Do Skittles Have High Fructose Corn Syrup? A Complete Guide

Are you a fan of Skittles? Do you find yourself reaching for these colorful candies whenever you need a sweet fix?

While they may be a popular choice, have you ever wondered what ingredients are in Skittles? One ingredient that has been getting a lot of negative attention lately is high fructose corn syrup.

So, do Skittles have high fructose corn syrup? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients in Skittles and explore whether they are as nutritious as some experts claim.

Let’s dive in!

Do Skittles Have High Fructose Corn Syrup?

The short answer is yes, Skittles do contain high fructose corn syrup. This liquid sweetener made of glucose is a common ingredient in many processed foods, including candies like Skittles.

In addition to high fructose corn syrup, Skittles also contain refined sugar, hydrogenated palm oil, and artificial food dye and flavors. These ingredients may make Skittles taste delicious, but they are not exactly nutritious.

According to nutrition experts, consistent intake of added sugars in the diet can increase your risk of diabetes, weight gain, and even heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and women consume less than 25 grams of added sugar a day, while adult men should consume less than 150 calories from added sugar.

Unfortunately, in just one 2.17-ounce package of Skittles, you’ll get a whopping 47 grams of sugar! That’s almost double the recommended daily intake for women and children.

What Are Skittles Made Of?

Skittles are multicolored fruit-flavored button-shaped candies produced and marketed by the Wrigley Company, a division of Mars, Inc. The candy’s hard sugar shells are imprinted with the letter ‘S’, similar to M&M’s which have the letter “M”. The interior consists mainly of sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil along with fruit juice, citric acid, and natural and artificial flavors.

One serving of Skittles contains 30 grams of sugar, which amounts to about 40 individual Skittles. In addition to high fructose corn syrup, Skittles also contain refined sugar and hydrogenated palm oil. These ingredients may make Skittles taste delicious, but they are not exactly nutritious.

The candy also contains artificial food dye and flavors, including tapioca dextrin made from tapioca starch. Modified corn starch is also used as a stabilizer, thickening agent or an emulsifier to help the numerous ingredients in Skittles mix together. Sodium citrate is added as a sour flavoring agent and preservative derived from citrus.

Finally, Skittles are coated with carnauba wax sourced from the copernicia prunifera plant grown only in northeastern Brazil. This wax is used as a glazing, bulking and anticaking agent.

While Skittles may be a popular candy choice for many people, it’s important to be mindful of their high sugar content and other not-so-healthy ingredients.

Understanding High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a liquid sweetener made from cornstarch. It is made by breaking down corn into molecules of glucose, which is a type of sugar. Half of the glucose molecules are then chemically changed into fructose, which is another type of sugar that is sweeter than glucose.

HFCS is commonly used in processed foods and beverages, including candies like Skittles. It is similar to regular sugar, which contains 50% fructose and 50% glucose, while the two most common forms of HFCS contain either 42% or 55% fructose, along with glucose and water.

Diets that are high in HFCS have been linked to various health concerns such as fatty liver, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Consuming fewer foods and beverages with HFCS may decrease liver fat and lower triglyceride levels. Moreover, many foods and drinks that contain HFCS also have lots of calories, highly refined oils, preservatives, and artificial colorings and flavors. Each of these may contribute to weight gain, increased inflammation, and many other health concerns.

It is important to note that while there have been scientific studies on fructose and HFCS, few of them have looked at humans. Some researchers have noted that many of these studies use much higher levels of fructose than most people would get in their diets. Nonetheless, it is recommended to consume added sugars in moderation and be mindful of the ingredients in processed foods and beverages like Skittles.

Are Skittles Bad For Your Health?

Skittles may not be the healthiest snack option due to their high sugar content and other ingredients. Additionally, Skittles contain titanium dioxide, a chemical used as a whitening agent in foods. While the FDA has deemed the use of titanium dioxide in human food as safe, studies have raised questions about its safety. A 2015 review found that titanium dioxide could be absorbed into the bloodstream via the intestines and accumulate in certain organs, potentially damaging the spleen, liver, and kidneys. A subsequent animal study published in 2017 linked titanium dioxide with an increased risk of intestinal inflammation, cancer, and damage to the immune system. In 2021, the European Food Safety Authority banned titanium dioxide in food due to concerns that it could damage DNA and lead to cancer. While more research is needed, it is clear that Skittles are not a healthy snack option due to their high sugar content and the potential risks associated with titanium dioxide.

Alternatives To Skittles For A Sweet Treat

If you’re looking for a sweet treat without the high fructose corn syrup and added sugars, there are many alternatives to Skittles that you can try. Here are a few options:

1. SmartSweets: These candies are made with no sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, or added sugars. They are also high in fiber, making them a healthier option for satisfying your sweet tooth.

2. Unreal Candy: Unreal Candy offers a variety of chocolate candies that are made with organic and non-GMO ingredients. They contain less sugar and no artificial flavors or colors.

3. YumEarth: YumEarth offers a variety of organic and natural fruit snacks and lollipops that are free from high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors.

4. Surf Sweets: Surf Sweets offers organic gummy candies that are made with natural fruit juice and organic sweeteners. They are also free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and flavors.

5. Chocolove: Chocolove offers a variety of chocolate bars that are made with high-quality ingredients and contain less sugar than traditional chocolate bars.

These alternatives to Skittles offer a healthier option for satisfying your sweet tooth without the added sugars and harmful ingredients found in many processed candies.