Are Twix Vegan or Vegetarian?


Are Twix Vegan? Are Twix Vegetarian?

Twix is a chocolate bar put out by Mars, Inc. It’s made of a cookie (or “biscuit” in the UK) applied to other confectionery coatings and toppings—usually caramel, and chocolate, though many varieties exist.1

They usually come in a package of two to four bars. There’s also a miniature version of the bar available.2

Is it vegan or vegetarian? The Twix bar is vegetarian, but not vegan. It contains a number of animal-derived products, most being milk-based. So, you can consume the bars if you’re a lacto-vegetarian, because they don’t contain egg.

This goes for the standard bar, mini version, and every flavor variety I’ve encountered.

Why Twix Bars Are Vegetarian but Not Vegan

Twix Contain a Milk Chocolate Coating

Dark chocolate can be vegan, but as the name implies, milk chocolate is never dairy-free.

The dairy industry separates out the various components in milk for use in food products.3

Twix makes use of about every milk product in existence.

The chocolate coating of the Twix bar contains:4

  • Sugar
  • Cocoa butter
  • Chocolate
  • Skim milk
  • Lactose
  • Milk fat
  • Soy lecithin
  • PGPR
  • Artificial flavors

Vegetarianism, on the other hand, does not preclude the use of dairy products. At least, lacto-vegetarianism which is among the most commonly adhered to forms of the eating pattern.

Lacto-ovo vegetarianism (alternatively, ovo-lacto vegetarianism) includes dairy, eggs, and honey.

Vegetarians in the lacto or lacto-ovo camps can consume milk by the gallons, so milk derivatives like casein and minute amounts of dried skim milk are hardly off-limits for this group.

The good news for lacto-ovo vegetarians is that you’ll be able to consume most candy bars. Most animal products commonly used in candy bars are derived from milk or egg (milk chocolate, caramel, nougat, etc.).

Twix Contains Caramel

Then there’s the caramel layer to contend with.

Caramel is an orange-ish confectionery made by heating simple sugars causing them to undergo a browning reaction.

Sounds innocent enough. Well, the process of caramelization usually involves heating milk which browns the lactose (the simple sugar naturally present in milk).

When heated to around 338 °F (or 170 °C), the sugar molecules begin to break down and re-form into compounds having a characteristic flavor and color.

The caramel substance is then used to make a variety of candies, toppings, desserts, and confections including nougat, brittles, flan, pralines, crème caramel, crème brûlée, etc.

It’s not clear that Twix actually uses real caramel derived in the manner just described. Rather, it’s likely that highly processed foods like Twix bars use some sort of caramel-like substance made of corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.4

But, either way, the caramel-like substance in the bar contains milk in one form or another. So, the caramel is yet another reason why the Twix bar is suitable for vegetarians, but not vegans.

What About Peanut Butter Twix?

The PB Twix was introduced in 1983 and has been on offer sporadically over the years. It’s not as popular as the original, obviously, but seems to have a strong cult following. It uses peanut butter in place of caramel as the main filling.5

Is it vegan? Like the standard Twix bar, the PB version is vegetarian, but not vegan. It’s true that PB Twix foregoes caramel in the ingredients. Even though the thick layer of PB displaces all of the caramel, we still have the milk chocolate coating to deal with.

Specifically, the PB version of the Twix bar contains:6

  • Milk chocolate (cocoa butter, sugar, skim milk, milk fat, chocolate, soy lecithin, and artificial flavor)
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat flour with folic acid and iron
  • Palm oil
  • Sugar, maltodextrin, and partially hydrogenated plant oil (cottonseed)
  • Cocoa powder processed w/alkali
  • Fully hydrogenated canola and cottonseed oils
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Modified food starch
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Corn syrup
  • Soy lecithin (an emulsifier)
  • Propyl gallate (for freshness)

What About Dark Chocolate Twix?

Now, we have the opposite problem: caramel with no milk chocolate coating.

Thus, the dark chocolate version of Twix is suitable for vegetarians, but not vegans.

Also, keep in mind that the food industry just loves to use milk products in highly processed foods. Dark chocolate is often vegan, but the majority of dark chocolate out there still contains milk in one form or another. The only exception is the organic stuff marketed to a health-conscious crowd.

Hershey’s Dark Chocolate is a great example of dairy-filled dark chocolate. It’s a lot creamier than the organic stuff due to the presence of milk products which help contribute a smooth mouthfeel.

Like the Hershey’s plain dark chocolate bar, the Twix Dark Cookie Bar contains:7

  • Semisweet chocolate (chocolate processed with alkali, sugar, chocolate, milkfat, cocoa butter, an emulsifier and natural flavors)
  • Sugar
  • Enriched wheat flour (wheat flour with iron and B vitamin fortification)
  • Corn syrup
  • Palm oil
  • Skim milk
  • Dextrose
  • Cocoa powder
  • Salt
  • Soy lecithin
  • Modified food starch
  • Baking soda
  • Artificial flavor

The Best Vegan Twix Alternative

So, lacto-vegetarians can consume Twix, but what about vegans? How can we get our Twix fix?

Enter the Go Max Go 2fer! (I guess all the good names were taken). I tried one out the other day and they are amazing!

Ingredients include:8

  • Organic unbleached flour
  • Organic unrefined cane sugar
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Sugar
  • Palm oil
  • Organic rice syrup
  • Cocoa powder (natural)
  • Enzyme modified soy protein
  • Dextrose
  • Natural flavors
  • Salt
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Agar
  • Natural color

As you can see from the cutaway below, it’s nigh indistinguishable from the original: a crunchy shortbread cookie (or biscuit) with an overlay of rich buttery-tasting caramel (without real butter!) all wrapped up in a chocolatey coating.

Like the original Twix, it comes in packages of two, hence the name 2fer.

That’s it for the vegan status of Twix. Thanks for reading.

You may also want to check out the following related articles:

References

  1. Edible Geography: A Cross-Section of Twix. http://www.ediblegeography.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/twix1.jpg
  2. Mars Foodservices. https://www.marsfoodservices.com/product/twix-caramel-cookie-bars
  3. Chandan R. Dairy-Based Ingredients. Eagen Press, 1997.
  4. Categories. https://www.niftynuthouse.com/product.php?productid=851
  5. Twix. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twix
  6. Twix Peanut Butter Candy Bar 1.68 Oz. All City Candy – https://allcitycandy.com/products/twix-peanut-butter-3
  7. Twix Dark Cookie Bar 1.79 Oz. All City Candy – https://allcitycandy.com/products/twix-dark-36
  8. Go Max Go 2fer. https://gomaxgofoods.com/2fer/

Drew Davis

Hi! I'm Drew and this is the place where I nerd out about vegan and plant-based diets. I have a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Alabama and have taken dozens of classes in areas like organic and biochemistry, food science, medical nutrition therapy, nutritional genomics, and vegetarian diets. I'm still learning every day, and on this blog, I'll be sharing everything I discover about vegan diets as I go.

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