Have you ever thought that your fluffy, sweet marshmallow snack may have pork in them? Judging by the white appearance and airy structure of a marshmallow there is no way this sticky treat could have pork in them, right?
The next time you bite into a Rice Krispie treat made with melted marshmallows or your favorite marshmallow cereal, you may want to think about what you could be eating.
Yes, marshmallows do have pork in their ingredient list by way of gelatin. Gelatin is an essential ingredient for marshmallows, and this substance is comprised of animal bone, cartilage, and skin.
Of course, there are no pieces of pork in marshmallows. You won’t find a distinctive pork flavor in them, either. However, marshmallows do contain pork in a less obscure way. Interesting fact, some Cheetos also have pork in them.
While you may be skeptical of eating a sweet treat that has ties to pork, keep in mind that many other desserts also contain gelatin. Gelatin is a great way to attain a thick consistency without losing too much air and volume.
Why Do Marshmallows Need Gelatin?
If we know gelatin contains particles from the bone and cartilage of pigs, why is it used to manufacture marshmallows? Traditionally, marshmallows are made of:
- Egg whites
The gelatin acts as a binding agent, which allows marshmallow to contain their shape and texture until they can be consumed. So, the next time you make the perfect s’more around a campfire, thank the gelatin in your marshmallow for holding it all together.
Are Vegan Marshmallows Available?
What if you don’t like the idea of eating pork products in your marshmallows? While it is true there technically isn’t any pork in marshmallows, the thought of eating gelatin may not sit well with some. If this is the case for you, vegan marshmallows are available at many grocery stores.
Vegan marshmallows differ from traditional marshmallows because they use binding agents that do not contain gelatine. Common products in vegan marshmallows include:
- Tapioca products
- Soy Protein.