Starburst jelly beans are a popular candy made by Mars Wrigley. With bright fruit flavors and a chewy texture, Starburst jelly beans have been enjoyed by candy lovers for decades. But for people with food allergies or intolerances like gluten or dairy, it’s important to know if Starburst jelly beans are safe to eat. This article will examine if Starburst jelly beans contain gluten or dairy and help you determine if they can be part of your diet.
Do Starburst jelly beans contain gluten?
The good news is that regular Starburst jelly beans are considered gluten-free. According to Starburst FAQs on the Mars Wrigley website, Starburst jelly beans do not contain any gluten ingredients. This means they can be safely consumed by those following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Starburst jelly beans go through strict quality control to avoid gluten cross-contamination. The facilities that make Starburst jelly beans do not handle any gluten-containing ingredients. Mars Wrigley states that Starburst jelly beans adhere to FDA standards of being less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This very low level means it’s unlikely trace amounts of gluten would cause issues for sensitive individuals.
So in summary – yes, Starburst jelly beans are gluten-free friendly and can be enjoyed by those avoiding gluten in their diets!
Checking labels for gluten information
Even though Starburst are gluten-free, it’s always important to check the label when purchasing candies. Look for any allergen warnings for wheat, barley, rye or cross contamination. You can also contact the manufacturer if you have any concerns.
For Starburst jelly beans, check that you have picked up a standard pack, not a seasonal or limited edition variety. Special releases may differ in ingredients and manufacturing practices. As long as you stick to regular Starburst jelly beans, they will be a gluten-free treat.
Are Starburst jelly beans dairy-free?
Starburst jelly beans do not contain milk, dairy, or lactose ingredients. This makes them safe for people with dairy allergies, lactose intolerance, or who follow a vegan diet. According to Mars Wrigley, Starburst jelly beans are free from milk derivatives like whey, casein, and lactose.
In addition, the facilities that produce Starburst jelly beans do not handle dairy in the same production areas. This minimizes any risk of cross contamination with dairy allergens. Regular Starburst jelly beans have not been flagged as a risk for those with dairy issues.
Watching out for hidden dairy
While Starburst jelly beans themselves are dairy-free, those with milk allergies need to watch out for potential cross contamination. Starburst jelly beans may be produced on equipment shared with other Mars Wrigley products that do contain dairy like chocolate and some chewing gum products. Extremely sensitive individuals may wish to contact the company for the most up to date information.
Additionally, Starburst jelly beans are often packaged alongside non-jelly bean Starburst candies like gummies that may contain dairy. Check labels to ensure you avoid non-dairy free products. As long as you stick to original Starburst jelly beans, they can be enjoyed as part of a dairy-free diet.
Ingredients in Starburst jelly beans
Now that we’ve covered the big gluten and dairy questions, let’s look at what is actually found inside Starburst jelly beans. Here are the ingredients in standard Starburst jelly beans, according to Mars Wrigley:
- Corn syrup
- Modified food starch (vegetable source)
- Fruit juices from concentrate (apple, lemon, strawberry, cherry, orange)
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Artificial colors (Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, Blue 1)
- Carnauba wax
As you can see, the ingredient list confirms there are no gluten or dairy-based ingredients. The gelatin used in Starburst jelly beans is derived from animal sources, not dairy sources. So those following religious or vegetarian diets free of porcine products may want to avoid Starburst.
Common allergens in Starburst jelly beans
In addition to being dairy and gluten-free, Starburst jelly beans are free from most other major food allergens:
- No eggs, egg ingredients, or egg derivatives like albumin or lysozyme
- No peanuts, tree nuts, or nut derivatives like peanut oil or almond extract
- No soy, soy lecithin, edamame or soy protein
- No sesame seeds, sesame oil or sesame flour
- No fish or shellfish ingredients
The only potential allergen to watch out for is the shared equipment with potential milk allergens as noted above. But overall, Starburst jelly beans avoid most major dietary allergens.
Are Starburst jelly beans vegan?
Strict vegans may want to avoid Starburst jelly beans due to the inclusion of beeswax and animal-derived gelatin. Neither beeswax nor gelatin would be considered vegan ingredients.
However, some vegetarians who eat limited dairy products may still consider Starburst jelly beans to be “vegan enough” since these animal-derived ingredients are minor and there are no major milk proteins. Those following a vegan diet should read labels carefully and contact the manufacturer to determine if Starburst jelly beans fit their dietary needs.
Nutrition facts for Starburst jelly beans
Now let’s look at the nutrition profile of Starburst jelly beans. Here are the nutrition facts for a 1 ounce (28g) serving size of Starburst jelly beans, which is about 16 to 17 jelly beans:
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As you can see, Starburst jelly beans are high in sugar like most candies. There are 21 grams of sugar in a 28 gram serving. So the vast majority of calories come from sugar.
There are no significant sources of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins or minerals. Essentially Starburst jelly beans just provide a quick hit of sugar. There are 110 calories in about 16 regular sized jelly beans.
Since the sugar content is so high in Starburst jelly beans, they should be enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. Consuming too many servings can lead to issues like:
- Tooth decay
- Weight gain
- Increase in triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol
- Higher blood sugar
- Type 2 diabetes
Ideally limit jelly bean servings to 1 to 2 ounces a few times per week at most. Always practice good oral hygiene and drink plenty of water when consuming high sugar candies.
Finding gluten and dairy-free Starburst jelly beans
Starburst jelly beans can be found at most grocery stores, mass retailers like Walmart and Target, and convenience stores. Here are some tips for finding Starburst jelly beans that are gluten and dairy-free:
- Check bulk candy bins at stores for Starburst jelly beans in individual serving bags
- Purchase larger multi-ounce Starburst jelly bean bags
- Look for Starburst jelly bean packs near the checkout lanes
- Shop online and order Starburst jelly beans for delivery from Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.
- Buy classic original flavor packs, avoiding any limited edition or unknown flavors
- Inspect labels and packaging to ensure no gluten or dairy
As long as you stick to regular Starburst jelly beans in the original fruit flavors, you can feel confident you are getting a gluten and dairy-free treat. Contact the manufacturer with any questions or concerns.
Are other Starburst products gluten and dairy-free?
While regular Starburst jelly beans are free from gluten and dairy, other Starburst products may differ. Here is a quick rundown of other Starburst products and whether they are typically gluten or dairy-free:
Starburst Gummies often contain dairy as an ingredient in the form of milk protein concentrates. However, some flavors may be dairy-free. Contact the manufacturer to inquire about up to date allergen information.
Starburst Minis are mini star shaped gummies, not jelly beans. They typically contain dairy-based ingredients. Check labels to confirm gluten and dairy status.
Starburst Fruit Chews
The classic Starburst fruit chews are gluten and dairy-free. However, some flavors may differ, so check labels. Fruit chews are not jelly beans.
Sour Starburst jelly beans and chews are also free from gluten and dairy. But check labels to be sure.
Limited edition Starburst
Any limited batch or seasonal Starburst flavors may differ in ingredients and manufacturing. Contact the company to ask about specialty jelly beans, chews, and gummies.
Enjoying gluten and dairy-free Starburst jelly beans
Starburst jelly beans can be a delicious gluten and dairy-free candy treat when consumed in moderation. Be sure to check labels and buy only original Starburst jelly beans to ensure you are avoiding gluten and dairy. Contact Mars Wrigley with any questions or concerns about ingredients and allergen information.
A 1 ounce serving of Starburst jelly beans makes a nice sweet snack or dessert a couple times per week for those requiring a gluten and dairy-free diet. Just watch your portions and brush your teeth afterwards! With their fruity flavors and chewy texture, Starburst jelly beans can be a fun candy to enjoy with no gluten or dairy worries.