Skittles are a popular candy made by Mars Wrigley that come in a variety of fruit flavors and colors. The candies have a hard sugar shell and a chewy fruit-flavored center. Skittles contain around 24 grams of sugar per 1 ounce serving, so they are quite high in sugar content. This leads many people to wonder if there is a sugar free version available.
Do Skittles Contain Sugar?
Yes, regular Skittles contain sugar. The main ingredients in Skittles are:
– Corn syrup
– Hydrogenated palm kernel oil
– Fruit juice concentrates
– Modified corn starch
– Natural and artificial flavors
– Colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1)
As you can see, sugar is the number one ingredient. There are around 24 grams of sugar in a 1 ounce serving of Skittles, which is about 6 tablespoons worth. So Skittles are very high in sugar content.
The sugar in Skittles gives them their sweet taste and is important for the texture and binding of the candies. It helps create the chewy, gummy interior of the candies. The sugar also acts as a preservative to prevent mold and bacterial growth. So sugar has some important functional roles in Skittles, beyond just providing sweetness.
Are There Sugar Free Skittles?
No, currently there are no sugar free Skittles sold by Mars Wrigley. The regular Skittles contain regular sugar (sucrose) as the main ingredient.
However, there are some alternative sugar free Skittle-like products made by smaller candy companies. For example:
– SmartSweets makes sugar free gummy candy in fruit flavors like Sweet and Sour Blasters. These are made with stevia and erythritol instead of sugar.
– YumEarth makes organic sugar free gummy bears and worms that are flavored with fruit juices and sweetened with stevia leaf extract and molasses.
– Russell Stover makes sugar free fruit chews, though they are not Skittles. They use maltitol syrup instead of sugar.
So while there are no official sugar free Skittles from Mars Wrigley, there are some alternative sugar free gummy candies on the market that resemble Skittles. However, the taste and texture might not be exactly the same as the original Skittles.
Why Don’t They Make Sugar Free Skittles?
Mars likely does not make sugar free Skittles because sugar plays an important role in the taste, texture, and preservation of the candies. Completely removing sugar would result in a very different product.
Here are some reasons why sugar free Skittles are not produced:
– Sugar provides the sweet taste that Skittles are known for. Artificial sweeteners like stevia and sucralose taste different than sugar. The unique sweet taste of Skittles would be lost without real sugar.
– Sugar helps bind the ingredients together and achieve the soft, chewy texture of Skittles. Without sugar, the candies would be dry and hard.
– Sugar acts as a preservative to prevent mold growth and bacterial contamination. Sugar free candies need extra preservatives.
– Removing sugar would require completely reformulating the recipe. New binding agents and preservatives would be needed as replacements.
– Skittles have an established brand identity and devoted fans who expect the original sweet taste and fruity flavors. Drastically changing the formula could alienate consumers.
Essentially, Skittles without sugar would not have the same taste, texture, or quality that consumers expect. While a sugar free version sounds appealing to some, it does not align with the Skittles brand.
Are There Any Plans to Create Sugar Free Skittles?
Mars Wrigley has not announced any plans to create a sugar free version of Skittles. The company seems committed to keeping the original candy recipe intact.
While consumers have requested sugar free varieties of popular candies like Skittles and M&Ms, food manufacturers have been cautious about altering iconic brands too much. They do not want to disappoint people who expect the traditional taste and experience.
Mars Wrigley has focused sugar free candy development on some of their gum and mint products. For example, they produce sugar free versions of Orbit gum, Doublemint gum, and Altoids mints.
But so far, Mars has not applied the same sugar free technology to their classic candy brands like Snickers, M&Ms, Starburst, and Skittles. There is too much risk involved in fundamentally changing recipes that consumers know and love.
Unless consumer demand really ramps up, it seems unlikely that Mars will venture into sugar free territory with Skittles anytime soon. Fans of Skittles will just have to satisfy their sweet tooth with the regular sugar-filled version.
Should You Eat Sugar Free Candy?
Sugar free gummy bears and candies may seem like a smart solution if you are limiting sugar for health, diet, or diabetes reasons. But are these sugar-substituted sweets really a healthy choice?
Here are some pros and cons to consider about sugar free candies:
– Fewer calories – Sugar free candies have lower calorie counts than sugary varieties.
– Less impact on blood sugar – They do not spike blood glucose levels compared to regular candies. Helpful for diabetics.
– Lower carbohydrate – Suites low carb, keto, and other low sugar diets.
– Doesn’t harm teeth – Lack of sugar means less risk for cavities.
– Gastrointestinal issues – Sugar alcohols like maltitol and sorbitol can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea in some people.
– Still not that nutritious – Sugar free candies lack vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutrients.
– May trigger cravings – The taste of sweets may make you want the real thing.
– Contains artificial sweeteners – Some people prefer to avoid sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, etc.
– Higher in fat or calories than fruits – Grapes or berries would be lower cal alternatives.
Overall, sugar free candies are safer for your teeth and blood sugar compared to regular sugary sweets. But they can still cause digestive issues and are highly processed. For optimal health, it’s best to satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweet foods like fruit. But sugar free candies can be an occasional treat in moderation if you are conscious of ingredients and portions.
Making Your Own Sugar Free Skittles
While you can’t exactly replicate the unique Skittles flavor at home, you can make DIY sugar free fruit candies using natural ingredients. Here is a basic recipe to try:
– 3/4 cup water
– 1 tablespoon gelatin powder (look for grass-fed)
– 2-3 tablespoons stevia liquid concentrate
– 1/4 teaspoon citric acid
– Fruit juice concentrates for flavor (like raspberry, strawberry, orange, lemon)
– Food coloring (optional)
1. In a small pot, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let soften for 5 minutes. Then heat on medium-low, stirring frequently, until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in stevia, citric acid, fruit juice concentrates, and food coloring if using. Mix well until uniform color.
3. Lightly coat silicone candy molds or a baking pan with coconut oil. Pour in gelatin mixture.
4. Refrigerate uncovered 3-4 hours until firm gummies form.
5. Remove from molds and store gummies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy within 1 week.
The gelatin gives these candies the chewy texture, while the stevia provides a sweet taste without sugar. Try different fruit flavor combinations like raspberry-lemon or strawberry-orange. You can even mold them into fun shapes with candy molds. Enjoy your homemade “Skittles” in moderation!
In summary, while Mars does not produce an official sugar free version of their famous Skittles candy, there are some alternative sugar free gummy options on the market. Consumers need to weigh the potential benefits versus drawbacks of these sugar substitutes. Your best bet is to indulge in regular Skittles only occasionally and in small servings, while focusing everyday snacking on wholesome fresh fruits and veggies to get sweetness from natural sources. Making your own sugar free fruit candies can be a fun DIY project as well. Moderation and variety are key for enjoying all kinds of sweets in a healthy balanced diet.