A few years ago, Takis was relatively unknown. You could find them in small corner stores and Latin grocery stores, but the majority of people had no idea what they were.
Today, they’re one of the hottest snacks on the market! Even large chip brands like Doritos are trying to make their own version of Takis. The real question is, “Are Takis vegan?”
It depends on the flavor. Many of the original Takis flavors such as Fuego and Zombie are vegan-friendly. However, some of the newer, more experimental flavors like Crunchy Fajita and Angry Burger contain animal-derived ingredients, making them non-vegan.
If you love crunchy, spicy Mexican snacks, then today’s post is for you! Below, I’ll break down the key ingredients used to make Takis.
Then, I’ll show you the most popular vegan-friendly Takis so you can indulge to your heart’s content.
Isn’t it time you added a bit of spice to your life?
Are Takis Fuego Vegetarian or Vegan?
Although Takis isn’t a vegan or vegetarian company, many of its products are safe to consume on both vegetarian and vegan diets. In fact, almost all Takis flavors are vegetarian-friendly. Unlike vegetarians, though, vegans can’t consume any animal by-products, including dairy or eggs.
Luckily, the most popular flavor of Takis, Takis Fuego, is vegan-friendly!
It’s dairy-free, egg-free, and free from any other meat-derived ingredients like gelatin, casein, and whey.
What Are Takis Made From?
The base recipe for Takis is relatively simple. The snack itself is a take on the classic Mexican dish – taquitos (which translates to “mini tacos”). Taquitos are basically just rolled-up miniature tacos, which is what inspired Takis’ signature rolled chips.
The chips themselves are just fried tortilla chips, which are almost always vegan. The “unhealthy” ingredients are the sodium-heavy spices that they coat their chips in.
But as the saying goes, “All things in moderation…”
So, for the curious-minded label readers out there, here’s an in-depth breakdown of the main ingredients in Takis.
Corn flour is the main ingredient in Takis. It’s one of the most common ingredients in Mexican cuisine and is what most Mexican dishes use in place of wheat flour.
This is because corn is one of the oldest crops in Central America! In fact, historical records show that Native Americans were cultivating corn 9,000 years ago, long before the rest of the world even knew what it was.
Tortillas and tortilla chips all start with a dough made from corn flour and water. All Takis start with the same traditional recipe that’s been used for thousands of years.
Corn flour, by itself, is always vegan and is 100% plant-based. For the most part, it’s pretty healthy as well. Although modern GMOs in corn have caused some concern, it’s still a vegan, plant-based product.
Unlike raw tortillas, Takis tortilla chips are deep-fried in vegetable oil. This is where they start to get a bit unhealthy, as the vegetable oil adds a lot of extra fat that wouldn’t otherwise be present in the tortillas.
According to Takis, they use one of the following vegetable oils to make all of their chips:
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Rice bran oil
- Palm oil
Soybean, canola, and rice bran oil are all 100% vegan and are commonly used in plant-based foods. Palm oil is the only problematic ingredient.
Although palm oil is plant-based and comes from palm fruit, the palm oil industry is one of the most destructive commercial food industries on the planet.
This is because the majority of palm oil in the world is produced in South America and Indonesia, where very few laws exist to prevent overfarming and the destruction of natural rainforests.
As a result, our planet’s natural rainforests (along with their diverse ecosystems and animal life) are rapidly disappearing. Many of these animals are driven into human communities, where they’re viewed as pests and slaughtered to extinction.
In places like Brazil, commercial palm oil farms have been known to drive indigenous tribes and communities out of their tribal land. Often, they’re terrorized by armed mercenaries and heavy machinery.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to tell what type of vegetable oil is used to make your Takis. The company may use several different types of oil at once, depending on market availability.
One day you might be eating Takis made with canola oil and the next you may be eating palm oil Takis.
Takis seasoning varies, depending on the flavor you get. However, most flavors contain a similar base that consists of salt, maltodextrin, citric acid, MSG, soy protein, onion powder, and a few various dyes and other spices.
Is Takis Food Dye Vegan?
One of the most concerning ingredients in Takis is the food dye used to give them their bright, eye-catching colors.
Some Takis are bright red, while others are verdant green or electric blue. Needless to say, none of these colors are natural. They’re all the result of artificial colors and dyes.
For instance, Takis Fuego uses Red 40 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake. Although these dyes are technically vegan-friendly (as they don’t contain animal by-products), they’re far from healthy.
What Flavors Of Takis Are Vegan?
As I mentioned, some flavors of Takis are vegan-friendly, while others are not. Here’s the most up-to-date list of vegan Takis and non-vegan Takis, so you know which flavors to buy the next time you’re out shopping:
|Vegan Takis Flavors||Non-Vegan Takis Flavors|
|Rock (limited edition)|
Takis is known for releasing new, crazy-named flavors every year. Many of them are limited edition flavors that are only available for a short period of time.
This means that you should always double-check the ingredients’ labels before buying them. While many Takis are vegan-friendly, there are more non-vegan flavors than vegan flavors.
How To Tell Which Takis Flavors Are Vegan
Reading the ingredients label is the most surefire way to tell if a certain flavor of Takis is vegan or not. However, the packaging may contain some other clues that can hint at whether the flavor is vegan, such as:
- Contains dairy
- Contains egg
If you see these notices, then it’s safe to assume that the flavor is not vegan.
Are Takis Watz Vegan?
Takis Watz features the same delicious Takis flavors. However, Watz is made using puffed corn instead of a fried tortilla chip.
The base ingredients used to make Takis Watz are vegan-friendly, so the chart above applies to Takis Watz the same as it applies to traditional Takis.
Conclusion – Are Takis Healthy?
Just because they’re vegan doesn’t mean they’re healthy. For one, Takis are deep-fried, which means that they contain lots of unhealthy saturated fat.
Additionally, the spice blend used to season Takis is incredibly spicy, sodium-heavy, and acidic, which can lead to indigestion and even stomach pain.
If you’re looking for great-tasting, healthy vegan snacks, check out my list of the best vegan chips next!