Are Jaw Busters Vegan? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Jaw Busters were created by the Ferrara Candy Company in 1919.

They are spherical and orb-like hard candies with multiple and discrete layers of flavors, going all the way to the core. Every layer has a different color. 

They were once called “Jawbreakers” and were the original jawbreaker candies. 

Jaw Busters don’t contain any flagrant animal ingredients (like milk, or gelatin), but they contain a few controversial ingredients such as refined sugar and artificial flavors and colors. Therefore, while they might be vegan for some, they might not be vegan for others.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the ingredients in Jaw Breakers, so that you can better determine whether or not they’re suitable for you. 

Jaw Busters Ingredients

Jaw Busters contain the following ingredients: 

  • Sugar
  • Modified Food Starch (Corn
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Carnauba Wax, Acacia (Gum Arabic)
  • Titanium Dioxide (Color)
  • Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 6, Blue 1 Lake, and Blue 2 Lake.

The product doesn’t contain obvious animal ingredients such as milk or gelatin, but some of the ingredients are deemed controversial within the vegan community, which means vegans who are a bit more strict will avoid Jaw Busters because they question its status. 

Controversial Ingredients

Controversial ingredients are any ingredients that have a questionable status, in other words, they might be directly or indirectly associated with animal cruelty.

Jaw Busters contain sugar and artificial flavors and colors, which might not be vegan. 


Sugar generally comes from two sources: sugarcane and beets.

beets vs sugar canes

They’re both similar in taste and texture, but their processes differ. Beet sugar is extracted using a diffuser and mixed with non-animal additives to crystallize, so it’s always vegan 

Cane sugar, on the other hand, is made by crushing sugarcane stalks to separate the pulp from the juice and then filtering the juice with bone char – which is an animal derivative. 

Unfortunately, bone char is essentially charred animal bones, and it’s quite common in North America.

According to PETA, bone char comes from the bones of cattle from Afghanistan, Argentina, India, and Pakistan. The bones are sold to traders in Scotland, Egypt, and Brazil who then sell them back to the U.S. sugar industry, which is where this practice most commonly occurs. 

The sugar industry uses bone char as a decolorizing filter, which is what gives refined sugar its white, pristine color — because it removes a lot of its impurities. 

An alternative is to consume products with organic sugar, as no refining agents are used, but I don’t believe that Jaw Busters contain non-refined sugar. 

Artificial Flavors & Colors

Artificial colors are known for being tested on animals… thus not being cruelty-free. The same goes for artificial flavors, which are also lab-made, and might require testing.

Some people argue that animal testing is a necessary practice to protect us from potential diseases/collateral effects, which is exactly why they’re conducted. 

However, others argue that it’s no longer necessary given existing technology and different testing methods. 

I’m not an expert, so I’ve found a video that expands on that subject, but to give you the short answer— while animal testing might be required today, it might not be for much longer thanks to technological innovation, and more sophisticated testing methods. 

If you wish to avoid artificial flavors and colors, the best course of action is to opt for alternatives that rely on natural ingredients, or simply avoid products that might contain artificial ingredients. 

Alternatives To Jaw Busters

YumEarth Organic Giggles

yumearth organic giggles

Ingredients: Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Rice Syrup, Organic Palm Oil, Citric Acid, Organic Flavors, Turmeric (color), Sodium Citrate, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Malic Acid, (Radish, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Blackcurrant) Color, Organic Carnauba Wax, Spirulina (color), and Pectin. 

Yum Earth is a brand that is known for creating more sustainable, vegan-friendly, and allergy-free alternatives to popular candies. 

This particular one is an alternative to the existing lawbreaker candies, and it uses a variety of organic ingredients, namely sugar and natural colors. 

Therefore, if you’re vegan and want a jawbreaker that is 100% vegan (with no controversies or shady ingredients), this one is the perfect option. However, keep in mind that it’s not as affordable. 

Are Jaw Busters Gluten-Free?

According to Ferrara Candy Company, Jaw Busters does not contain any ingredients that might contain gluten, however, there is no information regarding potential contamination. 

Jaw Busters do not contain a “gluten-free” symbol on the label, therefore it would be risky for anyone with a celiac disease to consume them. 


Jaw Busters do not contain any flagrant animal ingredients, so they should technically be suitable for vegans.

The issue is that they still contain controversial ingredients such as refined sugar and artificial colors, which are often associated with animal cruelty.

Therefore, vegans who are a bit more strict may not consider Jaw Busters suitable for vegans. 

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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