As you can see, there are no animals involved in the production of cornflour, so it’s 100% vegan.
Sugar is one of those “iffy” ingredients. Dietary vegans typically don’t have a problem with a bit of white sugar, as it’s technically a plant-based sweetener. Ethical vegans, on the other hand, do not consume white sugar, as it’s filtered through animal bone char.
Even though the bone char doesn’t end up in the final product, the mere fact that it’s used has caused most serious vegans to give up white sugar.
Instead, most vegans try to look for products that are sweetened with natural cane sugar or other plant-based syrups. The unrefined cane sugar is 100% vegan, as it’s not filtered through any type of bone char!
3) Wheat Flour
In addition to corn flour, Kellogg’s also uses a bit of natural wheat flour. Like corn flour (and honestly, every other type of flour), wheat flour is 100% vegan.
It’s a simple baking powder that’s made from grinding dried wheat. As long as it’s not chemically bleached, it’s actually a part of a healthy, balanced diet as well!
4) Whole Grain Oat Flour
To make the ultimate Fruit Loop, Kellogg’s blends whole grain oat flour with corn and wheat flour. The oat flour has a rich, full-bodied flavor which gives the cereal a better texture and taste. Like wheat and corn flour, oat flour is also vegan.
5) Modified Food Starch
Food starch is a plant-based baking ingredient that serves as a thickening agent. It can also be added to food to create a crispier, crunchier texture. In some cases, it’s also added as a drying agent to prevent food from getting too sticky and messy.
Food starch is pretty much pure processed starch that’s extracted from corn, potatoes, and wheat. This makes it 100% vegan-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about this one!
6) Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil serves as a binding agent in Fruit Loops. Kellogg’s uses at least one of the following oils in every batch of Fruit Loops:
- Hydrogenated coconut oil
- Soybean oil
- Cottonseed oil
These are all sustainably sourced cooking oils and are regularly used in both vegan and non-vegan products.
7) Oat Fiber
Natural oat fiber is added to Fruit Loops to give them a higher fiber content. This natural, plant-based fiber promotes healthy digestion and can make you feel “full” for longer periods of time.
Maltodextrin is a pure, simple starch that’s typically extracted from corn (and sometimes potatoes). It’s often used in vegan mass gainers, as it triggers your body to store fat.
However, Fruit Loops helps keep the cereal dry and prevents the sugary loops from sticking to each other.
Salt is almost always added to cereal. It’s a simple, vegan-friendly baking additive that helps strengthen the dough of the cereal. This, in turn, prevents the cereal from being too crumbly and falling apart.
10) Soluble Corn Fiber
Soluble corn fiber is another plant-based source of fiber that works alongside the oat fiber, making Fruit Loops more nutritious and better for your digestion.
11) Natural Flavors
Fruit Loops are naturally flavored and designed to taste like fruit. It’s nice to see that the brand isn’t using artificial flavoring! The natural flavors used in Fruit Loops are all vegan-friendly.
12) Artificial Food Coloring
Each colored loop is artificially colored using dyes like red 40, yellow 5 and 6, and blue 1. Although these food colorings aren’t very healthy, they are lab-made and vegan.
13) Blend of Vitamins & Minerals
Last but not least, Kellogg’s coats all of the cereal with a blend of vitamins and minerals. This is why they’re allowed to market the cereal as a “healthy” breakfast for kids and parents. All of the added vitamins and minerals are vegan, except for one – vitamin D3.
This vitamin is extracted from sheep’s wool and animal hairs, making it non-vegan.
The Verdict – Are Fruit Loops Vegan-Friendly?
Sadly, Fruit Loops are not vegan-friendly, as they contain both white sugar and vitamin D3. Thankfully, there are plenty of other vegan-friendly versions of Fruit Loops on the market!
To see some of my favorite vegan cereal brands, check out my list of the best vegan cereal next.