The thought occurs to all of us while enjoying a bowl of Lucky Charms: What are those “marshmallows,” exactly? They have a flavor comparable to their air-puffed cousins, but the same can’t be said for the texture. So what’s the deal with them?
To start, let’s take a look at the ingredient label. The marshmallows are made with “sugar, modified corn starch, corn syrup, dextrose, gelatin, calcium carbonate, yellows 5&6, blue 1, red 40, and artificial flavor,” which, broken down, is essentially just sugar, corn starch, gelatin, preservatives, and artificial flavoring and coloring. So how close to marshmallow is that?
Pretty close, it turns out. Kraft’s marshmallows are also primarily made with sugar, cornstarch, gelatin, preservatives, and artificial coloring, so it seems as if the only real difference is that bagged marshmallows are puffy and Lucky Charms’ marshmallows aren’t. The cereal marshmallows probably just aren’t “whipped” like traditional marshmallows, which get a little help from “whipping aid” tetrasodium pyrophosphate, are (which doesn’t sound very appetizing to begin with).
So there you go! Lucky Charms marshmallows are, in fact, marshmallows.