When you're vegan, it can sometimes be hard to find treats that fit your diet. When you do find something like a cookie that fits into your dietary needs and has vegan-friendly ingredients, it can be pretty exciting. But sometimes, a certain product might seem vegan but it actually isn't. That is sadly the case when it comes to Oreos.
Are Oreos Vegan? Why or Why Not?
As it turns out, Oreos are sort of accidentally vegan when it comes to ingredients, but cannot technically be considered vegan due to cross-contamination.
Oreos contain sugar, unbleached enriched flour with wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), and folic acid, as well as other ingredients such as palm oil and/or canola oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate), salt, soy lecithin, chocolate, and artificial flavor.
Notice anything missing? That's right -- Oreo cookies don't have animal products or dairy products like milk as you might expect in its creme or sandwich cookies. However, according to the Oreo U.K. website FAQ page, the chocolate cookies everyone loves have "milk as cross-contact and therefore they are not suitable for vegans."
What does this mean? Delish explains, "Cross contact means that a food might come into contact with another food during production -- maybe two different products are made on the same machine -- so Oreos can't be quality-controlled for traces of milk."
So in the strictest sense, Oreos cannot be considered a vegan food. The possibility of the finished product potentially having trace amounts of milk products means if you're following a completely dairy-free or vegan diet, these cookies have to be considered non-vegan.
Your veganism might be less strict than another person's, however, and perhaps if the cookie itself does not have non-vegan ingredients, it could be totally fine in your book. But the Nabisco division of Mondelez International, which makes Oreos, cannot claim the cookies are vegan.
But hey, at least if you're looking for a gluten-free Oreo, you're in luck!