They come in a variety of colors, flavors, and styles. But are Skittles gluten free? Or are these popular candies not compatible with a gluten-free diet?
From the original flavors to tropical fruit to even the gummies, it seems like there’s a type of Skittles for everyone. But does that include those who can’t have gluten?
The good news is that Skittles candies are gluten free, though they’re not labeled as such. That means they aren’t certified gluten-free by a third party.
Keep reading to learn what exactly is in Skittles, and what the difference bewteen “gluten free” and “certified gluten free” is.
What are Skittles?
Original Skittles are chewy, sugary candies that come in a variety of flavors, including orange, lemon, lime, grape, and strawberry.
But this popular candy also comes in a wide range of other flavors and styles, including sour, wild berry, and more.
Now manufactured by the Mars Wrigley company, Skittles were invented in Britain in 1974. A few years later, they were introduced to America. It’s believed that the name derives from a game called “skittles.” Similar to bowling, it was popular in the UK, and the candies resembled balls used in the game.
The popular Skittles slogan “taste the rainbow” was launched in the mid 1990s as a reference to the candy’s range of colors and flavors. It is still in use today. And this sweet treat is among the most popular candies in the United States.
What kinds of Skittles are there?
If you like fruity candy, you have a lot of Skittles flavors to choose from. Here are the many varieties of these bite size candies:
- Skittles Original
- Wild Berry Skittles
- Sour Skittles
- Brightside Skittles (tangerine, paradise punch, watermelon, pink lemonade and banana kiwi)
- Tropical Skittles (banana berry, kiwi lime, mango tangelo, pineapple passionfruit, and strawberry star)
- Skittles Smoothie candies
Many of these flavors also come in gummy styles.
Do Skittles have gluten?
The product label on Skittles candies lists these main ingredients:
- Corn syrup
- Hydrogenated palm kernel oil
- Citric acid
- Tapioca dextrin
- Modified corn starch
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Sodium citrate
- Carnauba wax
- Titanium dioxide
- Blue 1 lake
- Yellow 5 lake
- Yellow 6 lake
- Red 40 lake
- Yellow 6
- Yellow 5
- Red 40
Many of the items are used as food coloring. And none of these are gluten-containing ingredients. So Skittles are generally considered safe for those with Celiac disease, a gluten allergy, or other gluten intolerances. This includes varieties from the original chewy candies to sour Skittles to the gummies.
Still, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredient label carefully in case any new items have been added to the chewy candy that may contain gluten.
Gluten free vs certified gluten free?
It’s important to know that a food labeled as “gluten free” is not the same as one that is “certified gluten free.” That’s because gluten-free labeling is voluntary.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that foods labeled gluten free have less than 20 ppm of gluten. But manufacturers aren’t required to note every source of gluten on their package label.
On the other hand, gluten-free certification is carried out by independent third parties. They evaluate and determine whether foods meet or exceed the FDA’s requirements when it comes to gluten content. Certification also indicates that the producer has followed strict steps to ensure no cross-contamination with gluten ingredients occurs in its manufacturing facility.
That said, generally foods simply labeled as gluten-free products are safe for those with Celiac disease, gluten allergies, or another gluten sensitivity.
Are Skittles vegan?
Skittles are vegan as none of its ingredients are derived from animals or animal products, nor do the candies contain gelatin. Gelatin comes from animal collagen and it gives foods a chewy texture. But Skittles stopped using it in 2010 as part of its manufacturing process. So not only are Skittles gluten-free, they’re considered vegan as well.
Yes, Skittles are dairy-free. They do not contain any milk products.
Skittles do not contain any eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans, so they are generally considered safe for those with food allergies.
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