There are a lot of nutrition questions when it comes to cotton candy. Most of the time customers are very surprised with my answers to their nutrition inquiries. The most popular question I am asked:
Is cotton candy vegan? Natural and organic cotton candy is vegan. Organic sugar does not contain bone char like standard refined sugar. Natural or organic flavors and colors are generally vegan as they are made from actual food sources. Traditional, artificial cotton candy is however not vegan. In addition to the bone char, artificial flavors and dyes often used don’t qualify. Always confirm with a cotton candy manufacturer before purchasing.
Organic and natural cotton candy is a safe treat for a lot of people with allergen concerns as it is usually always vegan, gluten free, kosher, dye free, and nut free. Each manufacturer uses different procedures. If you have an allergy or health concern, I recommend always contacting the manufacturer to confirm allergens or possible cross contamination before you purchase or consume their cotton candy. The below list reflects organic/natural and traditional cotton candy we have tried from a few manufacturers including our own facility. Again, allergens and cross contamination will be different for each cotton candy brand and double checking with the company is best.
Is Cotton Candy Vegan?
Natural/Organic- The main ingredient in natural and organic cotton candy is organic cane sugar which does not contain animal products. The flavor and color in organic cotton candy are almost always derived from a plant based food source. I have never heard of a natural flavor or color derived from, or made with, an animal product. Our own cotton candy is certified vegan and I know you can find various other cotton candy brands that carry a vegan certification. If you don’t see that a brand is certified vegan, give them a quick call or email confirming that they are.
Traditional- The main ingredient in traditional cotton candy is standard refined sugar. Refined sugar does contain bone char as filler, making traditional cotton candy not vegan. Often, artificial flavor and dyes will contain animal products as well. It is important to clarify with a company if you think there is a chance they provide vegan cotton candy.
Is Cotton Candy Gluten Free?
Natural/Organic- All of Spun Paradise cotton candy is gluten free. We start with gluten free ingredients when we manufacture our sugar floss in a gluten free facility. Our sugar floss is then spun into cotton candy on gluten free equipment in an allergen free facility. While almost always the ingredients in organic cotton candy will be gluten free, you should still check with the manufacturer as not all facilities or equipment are gluten free.
Traditional- Most of the time traditional cotton candy will be gluten free as well. Refined sugar is gluten free and most flavors and colors should be gluten free, although I highly recommend contacting the manufacturer to confirm. There may be some flavors or colors that do contain gluten. Just as it is with natural cotton candy, the production facility may not be gluten free causing a chance of cross contamination with gluten.
Is Cotton Candy Kosher?
Natural/Organic- Natural and organic cotton candy will be kosher so long as there have not been any “toppings” or “mix-ins” added to the cotton candy. There are many vendors who add sprinkles, powdered milk, crushed cookies, and various other products to their cotton candy after spinning. If you are buying cotton candy with additional mix-ins, I recommend verifying that toppings are kosher as well.
Traditional- Traditional cotton candy is kosher. Once again, I have seen vendors adding additional ingredients to the spun cotton candy and you will want to confirm with the maker that the added ingredients are kosher.
Is Cotton Candy Dye-Free?
Natural/Organic- There should NEVER be dye or fake color in any natural or organic cotton candy you purchase. The colors in these products should only be derived from natural plant based food sources. Natural and organic cotton candy are dye free allowing many consumers with dye allergies, or who suffer with serious reactions to food dye, to safely enjoy this sweet treat. One of my own children would break out in hives as a toddler every single time he ate anything with red dye, including cotton candy. He is one of the very big reasons I created dye free cotton candy! Yes, the color of the cotton candy will never be as vibrant as traditional cotton candy, but I absolutely think that is a minor issue compared to the long term effects of consuming dye.
Traditional- Traditional cotton candy is not dye free and should not be consumed by anyone with food dye allergies. Artificial color is heavily used in traditional cotton candy. Some companies have started claiming “made with organic sugar.” This may be correct, but I encourage you to inquire if their cotton candy sugar is made with natural colors. If you see green, purple, or blue cotton candy, there has almost always been fake dye used in these products. The color in traditional cotton candy will always be vibrant as chemically produced dyes provide a much more vibrant color than natural.
Is Cotton Candy Nut-Free?
Natural/Organic- Natural and organic cotton candy will generally be nut free. If you have a nut allergy concern and there is not a nut free statement or logo on a cotton candy product, please contact the supplier before consumption. Spun Paradise Cotton Candy is nut free as we us all nut free ingredients and our manufacturing facilities are all nut free. This does not mean all natural cotton candy is nut free and a consumer needs to contact the desired company for further nut free information.
Traditional- Traditional cotton candy will almost always be nut free just as it’s natural or organic cousin. Again, if you have any allergen concerns, especially a nut allergy concern, please call the cotton candy company you plan to purchase from to confirm they are a nut free facility. Almost all companies will have a statement as to whether they are nut free or not, but if you cannot find this statement, call or email the company!
Natural/Organic- Spun Paradise Cotton Candy is a great allergen free treat. While our facilities do have coconut present, the cotton candy and manufacturing facilities do not contain any of the following allergens:
• Peanuts / Peanut derivatives
• Tree Nuts / Tree Nut derivatives
• Egg / Egg products
• Shellfish / Seafood derivatives - shrimp, crab, lobster, prawns, crayfish
• Soya / Soya derivatives (All) Tofu, miso, lecithin, soy flour, soy grits
• Milk/Milk products & lactose - caseinates, NFDM, cheese, etc.
• Fish products - all species
• Wheat products - wheat gluten, grain, germ, farina, etc.
• Cereals / Cereal derivatives
• Oils - oils that are refined, bleached and deodorized
• Monosodium Glutamate
• Artificial colors / AZO Dyes
Again, I know this allergen information to be true for Spun Paradise Cotton Candy only. Allergens are extremely serious and your cotton candy company of choice should be contacted before purchasing to verify the cotton candy is free from allergen and that the facility is allergen free.
Traditional- When it comes to allergens, the cotton candy company of your choice needs to be contacted. You will absolutely want to confirm if their cotton candy or facility contain allergens. Since artificial colors are used in traditional cotton candy, chances of allergens present in the cotton candy are high.
Cotton candy is a tasty treat for many who are vegan or suffer from certain food allergies. Unless you absolutely are absolutely dead set on matching your cotton candy to event colors, I recommend going with natural or organic cotton candy options to avoid various allergens and artificial flavors and dyes. This route can provide some sweet fun for all your guests or customers!
Is Cotton Candy Gluten Free? All of Spun Paradise cotton candy is gluten free. We start with gluten free ingredients when we manufacture our sugar floss in a gluten free facility. The floss sugar is then spun into cotton candy on gluten free equipment in an allergen free facility. While almost always the ingredients in natural or organic cotton candy will be gluten free, you should still check with the manufacturer as not all facilities or equipment is gluten free.
Is Cotton Candy Made Dye? Natural and organic cotton candy do not have dye or synthetic colors. The colors in natural cotton candy are derived from natural plant based food sources. Natural and organic cotton candy are dye free allowing many consumers with dye allergies, or who suffer with serious reactions to food dye, to safely enjoy this sweet treat. Traditional (not natural) cotton candy is not dye free and should not be consumed by anyone with food dye allergies. Artificial color is heavily used in traditional cotton candy
Is Cotton Candy Nut Free? Natural and organic cotton candy will generally be nut free. If you have a nut allergy concern and there is not a nut free statement or logo on a cotton candy product, please contact the supplier before consumption. Spun Paradise Cotton Candy is nut free (we do use coconut) as we use all nut free ingredients and our manufacturing facilities are all nut free. Traditional cotton candy will almost always be nut free just as it’s natural or organic cousin. Again, if you have any allergen concerns, especially a nut allergy concern, please contact the cotton candy company you plan to purchase from to confirm they are a nut free facility.