Smarties Gluten Free: Smarties are a classic candy that many people have enjoyed since childhood. Their small size and crunchy shell coated in sweet candy coating make them an irresistible treat. However, if you have celiac disease or follow a gluten-free diet, you may wonder: are Smarties gluten free? Let’s take a look at what ingredients make up Smarties and how to safely enjoy this nostalgic candy.
What are Smarties Made Of?
The ingredients can vary slightly depending on where Smarties are manufactured, but the basic components are:
- Sugar – This is the main ingredient that gives Smarties their sweet flavor.
- Cornstarch – This is used to create the signature crunchy shell. Cornstarch is naturally gluten free.
- Coloring – Varies depending on the candy coating color. Usually made from dyes like Red 40 or Blue 1.
- Natural and artificial flavors – Small amounts of flavors are added like citric acid.
- Palm oil or vegetable oils – Used to create the smooth candy coating.
- Carnauba wax – Helps keep the candy coating from melting. Derived from a Brazilian palm tree.
As you can see, the ingredients that makeup Smarties are gluten-free. The main possible sources of gluten – wheat, barley, rye, and oats – are not present. This makes Smarties a gluten-free friendly choice!
Are Smarties Processed in Facilities With Wheat?
Some candies that contain gluten-free ingredients can still be unsafe for those with celiac disease if they are processed alongside wheat-based products. Even tiny amounts of cross-contamination can trigger unpleasant symptoms.
The good news is Smarties are processed in dedicated gluten-free facilities. No wheat flour or products containing gluten comes into contact with Smarties during manufacturing or packaging. This gives extra assurance that Smarties will be safe for those avoiding gluten.
Some Smarties packaging clearly states the candies are gluten-free and processed in a gluten-free facility. However, if your package does not have this labeling, you can check the Smarties website for your country or contact Nestle for up-to-date information.
Smarties Nutrition Facts and Ingredients List
Checking the nutrition label and ingredients list on the Smarties package is another way to verify the candies do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients.
Here are the basic nutrition facts for 1 serving (50 pieces or 25g) of Smarties:
- Calories: 130
- Total fat: 2g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Total carbs: 30g
- Protein: 0g
The ingredients will be listed in the order of predominance. For original Smarties, the list should be similar to:
- Sugar, cornstarch, vegetable oil (palm, palm kernel, coconut, and/or sunflower), citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, coloring (includes Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake), carnauba wax
As you can see, no gluten sources are in the ingredients. The cornstarch and sugar are first, followed by vegetable oils and natural colors and flavors.
Are All Smarties Flavors and Products Gluten Free?
Nestle makes several varieties of Smarties beyond the classic candy-coated chocolates. It is important to check each product individually, as ingredients can vary:
- Smarties Candy Rolls – Gluten-free. Contains sugar, glucose, citric acid, and colorings.
- Giant Smarties – Gluten-free. Same basic ingredients as regular Smarties in a larger size.
- Smarties McFlurry – Contains gluten. The McDonald’s McFlurry base contains wheat ingredients.
- Smarties Pop-Up Ice Cream – Gluten-free. Features gluten-free ice cream with Smarties.
- Smarties Candy Canes – Gluten-free. No wheat-based ingredients.
- Smarties Popping Candy – Gluten-free. Contains sugar, lactose, soy lecithin, and flavorings.
The best option is to read the label each time you purchase a Smarties product, even if it was gluten-free in the past. Manufacturing can change. When in doubt, reach out to Nestle to confirm.
Are Smarties Suitable for a Vegan or Dairy-Free Diet?
Along with being gluten-free, Smarties are also free of any animal-derived ingredients. This makes them suitable for people following a vegan or dairy-free diet. Here are some key points:
- No milk ingredients – Smarties do not contain milk, milk powder, casein or whey. The candy coating is made from vegetable oils.
- No egg ingredients – Smarties do not contain any egg products. The candies are egg-free.
- No gelatin – Gelatin (made from animal collagen) is not used to make Smarties. They are gelatin-free.
- No beeswax – Many candies use beeswax to coat or glaze the outside. Smarties rely on carnauba wax instead, which comes from palm trees.
Always check labels for specialty flavors that could contain milk or eggs. But overall, the regular Smarties ingredients align well with a vegan and dairy-free diet. Enjoy them as gluten and animal-free candy!
Tips for Enjoying Smarties Gluten Free on a Special Diet
Here are some tips for safely enjoying Smarties when you are avoiding gluten or certain animal products:
- Check labels – Read the ingredients list and allergen statements each time you buy Smarties. Even if they were gluten/dairy-free in the past, manufacturing can change.
- Look for special labeling – In some countries, Smarties labels products that are gluten-free and lactose-free. This can save you time checking ingredients.
- Avoid bulk bins – Purchase Smarties in their original sealed packages. Bulk bins may expose them to cross-contact with unsafe ingredients.
- Contact the manufacturer – You can call or email Nestle to ask about manufacturing processes and ingredients if you have any concerns.
- Enjoy plain Smarties – Stick to plain Smarties and avoid specialty flavors that may not be gluten or dairy-free, like Smarties McFlurry.
With a few easy precautions, you can safely indulge in nostalgic Smarties even with food intolerances!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about enjoying Smarties on a gluten-free, vegan, or allergen-friendly diet:
Are Smarties dairy-free?
Yes, Smarties do not contain any dairy-derived ingredients including milk, lactose, whey, or casein. Their candy coating is made from vegetable oils. They are considered dairy-free.
Can celiacs eat Smarties?
Yes, Smarties are safe for people with celiac disease. They do not contain any gluten-based ingredients. Smarties are also processed in dedicated gluten-free facilities, avoiding any cross-contamination.
Are Smarties vegan?
Yes, Smarties do not contain any animal-based ingredients making them suitable for vegans. There is no milk, eggs, gelatin, or beeswax. Smarties rely on vegan whey-free candy coatings.
Do Smarties contain soy?
Most standard Smarties do not contain soy ingredients. However, some specialty flavors like Smarties Popping Candy do contain soy lecithin. Those with soy allergies need to check labels carefully.
What candies are gluten-free besides Smarties?
Some other gluten-free candy options include plain M&Ms, Skittles, Swedish Fish, Haribo gold bears, runts, nerds, starbursts, and jelly beans. Always verify ingredients since manufacturing can change.
Are Nestle chocolate chips gluten free?
No, Nestle Toll House chocolate chips do contain gluten. They list wheat flour and barley malt on the ingredients label. Those avoiding gluten should choose a brand of chocolate chips confirmed as gluten-free.
I hope this detailed guide helps explain how to safely enjoy Smarties on a gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan diet. Though manufacturing can change over time, at this current point all evidence indicates standard Smarties are free of gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, and other major allergens. With just a few quick checks of labels and ingredients, those with food restrictions can feel confident enjoying this classic candy from childhood once again.