Trolli has quickly grown into one of the most in-demand candies in the United States. Kids (and adults) everywhere are going crazy for the troll-themed sour gummy worms known as Trolli Crawlers.
While the company’s marketing strategy and theme may be a bit strange, it’s definitely grabbed a lot of people’s attention.
The only question is, “Are Trolli gummy worms vegan?”
Unfortunately, Trolli gummy worms are NOT vegan. All of the Trolli gummy worm flavors and varieties contain at least one non-vegan ingredient, such as gelatin. Additionally, all Trolli flavors are made with refined sugar, which many vegans have boycotted.
Below, I’ll show you exactly why Trolli gummy worms aren’t vegan and give you a full rundown of all of the ingredients used in the popular candy. Are you ready to take a trip to troll town with me?
Is There Gelatin In Trolli Gummy Worms?
As a general rule of thumb, vegans should do their best to avoid any gummy-style candy. Gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy anything, are usually a no-go due to one specific ingredient: gelatin.
Gelatin is one of the most common additives in today’s processed foods and candy. It’s even in popular breakfast foods like Pop-Tarts and Lucky Charms.
Gelatin is also one of the main ingredients used to make Trolli Crawlers. The gelatin gives the gummy worms a chewy, gel-like texture and consistency. Unfortunately, gelatin is non-vegan, as it’s derived from animal remains.
That’s right – this seemingly innocent, tasteless powder is actually a by-product of slaughterhouses. After they sell all of the meat cuts, the butchers are left with a bunch of bones, tendons, and other parts that they can’t sell as meat.
So, they boil down the bones and cartilage to soften them. This process releases gelatin stored within the bones into the water, where it’s then isolated, processed, and dried.
When added to food, gelatin acts as an emulsifier, holding foods together and keeping ingredients from separating. In larger amounts, it can also be used to give the candy a super-chewy, gum-like texture and consistency.
To learn more, watch this informative video on how gelatin is made:
Do Trolli Gummy Worms Have Dairy?
Dairy is another very common by-product that’s found in some of today’s best-selling candies, such as Reese’s, Snickers, and Hershey’s bars. Thankfully, though, Trolli gummy worms are 100% dairy-free.
This means that anybody who’s lactose-intolerant won’t have to worry about getting an upset stomach due to dairy or lactose content. However, the gummy worms still aren’t vegan due to other animal-derived additives, and still shouldn’t be consumed by plant-based dieters.
What Are Trolli Gummy Worms Made Of? Ingredients Analyzed
Have you ever wondered just what gummy worms are made of? Trolli Crawlers are made using the same ingredients as other types of gummy worms. They just have slightly different artificial flavors and colors, which gives them a unique taste.
Here’s a look at the ingredients you’ll find in a pack of Trolli Sour Crawlers:
Now, I’ll take a minute to go through the list and clear up any confusion you might have!
1) Corn Syrup
The main ingredient in all gummy worms is corn syrup. This all-natural sweetener is a light syrup that’s extracted from natural sugars found within sweet corn. Corn syrup creates a gooey, chewy texture, which is why it’s often used in candy.
Since corn syrup production doesn’t involve any animal by-products, it’s vegan-safe!
In addition to corn syrup, Trolli gummies are also made with refined sugar. Unfortunately, refined sugar is a bit of a questionable product, as far as vegans are concerned.
Even though it comes from the sugarcane plant, the natural cane sugar must be refined through animal bone char before it’s turned into white sugar.
For this reason, many vegans are boycotting white sugar and prefer products that contain natural cane sugar or brown rice syrup, which aren’t processed with animal products.
The third main ingredient is gelatin, which is a meat by-product that’s derived from cooked animal bones. Gelatin is neither vegan nor vegetarian and should always be avoided by plant-based eaters.
4) Modified Corn Starch
Modified corn starch is a highly processed form of starch that’s made from genetically modified corn. This is used as a thickening ingredient and is the reason why gummy worms aren’t more liquidy in texture.
Despite how unhealthy modified corn starch is for your body, it is vegan.
5) Fumaric Acid
Fumaric acid is a natural acid found in soil and certain fruits. It’s known for its bitter-sour taste and is often used for sour candies, such as gummy worms, gummy bears, and Sour Patch Kids.
6) Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is another organic acid that’s found in nature and is even produced by our own bodies when we exercise.
Food-grade lactic acid is typically isolated from fermented fruits and veggies, which means that it’s vegan-friendly. It’s known for its slightly acidic taste and for being an excellent preservative.
7) Citric Acid
Citric acid is one of the most common natural preservatives and flavor additives used in candy. It’s found in citrus fruits and other fruits as well, although most food-grade citric acid is made in a lab. Citric acid is vegan and safe to consume in measured doses.
8) Sodium Citrate
Sodium citrate is a concentrated form of citric acid that’s been combined with sodium. This ingredient is commonly used as a semi-natural food preservative. By increasing the acidity of the food, it becomes impossible for bacteria to reproduce, which helps the product last longer.
9) Calcium Lactate
The calcium lactate is a derivative of lactic acid. This thick paste-like cream is used as a thickening agent in food. It also adds to the calcium content of the gummies, making them negligibly more “nutritious.”
10) Sodium Lactate
Sodium lactate is very similar to calcium lactate and is also derived from lactic acid. Since it is synthetically created, it’s vegan-friendly.
11) Natural & Artificial Flavors
All Trolli Crawlers are naturally and artificially flavored with sour, fruity flavors. When combined with the natural acids (fumaric acid, lactic acid, citric acid), a super-sour yet the fruity flavor is achieved. Most of the natural and artificial flavors used in candy are vegan-friendly.
12) Titanium Dioxide
Titanium dioxide is an ultra-fine white powder that’s used to create a bright white pigment in foods. It’s often added to foods such as powdered donuts or white chocolate-flavored foods. This pigment is also used to create the popular paint color – titanium white.
Although titanium is a metal, there is so little of it in the pigment and so little is used that it’s not harmful to humans (at least, according to the FDA).
13) Artificial Colors
Last but not least, all Trolli gummies are packed full of artificial colors to create the bright neon colors that they’re all known for. These artificial colors aren’t natural in the slightest, but at least they’re vegan.
The Verdict – Are Trolli Gummy Worms Vegan-Friendly?
Unfortunately, there are no vegan-friendly Trolli gummy worms in the United States. They all contain gelatin, which is a meat by-product. That being said, Trolli is originally manufactured in Germany.
In Germany, Trolli does offer a few vegan, gelatin-free gummy varieties. You just won’t find them on US store shelves.
If you’re looking for a sweet, chewy treat that’s 100% gelatin-free, then I recommend checking out my list of the best vegan cookie dough brands next! They’re all dairy-free, egg-free, butter-free, and cruelty-free, so you can feel great about spoiling yourself.