The Surprising Number Of Ingredients Smarties Are Actually Made With

Finding a roll of Smarties in your pumpkin-shaped trick-or-treat bucket as a kid was like finding out mom made meatloaf for dinner. You weren't exactly thrilled, but you'd eat it anyways. And chances are, you'd end the meal thinking to yourself, "Wow, that was weirdly delicious." But, let's be real: You'd never go out of your way to request it again.

Fast forward to adulthood: Meatloaf has probably made a comeback, happily finding its way onto your weekly dinner menu. It's surprisingly a healthy option that requires very few ingredients, after all. But what if we told you that Smarties were the same way?

If you still can't kick the candy habit but continue to wonder what's in that wrapper you're ripping open, then you're in luck. The original Smarties rolls (the surprisingly tasty little powdery discs, not the thick, sugar-coated, UFO-looking Smarties) are actually only made up of five ingredients and minimal additives — clocking in at a minuscule 25 calories (via Smarties).

We'll break down the components in a minute, but first, let's compare: Another reluctant Halloween staple, Twizzlers, are loaded with 20 different ingredients, says HuffPost. That's four times as much as Smarties!

Smarties' limited ingredients make them a great option for those with dietary restrictions

According to the official Smarties website, the classic candy is created from these three base ingredients: "dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, natural and artificial flavor, [and] colors." But unless you're a secret food science expert, you may not know what these terms even mean.

Dextrose is an extremely common "simple sugar made from corn," reports Medical News Today. While the outlet emphasizes that it's a sugar and therefore will affect you the same way regular glucose will — aka don't overdo the Halloween candy, even if it's just some Smarties. Your teeth and tummy will not forgive you.

Citric acid is another ingredient with a frequent presence in the candy scene, thanks to its naturally tart flavoring (via Healthline). Calcium stearate is the wildcard component here, with a more questionable background. According to Foodchem, the drying agent can also be found in crayon wax. It's still safe to eat when properly added to foods, but it's important to remember that a short ingredient list doesn't equate to a perfect ingredient list.

However, Smarties do get brownie points for how versatile and safe they are for any diet. Wide Open Eats points out that the old school rolls are "dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, and vegan," making them an easy occasional treat for any adult diet.