Are Uncrustables Vegan? (List of Vegan Flavors)


Are Uncrustables Vegan?

As a kid, I always hated the crust. I left it behind every time, despite being lectured about starving people around the world.

Rational or not, a lot of folks despise bread crust, so the Smucker Company came out with a clever sealed crustless sandwich. They’re made up of a filling enclosed between bread with crimped edges and the crust removed.

Are they vegan? Like with many food products, some Uncrustables are vegan, while others are non-vegan. Fortunately, the popular PB & J is among the vegan-friendly flavors. The snack comes in a few other flavors, and some have milk products.

What we’ll do here is list both the vegan and non-vegan varieties of the snack along with an analysis of their ingredients.

Struggling to find good vegan food to eat? Then check out our best vegan cookbooks for beginners.

Vegan Uncrustables Flavors

Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly

This is probably the flavor most think of when they think of Uncrustables in general.

I love the PB & J combination, so I was pleased to see that these are animal product free.

They contain:1

  • Enriched Unbleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
  • Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour
  • Water, Sugar, Yeast, and Soybean Oil
  • Dough Conditioners: Distilled Mono and Diglycerides*, DATEM**, Enzymes (with Wheat Starch, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Peroxide)
  • Peanut Butter: Peanuts, Molasses, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed and Soybean), Mono and Diglycerides
  • Grape Jelly: Grape Juice, Pectin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)

*It’s worth noting that these do contain mono- and diglycerides, derivatives of glycerin which is a compound that has somewhat of a controversial reputation in the vegan community. Mono- and diglycerides are produced from triglycerides (three fatty acids and a glycerol backbone) which can be derived from both plant and animal sources.7

The presence of these ingredients doesn’t render food products non-vegan by most standards, as they are usually plant-based. But, if you’re an extra prudent vegan you may want to avoid the stuff.

**You’ve probably run across DATEM from time to time when scanning food labels.

It’s an acronym for “diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides”.6 A mouthful, I know. The food additive is a popular emulsifier and is mostly used in baked goods to strengthen the gluten network of dough.

So, it’s considered vegan insofar as mono- and diglycerides are considered vegan.

Uncrustables Whole Wheat Strawberry

Another popular version.

The bread portion contains:2

  • Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour
  • Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
  • Salt, Yeast, Wheat Gluten
  • Dough Conditioners: Distilled Monoglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Datem, Enzymes (With Amylase, Lipase, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Peroxide, Azodicarbonamide, Wheat Starch)

The peanut butter contains:2

  • Peanuts
  • Dextrose
  • Sugar, Salt, Molasses
  • Mono And Diglycerides* (Palm And/Or Soybean Oil)
  • Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Soybean And/Or Cottonseed And/Or Rapeseed)

The strawberry jam contains:2

  • Strawberries
  • Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Sugar
  • Pectin*
  • Citric Acid and Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

*As you can see, the jelly portion makes use of pectin, which is a natural fiber found in plant foods (especially fruit).

When exposed to water, it gels up and takes on properties similar to gelatin. Unlike gelatin, an animal product with many of the same applications in food production, pectin is plant-based and thus always considered vegan.

There’s also the soluble fiber (including pectin) naturally present in the strawberries.

Non-Vegan Uncrustable Flavors

Smucker’s Chocolate Hazelnut Uncrustables Sandwich

Looks amazing, I know. I love the chocolate-hazelnut combination. Who doesn’t? Alas, these contain dairy products.

Ingredients for these include:3

  • Enriched Unbleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid)
  • Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour
  • Water, Sugar, Yeast, and Soybean Oil
  • Dough Conditioners: Distilled Mono-/Diglycerides, DATEM, Enzymes, Wheat Starch, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Peroxide
  • Whey Protein
  • Vegetable Oil (Palm and Canola)
  • Hazelnuts
  • Cocoa Processed w/Alkali and Cocoa
  • Skim Milk
  • Sunflower Lecithin
  • Vanillin (Artificial Flavor)

It’s not uncommon to find actual chocolate that’s completely vegan-friendly. That’s because minimally processed chocolate needn’t contain any milk derivatives if it’s labeled as dark or semi-sweet.

Unfortunately, it’s nigh impossible to find highly-processed chocolate-flavored snacks, custards, and fillings without milk products. Milk provides several useful properties in food production, so it’s pretty ubiquitous on food labels these days.

Food manufacturers process milk to separate out all of its components (lactose, whey and casein proteins, etc.). In the case of fat-free milk, they remove the water and fat turning the remaining solids into a dry powder.

As you can see, the above has both dry milk powder and milk proteins.

I was thinking there was a plain chocolate variety, but couldn’t manage to find one. Perhaps it’s in my imagination. I’ll be on the lookout in case one surfaces, but I’d imagine that it has the same dairy ingredients.

Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Honey

Keep in mind that these may not be considered non-vegan by some in the community. Insect-derived ingredients are largely thought to be off-limits for vegans, but there is a bit of a divide in the community when it comes to things like honey and silk.4

These contain:5

  • Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour, Enriched Unbleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
  • Water, Sugar, and Yeast
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Soybean Oil, Salt
  • Dough Conditioners
  • Peanut Butter: Peanuts, Sugar, Molasses, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed and Soybean), Mono and Diglycerides, and Salt
  • The Honey Spread: Sugar, Water, Honey, Pectin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Caramel Color, Calcium Chloride, and Natural Flavor.

I’m classifying these as non-vegan for this article, but consuming these probably wouldn’t make you a non-vegan by most standards.

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

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

References

  1. Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Sandwich, 10-Count. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Smucker-s-Uncrustables-Peanut-Butter-Grape-Jelly-Sandwich-10-Count/10849748
  2. Uncrustables Whole Wheat Strawberry. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Uncrustables-Whole-Wheat-Strawberry/20462249
  3. Smucker’s Chocolate Hazelnut Uncrustables Sandwich, 10 Count. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Smucker-s-Chocolate-Hazelnut-Uncrustables-Sandwich-10-Count/971609101
  4. Engber, Daniel (30 July 2008). “The Great Vegan Honey Debate: Is honey the dairy of the insect world?”. Slate. https://slate.com/human-interest/2008/07/why-vegans-can-t-decide-whether-they-re-allowed-to-eat-honey.html
  5. Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Honey Spread Sandwich on Whole Wheat, Pack of 4. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Smucker-s-Uncrustables-Peanut-Butter-Honey-Spread-Sandwich-on-Whole-Wheat-Pack-of-4/15556212
  6. DATEM Definition. https://bakerpedia.com/ingredients/datem/
  7. Flickinger, Brent D.; Matsuo, Noboru (February 2003). “Nutritional characteristics of DAG oil”. Lipids. 38 (2): 129–132. https://aocs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1007/s11745-003-1042-8

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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