The ultimate staple of toddlers, university students, and anyone after a comforting meal, spaghetti hoops are beloved throughout the UK. However, it’s easy to get confused over whether they’re vegan, considering a lot of cooked pasta often includes egg.
Some manufacturers also include added vitamin D, which can be derived from lanolin (a by-product of sheep’s wool), and there can be cross-contamination risks with meat, eggs, and milk. So, are spaghetti hoops safe for vegans to eat?
Can vegans eat spaghetti hoops?
A lot of brands of spaghetti hoops are vegan, but not all. Most UK manufacturers do not use egg or other animal-derived ingredients in the cooking process, but there may still be a risk of cross-contamination that could concern some strict vegans, and it can sometimes be unclear whether any added vitamin D is of plant or animal origin.
There’s always the need to check labels even if a specific brand is known for being vegan as recipes can change at any moment.
What are spaghetti hoops made of?
Most brands use durum wheat semolina to make the pasta element of spaghetti hoops, like with dry pasta. Other common ingredients include tomatoes (of course), as well as sugar, water, and various spices, such as garlic, onion, and paprika powder. You can also get no added sugar varieties, which can be healthier.
Why are some spaghetti hoops not suitable for vegans?
It’s a common mistake for new vegans to make – reading a list of ingredients and assuming the food is vegan when there aren’t any meat, fish, dairy or eggs present. However, the biggest red flag for spaghetti hoops should always be vitamin D.
Heinz spaghetti hoops are one of the biggest offenders for including non-vegan vitamin D in their ingredients. This is why the standard Heiz spaghetti hoops are only ever labelled as suitable for vegetarians, not vegans.
However, Heinz does have another version that is suitable for vegans – Veg Hoops. Scroll down to find out more about this product.
About Vitamin D
There are two types of vitamin D:
- D2 (which is derived from plants)
- D3 (usually derived from lanolin)
Lanolin is a type of wax that’s secreted by sheep and other wool-growing animals. As sheep shearing is considered by most vegans to be a by-product of the animal agriculture industry, lanolin is not vegan.
Suggested read: The Best Vegan Vitamin D Supplements
Spaghetti Hoops In The UK Vs The US
In the UK, we’re lucky – there are lots of spaghetti hoop brands that don’t use lanolin-derived vitamin D and are suitable for vegans.
In the USA, one of the only spaghetti hoop brands is SpaghettiOs, which contain milk, cheese, and butter. Some varieties even have meatballs in.
Some UK variants of spaghetti hoops do have sausages in them. You should always check to make sure the sausages are vegan, rather than assuming. These wouldn’t even be vegetarian (unless they’re veggie sausages), so it’s better to check before buying.
There are plenty of supermarket own-brand and leading brand versions of spaghetti hoops that are suitable for vegans though, so there is still hope!
Why are spaghetti hoops not labelled as vegan?
Most vegans are used to sourcing their own lists of accidentally vegan products: foods that aren’t specified as vegan, but which don’t include any non-vegan ingredients and so are safe to eat.
As mentioned though, vitamins are often the stumbling block to this. This is one of the main reasons why products that look vegan might not be labelled as such.
Another issue though is that manufacturers need to apply for a vegan certification, which can be expensive. Some manufacturers choose not to add this certification to their labelling, even when their products are accidentally vegan.
There may also be a cross-contamination issue – you’ll often see “may contain” warnings featuring ingredients such as milk, eggs, nuts, etc. Manufacturers must include this warning for allergy sufferers, but they don’t have to specify how high the risk of cross-contamination is, which is why some strict vegans will only eat foods specifically labelled as vegan.
However, it’s important to remember that the Vegan Society’s definition states that veganism is the philosophy of excluding all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals “as far as is possible and practicable”.
Sadly, no one can be 100% vegan, due to cross-contamination, issues with parent companies producing non-vegan products, the eternal palm oil debate, and even the farming process of crops and agriculture. It’s important that you decide how comfortable you are with all of this and make your own decisions over what you do and don’t want to eat.
That said, most vegans choose to go off ingredients lists rather than only buying products clearly marked as vegan. Although the world has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years, with numerous companies jumping on the vegan bandwagon, our options would still be vastly limited if we stuck to vegan-labelled products.
Which brands of spaghetti hoops are vegan?
|Heinz Spaghetti Hoops||No|
|Heinz Veg Hoops||Yes|
|Heinz No Added Sugar Spaghetti Hoops||No|
|Sainsbury’s Spaghetti Hoops||Yes|
|Tesco Spaghetti Hoops||Yes|
|Aldi Everyday Essentials Spaghetti Hoops||Yes|
|Asda Spaghetti Loops||Yes|
|Co-Op Spaghetti Rings||No|
|Waitrose Essential Spaghetti Rings||Yes|
|Morrisons Spaghetti Loops||Yes|
Are Heinz spaghetti hoops vegan?
Not all Heinz spaghetti hoops are vegan due to non-vegan vitamin D. But Heinz does have one brand of vegan spaghetti hoops: their Veg Hoops. Although it’s not clearly labelled as vegan, Heinz’s tinned spaghetti is also accidentally vegan, as it doesn’t include any lanolin-derived vitamin D.
Heinz Spaghetti Hoops ingredients:
Spaghetti Hoops (42%, Water, Durum Wheat Semolina), Tomatoes (41%), Water, Sugar, Modified Cornflour, Salt, Acid – Citric Acid, Spice, Garlic Salt, Onion Extract, Spice Extract, Iron Sulphate, Vitamin D
Heinz Veg Hoops ingredients:
Tomatoes (42%), Veg Hoops (40%, Water, Durum Wheat Semolina, Carrot Powder (4%), Cauliflower Powder (1%)), Sweet Potato (12.7%), Water, Sugar, Modified Cornflour, Salt, Spice, Garlic Salt, Onion Extract, Acid – Citric Acid, Spice Extract
Heinz Spaghetti ingredients
Spaghetti (47%, Water, Durum Wheat Semolina, Wheat Flour (contains Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin)), Tomatoes (44%), Water, Sugar, Modified Cornflour, Salt, Acid – Citric Acid, Herb Extract, Garlic Salt, Spice Extract
Heinz No Added Sugar Hoops ingredients
Tomatoes (44%), Spaghetti Hoops (40%, Water, Durum Wheat Semolina), Water, Salt, Modified Cornflour, Spice, Acid – Citric Acid, Garlic Salt, Onion Extract, Iron Sulphate, Spice Extract, Natural Flavouring, Sweetener – Steviol Glycosides, Vitamin D
Are Asda spaghetti hoops vegan?
While Asda doesn’t have any spaghetti hoops that are labelled as vegan, their own-brand spaghetti loops in tomato sauce are accidentally vegan and don’t have any cross-contamination concerns for egg, milk, or meat.
Asda Spaghetti Hoops ingredients:
Cooked Spaghetti Pasta Loops (39%) [Water, Durum Wheat Semolina], Water, Tomato Purée (26%), Sugar, Modified Maize Starch, Onion Powder, Salt, Wheat Flour, Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Paprika, Rapeseed Oil, Paprika Extract, Yeast Extract, Flavourings
Are Tesco spaghetti hoops vegan?
Tesco stocks Heinz spaghetti hoops (including vegan options), and Tesco’s own-brand spaghetti hoops are also clearly labelled as vegan. There are no non-vegan cross-contamination worries. with spaghetti hoops at Tesco.
Tesco Spaghetti Hoops ingredients:
Cooked Pasta (46%) [Water, Durum Wheat Semolina], Tomato Purée (29%), Water, Sugar, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Onion Powder, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Paprika, Potato Flour, Colour (Paprika Extract), Sage Extract, Basil Extract, Bay Extract, Capsicum Extract, Cinnamon Extract, Clove Extract, Coriander Extract, Garlic Extract, Ginger Extract, Marjoram, Nutmeg Extract, Onion Extract, Pepper Extract, Thyme Extract.
Are Aldi spaghetti hoops vegan?
Aldi’s Everyday Essentials spaghetti hoops are clearly marked as suitable for both vegetarians and vegans, and wheat is the only highlighted allergen included in the ingredients.
Aldi Spaghetti Hoops ingredients:
Spaghetti (42%) (Durum 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐭 Semolina, Water), Tomatoes (39%), Water, Sugar, Glucose-fructose Syrup, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Colour: Paprika Extract; Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid; Potato Starch, Onion Powder, Herb Extracts
Are Co-Op spaghetti hoops vegan?
Co-Op Spaghetti Rings contain cheese powder and whey powder, making them suitable for vegetarians but not vegans. Co-Op also stocks Heinz’s standard spaghetti hoops, but these aren’t suitable for vegans either.
Co-Op Spaghetti Rings ingredients:
Cooked Spaghetti Rings (42%) (Water, Durum Wheat Semolina), Tomato Purée (31%), Water, Sugar, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Onion Powder, Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Fortified Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Vegetarian Cheese Powder (Milk), Paprika, Vegetarian Whey Powder (Milk), Paprika Extract, Flavouring.
Are Morrisons spaghetti hoops vegan?
Morrisons doesn’t have a specific vegan certification for its own-brand spaghetti hoops, but they are accidentally vegan and don’t have any cross-contamination risks with non-vegan ingredients.
Morrisons Spaghetti Hoops ingredients:
Pasta (42%) (Durum Wheat Semolina, Water), Reconstituted Tomato Purée (39%), Water, Sugar, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Spices, Potato Starch, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Onion Powder, Herbs, Garlic Extract, Onion Extract
Are Waitrose spaghetti hoops vegan?
Waitrose’s Essential Spaghetti Rings are labelled as vegan. They’re also made in Italy using fresh pasta. Posh!
Waitrose Spaghetti Hoops ingredients:
Cooked pasta (45%) (water, durum wheat semolina), tomato purée (31%), water, sugar, modified maize starch, salt, acidity regulator (citric acid), ground paprika, potato starch, onion powder, flavouring.
The Bottom Line
There really are plenty of vegan options out there when it comes to spaghetti hoops, so you don’t need to be despondent just because some of Heinz’s offerings aren’t vegan.
More and more supermarket brands are realising the need to make staple products such as tinned spaghetti hoops vegan, so there are sure to be even more released in the future.