Sometimes, nostalgia hits in the most unexpected forms, like when you have an overwhelming craving for a bite of your childhood love: Cinnamon Toasties.
But what if you were told you can’t eat it anymore? As it turns out, your favorite childhood cereal may or may not be vegan.
Luckily, we’re here to answer one of the most controversial questions of the century: Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch vegan?
The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Debate
It’s usually easy to spot non-vegan food products. All it takes is a browse through the package ingredients and you’ll be able to decide whether or not you should consume it.
The issue with Cinnamon Toast Crunch is that you won’t be able to decide after looking at the ingredients. What’s worse, a quick internet search will open the door to a flood of conflicting opinions – some websites will assure you it’s vegan while others will list all the reasons it’s not.
In face of all this controversy, the fact that Cinnamon Toast Crunch itself claims to be vegan doesn’t hold much credibility.
That’s why we’ve decided to inspect its ingredients one by one to reach a final decision.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ingredient List
- Rice flour
- Whole grain wheat
- Soy lecithin
- Canola oil
- Caramel color
- Trisodium Phosphate
- BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – a preservative
Minerals and Vitamins:
- Vitamin A (palmitate)
- A B Vitamin (folic acid)
- A B Vitamin (niacinamide)
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride)
- Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate)
- Vitamin D3
- Calcium Carbonate
- Iron and Zinc (nutrients)
Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Considered Vegan?
A quick screening of the ingredients will pull you toward the vegan side. After all, there is no milk, egg, or any other animal product on the ingredients list. Furthermore, there isn’t any casein, whey, carmine, allergy statements, or any other non-vegan red flags to watch out for.
So can you finally go get your daily fix of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Unfortunately, the answer is a bit complicated.
To reach an ultimatum, we must discuss four especially suspicious ingredients. These ingredients are:
Sugar remains a gray area in the world of veganism. The most common practice of filtering non-organic sugar with bone char makes it controversial for vegans. As a result, some vegans would rather avoid it, whereas others are okay with consuming it.
- Caramel Color
The caramel color added to the Cinnamon Toast Crunch is only that – a color additive. It’s not actual caramel, it’s a caramel-colored chase made by heating corn-based sugar. In that sense, the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) considers it to be fully vegan.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is another highly controversial ingredient. The reason for that is it’s normally only found in animal products like meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. It’s not naturally found in plant products.
However, we still can’t be certain it’s not vegan. That’s because some of the vitamin b12 found in fortified cereals and supplements is made by bacteria.
The issue here lies in the lack of detailed labeling. We can’t even investigate the suspicious ingredients due to proprietary restrictions, so we have no way of knowing for sure whether the vitamin B12 used in Cinnamon Toast Crunch is sourced from animal products or bacteria.
- Vitamin D3
The reason vitamin D3 is controversial is similar to that of vitamin B12.
Usually, Vitamin D3 is derived from lanolin – a substance found in sheep’s wool. Other common sources of vitamin D3 are fish liver oil and fatty fish, and lesser amounts are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
However, Vitamin D3 can also be sourced from vegan products like lichen.
The problem here is that there’s no guarantee that General Mills uses the vegan version of vitamin D3. `it’s more likely they use vitamin D3 derived from lanolin, making Cinnamon Toast Crunch not vegan.
Other Non-Vegan Cereal Ingredients to Watch Out For
While we’re at it, it’s worthwhile to list the most common non-vegan ingredients used in cereals. In addition to the previously mentioned ingredients, make sure to watch out for the following:
- Dairy products
- Marshmallows (as it contains gelatin)
Are There Any Alternatives?
Luckily, various other cereal products are vegan-friendly. If you can resist your childhood nostalgia strongly enough, you can enjoy the following alternatives:
- Barbara’s Organic Corn Flakes
- Barbara’s Original Puffins
- Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins
- Cap’n Crunch
- Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries
- Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Crunch
- Quaker Original Life
- Kashi Organic Island Vanilla
- Nature’s Path Rice Puffs
- Nature’s Path Crunchy Maple Sunrise
That said, here are three of the most frequently asked questions about Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Does Cinnamon Toast Crunch Have Dairy?
There’s a common misconception that Cinnamon Toast Crunch contains dairy – specifically, milk. However, looking at the product’s ingredients as well as the official clarification of General Mills, we can rest assured there are no dairy products in Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
However, you should know that Malt-O-Meal Cinnamon Toasters, an off-brand similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, does contain dairy.
Does Cinnamon Toast Crunch Have Gelatin?
There’s no gelatin in Cinnamon Toast Crunch. However, there is both gelatin and milk in Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treat Bars, so keep that in mind.
Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegetarian?
There are no issues with Cinnamon Toast Crunch from a vegetarian perspective. The only controversial ingredients in it are sugar, vitamin B12, and Vitamin D3 – none of which pose a problem for lacto-ovo and other non-vegan vegetarians.
The Final Verdict
Strictly speaking, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is not considered vegan. That’s because of the sugar, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D3.
However, since these ingredients are still gray areas, you’ll find many vegans who don’t mind consuming the aforementioned ingredients.
They argue that swapping the animal-based milk they use for their cereal for plant-based is enough for their conscience while rejecting Vitamin D3 won’t really make any more of a difference. If anything, it’s needed for ultimate health.
At the end of the day, you can say it all comes down to the personal preference of the consumer and how comfortable they feel about eating any suspicious ingredients.
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