We all love to indulge in the occasional sugary treat. Whether you’re a fan of chocolate or jelly beans, there’s a candy out there for everyone. But do you know what’s in your favorite sweets? It might surprise you! Here are some of the most common candies and the unusual ingredients that make them taste so good (or not!).
Sour Patch Kids
- Sour Patch Kids
You may have heard about the dangers of artificial colors and flavors before, but what about high fructose corn syrup? It may be an ingredient in your favorite candies. This sweetener has been linked to weight gain and diabetes, and it’s found in a number of common candy brands. Some examples include:
- Sour Patch Kids (contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, and high fructose corn syrup)
- Werther’s Original Hard Candies (contain corn syrup, artificial colors, and artificial flavors)
Jolly Ranchers are a great candy that come in bright, fun flavors. They’re also one of the most common candies you’ll find with allergens that people don’t know about.
Jolly Rancher candies contain artificial colors, artificial flavors and aspartame (aka NutraSweet). That’s not all though; Jolly Rancher candies also have carnauba wax which is derived from latex rubber trees! Carnauba wax is often used for texture in chocolates and confections because it gives them an extra smooth coating when melted down. But this isn’t the only thing giving Jolly Ranchers their trademark crunchy texture: citric acid is added to give them a sour flavor similar to lemons!
Swedish Fish are a popular candy in the United States due to their unique flavor and bright colors. However, they can be harmful if eaten regularly. Swedish Fish contain gelatin and shellac, which are both made from animal products. They also contain FD&C Red #40 and Yellow #5, both of which are artificial dyes that are known to cause allergic reactions in some people.
Swedish Fish have been linked with throat cancer as well as some other cancers such as breast cancer and uterine fibroids (tumors). These candies should not be given to children under three years old because they contain xylitol, which can be toxic if consumed by young children
Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans
Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans
Buttered popcorn jelly beans feature a combination of flavors that make them quite unique. They don’t contain any artificial ingredients, but they do include corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. These ingredients have been known to cause gastrointestinal issues in some people. If you’re sensitive to these ingredients, it may be best to avoid these candies.
Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans also contain artificial colors (FD&C Yellow #5), artificial flavors (artificial butter flavor), and artificial sweeteners (sucralose). These additives can lead to adverse reactions in some consumers who are sensitive to food dyes or other chemical compounds found in these types of products.
Black Licorice Twizzlers
There are some candies that you should be wary of. Some contain ingredients that could make you sick if you eat too much of them. You might find this surprising, but it’s true! Here are some examples:
- Licorice Twizzlers – these have licorice in them, and so do many other types of candy. However, when it comes to Twizzlers, make sure they don’t contain “anise” or “black licorice extract” on the ingredients list. If those words are present in large enough quantities (more than 1%), they can cause edema and hypertension in people sensitive to glycyrrhizin.
- Licorice Chewy Clusters – these may surprise you because they’re not technically licorice; however, check their ingredient list just to be safe. Again, if there’s any mention of anise or black licorice extract here (again at >1%), then definitely steer clear!
Candy Corn M&M’s
Candy corn M&M’s are not made of candy corn. They’re actually made out of white chocolate.
Check the ingredients before eating them.
The first thing you should do is to check the ingredients. Look for specific ingredients, but also be on the lookout for general descriptions of what a candy may contain. If “artificial flavors” are listed as an ingredient in your favorite candy, that’s good reason to look elsewhere.
If you don’t see a specific ingredient on the label and have no way of knowing what it might be (for example, if it’s not listed or the brand has been discontinued), then it’s probably best not to eat the product at all.
As you can see, most of these candies have some pretty weird ingredients. While they are not necessarily harmful to your health, it is important to check their labels before deciding whether or not they should be eaten. Some people may have allergies and sensitivities that would make eating certain candy dangerous!