After reading so much conflicting information about whether or not Takis are vegan or even vegetarian for that matter, we decided to reach out to the company directly for an answer.
We personally called Barcel - the company that produces Takis - to ask if these tortilla snacks are actually vegan.
We’re not going to lie to you, getting an answer from Barcel was easier said than done and we had to chase them for several days to get a response.
But finally, we got an answer.
The representative at Barcel informed us that if a product contains animal ingredients it will be clearly marked on the package. (Duh!)
Unfortunately, their answer was more than vague so we decided to take a closer look ourselves.
So are Takis vegan?
We discovered that four of the Takis flavors do not contain any animal derived ingredients. With that said, read on to find out why if you're vegan you might want to avoid Takis chips altogether since they aren't exactly cruelty-free.
Ingredients in Takis – Here’s What You Need to Look Out For
Takis - originally known as Taquis - is a spicy chip inspired Mexican taquitos, both in flavor and shape. They were originally launched and are still produced by the Mexican snack company Barcel. Takis are also a snack favorite in both the US and Mexico.
These unique, roll-shaped tortilla snacks come in a range of different flavors, each spicier than the next. And if you’ve ever had one you know exactly how addictive these spicy chips can be.
Now, all Takis are made following the same corn-based recipe, which is vegan by default.
According to Barcel, the base is similar to a regular tortilla recipe with corn, oil, seasoning, coloring, and preservatives which is really nothing out of the ordinary.
If you take a closer look at the ingredients of the classic Takis Fuego provided by Barcel, you’ll see that they do not contain any animal derived ingredients.
Takis Fuego Ingredients:
Corn Masa Flour (Processed with Lime) Vegetable Oil (Palm and/or Soybean and/or Canola Oil and/or Rice Bran Oil), Seasoning [Salt, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Onion Powder, Yeast Extract, Artificial Color (Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake) Natural and Artificial Flavors, Baking Soda, Soybean Oil, Chili Pepper (Chile), Disodium Guanylate, TBHQ (Antioxidant)]
Looks pretty straightforward, no animal ingredients right? Right.
But you may have noticed the artificial colors Red 40 Lake and Yellow 6 Lake listed. Besides being completely terrible for your health, these food dyes are routinely tested on animals like beagles, mice, and rats through cruel and unnecessary experiments.
As you can see, the Takis Fuego are vegan in the sense that they don't contain any animal products but they do contain artificial colors that are tested on animals.
To read more about Red 40 and why this ingredient is so controversial, check out our post Is Red 40 Vegan?
Now, it's personally up to each and every one of us to decide for ourselves what are limits are.
Being vegan is not about being perfect but about eliminating as much animal suffering as possible. Personally, we aren't comfortable with Takis ingredients but it is your choice whether you want to continue eating them or not.
With that said, there are several Takis flavors that do not contain animal derivatives that we we will get to in just a second. But beware, not all Takis are vegan. In fact, many versions of their chips aren't even vegetarian!
You see, much of the flavoring used in Takis is not vegan, and depending on the flavor it may contain everything from whey and milk powder to chicken fat and egg.
Non-Vegan Ingredient to Look Out For:
- Whey (Milk)
- Sodium Caseinate (Milk)
- Natural and Artificial Colors (Milk and Egg)
As you can see, most of the ingredients are derived from dairy. Note that this list is not exhaustive. But to help you avoid having to reading labels in search of non-vegan ingredients, we’ve listed all of the Takis flavors that do not contain animal ingredients as well as the flavors that do below.
Takis Flavors With And Without Animal Ingredients
We already mentioned that the Fuego flavor is technically vegan, but there are another three popular flavors that are also free from animal ingredients.
Takis Flavors That Don't Contain Animal Ingredients
|Fuego||Vegan (Purple Packaging)|
|Zombie||Vegan (Green Packaging - Limited)|
|Nitro||Vegan (Red & Green Packaging)|
|Salsa Brava||Vegan (Yellow Packaging)|
That leaves another three flavors that are readily available but not vegan.
Takis Flavors Containing Animal Ingredients
|Crunchy Fajitas||Not Vegan (Green & Red Packaging)|
|Xplosios||Not Vegan (Red & Yellow Packaging)|
|Guacamole||Not Vegan (White & Green Packaging)|
Note: We say readily available because Barcel has officially launched more than 15 different flavors of Takis. Most of them are limited editions that are re-launched every few years or for special holidays and are therefore not available year around.
Moreover, there are many Takis flavors that are only sold in Mexico but that many Americans order online.
Are Takis Gluten Free? + An Allergy Warning
In addition to this rather complicated discussion of non-vegan and vegan Takis, all Takis are marked with "may contain traces of milk, egg, wheat, and peanuts."
Unfortunately, this means that Takis are not gluten-free or at least not suitable for people with celiac since they may contain enough wheat to set off a negative reaction.
”May contain traces of” is a cross contamination warning that is commonly used on food items in order to inform consumers of allergy risks.
Hence, the warning does not mean that the Takis contain animal ingredients. Instead, it just means they use the same equipment for producing all Takis flavors.
In other words, this snack is not safe to eat if you have an allergy to any of the four above-mentioned ingredients.
With that said, Takis are far from healthy considering the chips are packed full of artificial colors and flavors as well as MSG and low-quality oils.
Just consider that Takis are far from the most optimal snack in terms of health, and there are far better alternatives on the market that are vegan and cruelty-free.
So Are Takis Vegan? The Final Verdict
As mentioned above, the Takis Fuego, Takis Nitro, Takis Zombie, and Takis Salsa Brava do not contain any animal ingredients so in simple terms you might consider these Takis vegan. However, they contain a host of artificial colors that are tested on animals as well as MSG and other unhealthy additives.
So in the end, it's up to you personally to decide whether you feel comfortable eating Takis chips or not.
Also, keep in mind that not all of Takis flavors are vegan so be careful when buying them. This is especially true if you buy any of Barcel's limited edition flavors that often contain animal derived ingredients.
And don’t just buy a pack of Takis based on the color of the packing since several of the bags are similar.
All Image Credits Go to Takis USA and Barcel