Is Sour Patch Kids Candy HALAL Or HARAM (2024 Guide)

Khadija Ahmed

January 05, 2024
Is Sour Patch Kids halal?

Sour Patch Kids, a hugely popular sour candy sweet, sells over $100 million worth of sweets every year, and they're a staple in every sweet-toothed individual's ultimate goody bag, especially in North America.

However, given it's chewy texture, questions are often raised about its halal or haram status.

With its increasing popularity, the halal-conscious consumer wants clarity on its ingredients and the manufacturing process. So, let's unwrap this sour treat and find out more.

What is Sour Patch Kids?

Peach and strawberry flavour Sour Patch Kids

Sour Patch Kids are known as Very Bad Kids in France and Maynards Sour Patch Kids in Canada and the UK. They are a brand of soft sweet or chewy candy made from both sweet and sour sugar.

The sweets were created by Frank Galatolie in the United States and were originally called Mars Men. The brand is now produced by Mondelez International following their acquisition of previous owners the Allen Candy Company in the late 1990s.

The sweets are characterised by their tart initial flavour from tartaric and citric acids, followed by the sweet gum chewy texture. 

The main ingredients in Sour Patch Kids

Main ingredients in Sour Patch Kids

Here are the ingredients in Sour Patch Kids:

Sugar, Invert Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Corn Starch, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavour, Colourings (Yellow 6, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1)

Popular artificial flavouring tastes include Blue Raspberry, Sour Patch Watermelon and Strawberry.

The presence of invert sugar syrup, which can sometimes be processed using bone char, a derivative of animal hides, can be concerning. Bone char isn’t always halal (as it depends on the animal-derived products and their slaughter) or vegan, but it's essential to note that not all invert sugar is processed this way.

The primary lure of Sour Patch candies is the exciting play of sweet aftertaste following the initial sour punch. This flavor profile is achieved with the combination of citric acid and tartaric acid. These agents, along with the coating of invert sugar, give it that quintessential sour taste.

Are they chewy because of gelatin?

While Sour Patch Kids are chewable and may have a similar texture to sweets that contain gelatine, Sour Patch Kids themselves do not contain gelatin. The chewable nature comes from plant-based substances like agar and carrageenan.

Agar and carrageenan are halal ingredients and it is possible to obtain halal certification for them. Other halal gummies on the market use these substances to create a halal substitute for the traditional gooey texture found in gummy snacks.

So, is Sour Patch Kids halal? 

What does Islam say about Sour Patch Kids?

For any halal-conscious consumer, the alarm bells ring when animal-derived ingredients come into the picture. The majority of soft candy or chewy candies available in the market often use gelatin, which is a gelling agent derived from animal parts, specifically from the collagen in animal hides and bones. This makes many chewy candies potentially haram, or forbidden under Islamic law.

A particular point of contention arises with the use of artificial colors. While these may seem innocuous at first glance, some artificial colors can be tested on animals or may have manufacturing processes that include animal derivatives. Another potential red flag is the processing agent bone char, sometimes used in refining sugars. Bone char, derived from the bones of animals, is not considered halal or vegan.

However, in the case of Sour Patch Kids, the manufacturers have chosen a different route. Instead of using animal derivatives to achieve that sought-after chewy texture, they've incorporated plant-based ingredients. This choice not only caters to the halal diet but also appeals to those who prefer or require vegetarian and vegan-friendly options.

So, is Sour Patch halal?

Taking the above into consideration, subject to the origin of the artificial colours and artificial flavors used, Sour Patch Kids is not made from animal product and is therefore a halal food.

Mondelez International, the global brand powerhouse behind Sour Patch Kids, is no stranger to the diverse dietary needs of consumers worldwide. Among their vast array of products, several have been certified halal, bearing testimony to their commitment to catering to the Muslim market.

Sour Patch Kids are different to stay Haribo Gummy Bears or Starburst, where they can be halal depending on the country that produces them.

In the United Kingdom, Maynards Sour Patch Kids variant, while similar to its American counterpart, has a slightly different recipe. This difference is crucial because ingredients, their sources, and their processing can vary based on regional preferences, availability, and regulations. In the UK version, the presence of glucose syrup, alongside potential animal derivatives in certain artificial colors, warrants a closer inspection for anyone adhering to a strict halal diet.

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