Find out if jelly beans are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan and how this candy fits into each of these diets.
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Jelly beans are a quintessential Easter treat that fills baskets every year around spring time. These treats are sweet and (usually) fruity, packed with tons of flavor in one little candy.
You can get jelly beans for Easter or find them year round at many grocery stores. Some brands, like Jelly Belly, have made a name for themselves outside of the Easter holiday season, and have become a popular movie candy.
If you enjoy jelly beans around this holiday or any time of the year, you’ll want to know how this candy fits in with your gluten-free diet. In this post, we’re going to answer some questions about jelly beans. Specifically, are they gluten-free? Are jelly beans dairy-free? And are they vegan?
We’ll wrap this post up with a list of gluten-free jelly bean brands that you can look for at the store next time you’re looking for an option that works for your diet.
Let’s get into it!
Ingredients of jelly beans
The ingredients of jelly beans will vary from brand to brand, but generally speaking most jelly beans are made with a combination of sugar, corn syrup, starch, lecithin, and carnauba wax or confectioner’s glaze.
Most jelly beans are made by making the gummy-like center, then adding various layers of flavor coating to add a hard shell to the outside.
Read on: Is corn syrup gluten-free?
Read on: Is soy lecithin gluten-free?
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Gluten can be found in candy as one of the main ingredients, especially in gummy candies, as wheat flour or wheat starch. You can also find it in flavorings, thickeners, or binders.
Are jelly beans gluten-free?
Most jelly beans are gluten-free and contain no added gluten ingredients. You can check ingredients lists for hidden sources of gluten, like malted barley, glucose syrup, or wheat flour just to be on the safe side.
Many brands of jelly beans are gluten-free. You can easily look for gluten-free labels on packages to know that these labeled products contain less than 20ppm of gluten in the package.
Are jelly beans dairy-free?
Most jelly beans do not contain any dairy products, however if you have a dairy or milk allergy, I’d be aware of any packaging that says the candy is produced on shared equipment with other milk products.
Are jelly beans vegan?
Most jelly beans are vegan, however this will vary by brand. Do your best to review ingredients lists for gelatin, shellac, or beeswax before buying.
Gluten-free jelly bean brands
There are a number of brands that make gluten-free jelly beans. Some brands even go so far as to have a dedicated allergen-friendly facility. In this list, I’ll note the brands that are labeled as gluten-free with an asterisk (*).
Those without an asterisk in this list do not contain gluten ingredients, however there is a risk for cross contamination. Be aware of this and do your best to make a choice based on your level of sensitivity to gluten.
- Amanda’s Own Assorted Gourmet Jelly Beans*
- Dare Real Hoppy Easter Jelly Beans*
- Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans*
- Jelly Belly Jelly Beans*
- Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans
- Just Born Jelly Beans
- Nerds Big Chewy Jelly Beans
- Peeps Jelly Beans
- See’s Candies Jelly Beans
- Sour Patch Jelly Beans
- Starburst Original Jelly Beans
- Swedish Fish Jelly Beans
- Sweet Tarts Jelly Beans
- Surf Sweets Jelly Beans*
- Teenee Beanee Jelly Beans
- Vermont Nut Free Jelly Beans
- Warheads Sour Jelly Beans
- Welch’s Jelly Beans
- Yum Earth Sour Beans*
Are my favorite brands of jelly beans gluten-free?
If you have a favorite brand of jelly beans, you may be wondering if they are safe to continue enjoying on your gluten-free diet. Let’s go over a few popular brands and get the answers you came for.
Are Jelly Belly jelly beans gluten-free?
According to the Jelly Belly website, their jelly beans are gluten-free. Here is their official statement:
“While each Jelly Belly flavor is unique, there are several characteristics all our Jelly Belly beans share. All our candies are gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, fat-free and vegetarian-friendly. Neat, right?”
Are Jolly Rancher jelly beans gluten-free?
Jolly Rancher jelly beans contain no gluten ingredients in their ingredients list, meaning this are generally safe for a gluten-free diet.
They do not have a gluten-free label, meaning there is a potential for cross contamination with gluten. Use your own discretion as to whether or not to enjoy these on your diet based on what you know about how your body reacts to trace amounts of gluten in your system.
Are Starburst jelly beans gluten-free?
Starburst jelly beans don’t have any gluten ingredients in their ingredients list making them generally safe for anyone on a gluten-free diet. Without a gluten-free label, we know that there is a potential for cross contamination, so be aware of that and how your body reacts to trace amounts of gluten before buying or eating.
If you love jelly beans at Easter or any time of the year, I hope this post has helped you get the answers you need to feel good about enjoying these treats on your gluten-free diet. Remember to read ingredient lists for hidden sources of gluten and use your best judgement based on your own body’s needs.