Krispy Kreme Deconstructed – What are all those 50+ Ingredients?

Krispy Kreme Ingredients | Real Food Kosher

A Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut is made from at least 50 ingredients – mostly artificial food additives that increase your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, allergies, and digestive disorders.

These additives are in much of our processed foods – I’m using Krispy Kremes as an example because of their popularity among birthday parties my kids attend.

We don’t have to deny our kids special treats for birthdays and special celebrations, but we do have the responsibilityto make better choices to what goes into their bodies.

Growing Evidence of the Harmful Health Effects of Food Additives

“In the last 20 years, we’ve seen a 400 percent increase in food allergies. It’s not just about milk or nuts anymore. Dyes, chemicals and synthetic hormones are causing serious health problems. And these reactions can be anything from physical, like a rash or upset stomach, to emotional or behavioral issues.”

– Robyn O’Brien, founder of The Allergy Kids Foundation (Quoted in the Chicago Tribune).

Food additives are used to prolong shelf life and preserve flavor and color. Krispy Kreme pride themselves on delivering a consistent product – their Original Glazed will taste the same in New York City as in Santa Monica.  They rely on these artificial food additives so they can process their bulk flour mix in their Winstom-Salem headquarters and ship nationwide to individual franchises for final uniform baking.

It’s hard to measure the long-term effects of years of consuming these additives and they are always tested as individual additives never in combination –  how it is found in most of our foods.

In addition to increased cancer risk and cardiovascular disease, food additives are associated with other health conditions that can include;

  • irritability, restlessness, poor sleep
  • mood swings, anxiety, depression, panic attacks
  • difficulty concentrating or debilitating fatigue
  • speech delay, learning difficulties
  • eczema, skin rashes, and swelling
  • reflux, colic, stomach aches, bloating, and other irritable bowel symptoms including constipation and/or diarrhea, bedwetting
  • headaches and migraines
  • frequent colds, flu, bronchitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis; stuffy or runny nose, constant throat clearing, cough or asthma
  • joint pain, arthritis, heart palpitations, racing heartbeat

– From the Fed Up With Food Additives Website

The Delaney Clause of the 1958 Food Additives Amendment

“There are more than 3000 different chemicals that are purposefully added to our food supply. The testing is generally done by the company that wants to produce the chemicals or to use the chemical additives in the foods they produce … political pressure has caused the FDA to relax [the Delaney Clause]  and allow small amounts of cancer causing substances to be used in foods.”

– Ruth Winter, Food Additives: A Shopper’s Guide To What’s Safe & What’s Not

In 1958 Congress established a GRAS list, or Generally Recognized as Safe, but it is left to the manufacturer to determine this.

In 1960 the Color Additive Amendment was passed and includes a provision, known as the Delaney Clause, that prohibits any additives shown to cause cancer in humans or animals to be added to our food. This is not being enforced. Artificial colors proven to increase cancer risks, hyperactivity in children, and allergies are still found in our food. (In the European Union, foods with artificial colors must state a warning: “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”  EU Places Warning Labels on Foods Containing Dyes )

Some additives are listed as “natural” flavorings or colorings but can contain over 40 chemical compounds – another misleading label.

Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) do not require labeling though 91% of soy is estimated to be  genetically modified, 85% of corn, 71% of cotton, 88% canola, and 90% of sugar beets. It’s difficult to determine how much of a food has been genetically modified. Read why you should avoid GMO foods.

Krispy Kreme Ingredients Deconstructed

A homemade doughnut recipe may call for 8-10 ingredients consisting of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, yeast, oil, salt, milk/water, and few others depending on variations and flavors.

This is the ingredient list of a plain sugar glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut;


Serving size 1 doughnut (52 grams)

Ingredients: Enriched bleached wheat flour-  (contains bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), dextrose, vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), water, sugar, soy flour, egg yolks, vital wheat gluten, yeast, nonfat milk, yeast nutrients (calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate), dough conditioners (calcium dioxide, monocalcium and dicalcium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, sodium stearoyl-2-lacrylate, whey, starch, ascorbic acid, sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate), salt, mono-and-diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, lecithin, calcium propionate (to retain freshness), cellulose gum, natural and artificial flavors, fungal alpha amylase, amylase, maltogenic amylase, pantosenase, protease, sodium caseinate, corn maltodextrin, corn syrup solids and BHT (to help protect flavor).
Glaze also may contain: Calcium carbonate, agar, locust bean gum, disodium phosphate, and sorbitan monostearate.

Enriched bleached wheat flour –  white flour. The bran and the germ portion of the whole wheat, rich in vitamins and minerals, are refined out. Bleaching is usually done with chlorine which destroys more of the vitamins and must be added back artificially.  To compensate for refining out around 20 nutrients,  4 synthetic nutrients are added, niacin (vitamin B3), reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (synthetic vitamin B1), and riboflavin (vitamin B2). Can lead to nutritional imbalances,

  • bleached wheat flour,
  • Niacin – a B vitamin made from water, air and petroleum,
  • reduced iron Generally recognised as safe,
  • thiamine – a B vitamin, made from coal tar,
  • mononitrate,
  • riboflavin – a B vitamin commonly made from candida yeasts or other bacteria,
  • folic acid – vitamin made from petroleum (mostly from china),

dextrose–  Carrier, Disintegrating Agent, Dispersing Agent, Formulation Aid, Humectant, Moisture-Retaining Agent, Nutritive Sweetener, Tableting Aid, Texture-Modifying Agent, Texturizer

vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil) associated with heart disease, breast and colon cancer, atherosclerosis and elevated cholesterol, and obesity.  Trans fat is known to increase the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and decrease the “good” cholesterol (HDL). It can clog your arteries and cause Type 2 Diabetes, as well as other serious health problems. They disrupt nerve cell intercommunication – associated with ADHD and ADHD like symptoms. May contain undeclared synthetic antioxidants (310-312, 319-321), most likely BHA 320 or TBHQ 319, which affect children’s health, behavior and learning.


sugar – mostly from sugar beets. Refined sugars can promote obesity, tooth decay, and heart disease,

soy flour,

egg yolks,

vital wheat gluten,


nonfat milk,

yeast nutrients

  • calcium sulfate – Dietary Supplement, Dough Conditioner, Firming Agent, Nutrient, Sequestrant, Yeast Food,
  • ammonium sulfate – may cause mouth ulcers, nausea, kidney and liver problems,

dough conditioners

  • calcium dioxide –  irritating to the skin,
  • monocalcium and dicalcium phosphate –  skin and eye irritant,
  • diammonium phosphate – also used as a fertilizer, fire retardant, used in animal feed as a source of non-protein nitrogen and phosphorous,
  • sodium stearoyl-2-lacrylate –  emulsifier, plasticizer, surfactant,
  • whey,
  • starch,
  • ascorbic acid – Antioxidant, Dietary Supplement, Nutrient, Preservative
  • sodium bicarbonate – Alkali, Leavening Agent
  • calcium carbonate – in general can cause mineral deficiencies,


mono-and-diglycerides –  Emulsifier, Foaming Agent, Stabilizer, Suspending Agent, Whipping Agent,

ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides – dough conditioners used to increase volume, emulsifier – may be soy, corn, peanut or fat based. They may cause genetic changes, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions,

lecithin – emulsifier,

calcium propionate – (to retain freshness) mold inhibitor,

cellulose gum – made from cotton byproducts, used as a stabilizer shown to cause cancer in animals,

natural and artificial flavors – A single natural or artificial flavor can contain many ingredients; for example the artificial “strawberry” flavor contains 49 ingredients or chemical compounds. Companies keep the identity of artificial (and natural) flavorings secret. Flavorings may include substances to which some people are sensitive, such as MSG or HVP, another way to avoid declaring them on the label – associated with allergies, asthma, hyperactivity, possible carcinogen, allergic or behavioral reactions,

fungal alpha amylase – enzyme secreted by many fungi,

amylase – enzymes from various fungi used as antibacterial additives, imparts flavor, causes the bread to rise. Workers in factories that work with amylase are at increased risk of occupational asthma,

maltogenic amylase – an enzyme preparation produced by recombinant DNA techniques,

pantosenase – information not found,

protease enzymes,

sodium caseinate – casein texturizer, chemically produced milk powder,

corn maltodextrin – starch used as a texturizer and flavor enhancer. Produced by the chemical or enzyme breakdown of corn starch,

corn syrup solids – produced by the chemical or enzyme breakdown of corn starch, corn sugar may cause allergic reactions,

BHT – (to help protect flavor) retards rancidity in oils, can cause liver and kidney damage, allergic reactions, hyperactivity and behavioral problems, infertility, weakened immune system, birth defects, cancer; should be avoided by infants, young children, pregnant women and those sensitive to aspirin, may be toxic to the nervous system, (BHT – banned in England),

Glaze also may contain:

Calcium carbonate – chalk, used as an emulsifier, may cause constipation, occurs naturally in limestone,

agar– stabilizer and thickener obtained from various seaweed,

locust bean gum – a thickener and stabilizer in cosmetics and food extracted from the seeds of the carob tree,

disodium Phosphate – used commercially as an anti-caking additive in powdered products. May cause mild irritation to the skin and mucus membranes,

and sorbitan monostearate – referred to as a synthetic wax, emulsifier, defoamer, and flavor dispersing additive.

What Can You do

Read labels!! We cannot rely on the government to monitor these additives – there is too much industry influence.

For special treats nothing beats homemade but at least seek out better options like local bakeries and natural food stores that use real ingredients – not a mixture of chemicals.


Fed Up With Food Additives – website

Little Known Secrets About Bleached Flour –

How to Avoid Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods – Real Food Kosher

Food Dyes Pose Rainbow of Risks – Center for Science in the Public Interest

Food Dyes Linked to Allergies, ADHD and Cancer – CBS News

List of Additives and What they Do –

Dangers of Food Additives – Discovery Health

Hyper Kids? Cut Out Preservatives – Time

Food Dyes and Allergies – Chicago Tribune

The Dirty Dozen – 12 Foods/Food Additives to Avoid and Why – Food Democracy

The Color of Trouble – Spoonfed Blog – Raising Kids to Think About the Food They Eat


Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats – by Steve Ettlinger

A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, 7th Edition: Descriptions in Plain English of More Than 12,000 Ingredients Both Harmful and Desirable Found in Foods – by Ruth Winter

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills – by Russell Blaylock

Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating – by Jeffrey Smith

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  1. Genevieve says

    Sad thing is though that those 50 are only what they have to label. There are so many other ingredients that they don’t have to list because they are the “industry standard”. Makes me sick!

    • lisa says

      It’s a challenge to figure out the exact number of ingredients in this doughnut, “natural” flavorings can have over 30 chemicals!

  2. Susan says

    It’s good to know this, it’s way more powerful than the smell of donuts!
    KK had its bakery in Atlanta in the early ’60’s. I remember us riding by and smelling them bake in the morning and a crew would be on the street selling them $1/dozen to cars that drove by. I’m sure they didn’t have that many nasty ingredients back then.

  3. says

    YIKES! I used to live in NC where KK is located, but never tried a donut because I knew I would probably like it and that was a bad thing :-)
    Thanks for the post

  4. says

    Yuck! The more I know, the less I eat. I love to see that you’re not afraid to look at what really is in things like these. So many are willingly ignorant, and they’re harming themselves and future generations.

  5. lisa says

    @Veronica – Thanks! You inspired me to write this post!
    @Susan – It would be interesting to see what the original recipe was really like – so sad that so many of our foods have all these unnecessary ingredients.
    @Amy – Before reading the ingredients it doesn’t seem so bad to have a doughnut once in a while – but with all these chemicals who knows how much can damage your health.
    @Cara – Same with me, the more I learn the more I learn how to make things myself. The sad part is many people still don’t feel indulging in these things once in a while is bad, though “once in a while” is a relative term, and it’s hard to demonstrate the actual harm these things do.

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing this. It is so SAD that most Americans are eating this kind of junk and don’t have a clue! Thanks for pointing it out! Someone will be googling Krispy Kremes someday and come across this post and be educated! Good work! :)

    • lisa says

      Thank you Brenda. Though many simply don’t care – and others don’t grasp how nutrition plays a crucial role in health and disease.

    • Jennifer says

      I was that someone that Googled “krispy kreme ingredients” because I just didn’t feel right about my child’s school selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the children help raise money for cancer, no less. Thank you so much for breaking this down. Very informative and will be passing this along to my child’s school!

  7. Brandon says

    You forgot: water – may lead to drowning or water poisoning from excess consumption.

    Anyway, no one thinks of Krispy Kreme as healthy food anyway. No sense worrying about it so much. Getting everyone up in a frenzy about added niacin, etc, will cause more harm than a doughnut. Ever heard of too much stress causing harm to your health?

    • Lisa says

      Hi Brandon,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m not stressing out about it, I just want parents to make better choices when they buy treats for their kids. Why feed them foods with horrible ingredients when you can find alternatives, especially when we don’t know how much of these additives kids can handle until it causes harm. These ingredients are not just in doughnuts but in many processed foods. Our kids deserve the real thing – cheap food makes for expensive health bills. There’s also an undeniable growing trend in serious allergies in children, do we need to continue making them in to guinea pigs before we realize all these ingredients were to blame? What’s so hard to just make doughnuts with butter, sugar, and flour?
      Brandon, do you have kids?

      • Rob says

        Hi Brandon,

        I’m afraid I have to support Lisa on this.

        I have 3 kids and all have been happy and healthy until we noticed the 3rd one was really hard to handle. Bad parenting you might say? But the family is very happy and healthy and we have a good lifestyle – but it has become obvious if my third one eats anything highly manufactured/ processed that her mood changes about an hour or so later to one that is aggressive, unhelpful and unkind – it’s an amazing transition and one that in the end we traced back to sweetners and additives in foods. Before that I thought it was someone else’s problem on a tv show – but I’m afraid its not – and we should seriously reconsider the way we create food and what we feed ourselves and others.

      • lang lang says

        It’s not too bad if it’s once in a while…. It is the systematic approach to food like this that is the concern.

  8. Rob says

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for this post, really valuable and useful.

    I have 2 healthy kids, but we have noticed that the 3rd one is highly susceptable to food additives, sweetners and the like. Sadly her mood changes from very active and fun loving to aggressive and intolerant – and very hard to deal with. I linked back one day to a Lucozade Sports drink that I gave her – and on the label there was a health warning about the sweetner in the drink – great for the warning but why put it in there!! Since then we have started to become more diligent about what she eats (and therefore all of us), and it is very noticable now when she eats something she shouldn’t – which yesterday was two Krispy Kreme doughnuts!!

    • lisa says

      Thank you for sharing your story, Rob. Not every parent makes the connection between behavior and food – so glad you did!

  9. merilla latief says

    I really did Thank God for finding this article! before i had children i eat them once in a while without ever wanted to know its ingredients. now i have a toddler, today someone just drop a box of KK donuts, i run through the internet, go to but can’t download the nutritional facts, so i google, read your post and hold my breath!! i did threw them away, after all knowing that it is so bad for your health makes it doesn’t taste that good anymore…

    Thank you Lisa… :)

  10. Joe says

    Thanks for the information. Knowledge is power. I have a story to share – I am 59, male, regular ol’ joe :-). I’ve had off and on problems with seasonal allegies most of my adult life. No big deal. This season, they went nuts. After months of struggling to find out what happened, surprise, I find that if I eat anything with high fructose corn syrup in it that my sinuses swell completely shut within 30 minutes. As a matter of fact, if I eat anything that even comes close to containing corn byproducts, it happens. So I’ve been reading the labels of all my favorite foods. You just know I’d have a major sweet tooth. Guess how I found your article. Corn syrup is the sweetner of choice for any high volume food manufacturer. I am finding alternatives, but its a daily grind. Good luck to you and your readers with your efforts to eat better. – Joe

  11. Erica says

    Hey! Great article, beautifully put together!
    I was trying to find the ingredient list everywhere, but I couldn’t find it! I KNEW by the wording on their nutritional page that they were making it seem like they didn’t have any trans fat in their doughnuts, but really, it just rounds to zero because of the laws in America.

    “We use vegetable shortening (palm, soybean, and/or cottonseed and canola oil) for zero gram of trans fat per one serving of doughnut”
    -Krispy Kreme

    Tricky tricky. It’s so unfortunate that one has to go through so much effort in order to find out the truth about what is being consumed. There are so many loop holes, it’s hard to be an educated consumer.

    By the way, my main reason for posting at all is because I was wondering how you were able to obtain an ingredient list? Did you just go in an ask for it? I’d really like to know, thank you!!! :-)

    • says

      Hi Erica,
      I found the list on their website, but I just tried searching for it and I can’t find it anywhere. They just give you an 800 number to call for the ingredients. Maybe try calling them?

      It is hard to truly know what you’re eating – that’s why it’s best to make as much of your own food as possible and support businesses that have more transparency about their ingredients.

  12. Thaler says

    Also it doesn’t help that people in govt grant monopolies for political donations and make it harder for smaller businesses to sell healthier food. These big poisoning conglomerates have less competition to stop them and that is on purpose.

  13. Charlie Forster says

    Someone just bought 2 boxes of Krispy Kremes into the office for his birthday. As a way of stopping myself from going for one I did a google search as to what was in them and came across this post. Thank you so much…any desire I had to touch one has completely vanished. I have also sent this post out to the office – funny that the donuts have not been touched since.

  14. says

    Today I bought a box of KK outside local Thrifty Foods being sold as fund raiser for kids sports. Shared one with hubby and then we both had a second. We both had very bad stomach reaction within the hour. It was aweful and these were freshly made today. I threw the rest in the garbage. If you are a person who can eat KK’s and not have an adverse effect of any kind then you are fortunate. For me and my hubby they are poison.

  15. says

    I believe your mention of “pantosanases” is actually pentosanasas, which are: “Pentosans are polysaccharides comprised predominantly of the five-carbon sugars xylose and arabinose. While they are present in wheat flour in very small quantities, about 2 to 3 percent, they account for as much as one-quarter of the water absorption of dough made from wheat flour. This increases the viscosity of the dough and negatively affects loaf volume. Pentosanases cleave the polysaccharide chains thereby decreasing viscosity and improving loaf volume.” —

    Also, FYI, most digestive enzymes not produced in the body are derived from fungal or animal sources. So when you buy “digestive enzymes” at the health food store, that’s where they come from.

    • Lisa Rose says

      Thanks for that update!I was just going by the spelling in which the ingredients were listed – good reason why I didn’t find any info on it!


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