Curry

Ready-made curries in supermarkets in Japan come in retort pouches, which are plastic pouches meant to boil on the stove or heat in the microwave, open, and serve as-is.

To make a curry yourself, you can choose between flakes, granules, pastes, powders, and roux (cubes or blocks), all of which make a curry base that you are meant to add other ingredients to. These products very often have palm oil included. The sugar may be bone char processed.

FLAKES

Mother’s Vege Curry Flakes are available in upscale stores like Biople by Cosme Kitchen as well as online.

•Mother’s Vege Curry Flake (Hot & Spicy)カレールゥ(中口):Vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, ginger), palm oil, rice flour, potato starch, curry powder (coriander, turmeric, cumin, other spices), salt, raw sugar, yeast extract, miso, rice koji, fresh tumeric, red pepper, red rice, deep sea water powder, kelp, shiitake mushrooms. (Product contains soy.)

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• Mother’s Vege Curry Flake (Sweet)/カレールゥ(甘口): Palm oil, vegetables (potatoes, onions, tomato, carrot, garlic, ginger), rice flour, potato starch, raw sugar, salt, curry powder (coriander, turmeric, cumin, other spices), brown sugar, miso, yeast extract, fresh turmeric, rice koji, red rice, deep sea water powder, kelp, shiitake mushrooms. (Product includes soy.)

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GRANULES

S&B customer service recommends their Eighteen-Vegetable Curry and S&B Golden Curry Japanese-style Curry Sauce Mix, no animal-derived ingredients for vegans, even though some of their other products don’t have obvious animal ingredients in them. It isn’t 100% clear which of their other products are suitable for vegans.

S & B Little Prince Curry, 27 allergenic ingredient-free, granules/エスビー食品 カレーの王子さま 顆粒(アレルギー特定原材料等27品目不使用)

This curry with the flavor of five vegetables is aimed at children from 1 year old who have allergies. It has been reported to be very mild. Adults may wish to add some spicy curry powder to give it more of a kick. The source of the emulsifier is unknown.

Ingredients (granules): Potato starch, dextrin (tapioca starch), fructose, curry powder, pumpkin, vegetable oil processed food (dextrin (tapioca starch), palm oil), sugar beet sugar, salt, potato flakes, shortening (palm oil), sweet potatoes, powdered starch syrup, vegetable flavored palm oil, onion, vegetable extract powder (onion extract powder, Chinese cabbage extract powder, yeast extract powder), yeast extract powder/seasoning (amino acid etc.), emulsifier.

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PASTES

Lumlum curry pastes are available in some upscale shops such as Biople by Cosme Kitchen or Bio C’ Bon.

• Lumlum Organic Green Curry Paste/Lumlum オーガニックグリーンカレーペースト. Ingredients: Organic coconut milk, organic lemongrass, organic chili pepper, organic galangal, salt, organic sugar, organic garlic, organic red onion, organic coriander seed, organic cumin. Attached packet: Organic sweet basil, antioxidant (citric acid).

Marked gluten-free and vegan on the package.

Certified vegan by Vege Project Japan. Medium spicy.

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• Lumlum Organic Massaman Curry Paste, Spicy/Lumlum オーガニックマッサマンカレーペースト. Ingredients: Organic coconut milk, organic sugar, organic red onion, organic lemongrass, organic ginger, organic garlic, organic galangal, salt, organic chili pepper, organic coriander seed, organic cumin. Attached packet: Sweet basil, antioxidant (citric acid).

Marked gluten-free and vegan on the package.

Certified vegan by Vege Project Japan. Spicy.

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• Lumlum Organic Red Curry Paste/Lumlum オーガニックレッドカレーペースト. Ingredients: Organic coconut milk, organic chili pepper, organic lemongrass, salt, organic sugar, organic galangal, organic garlic, organic red onion, organic coriander seed, organic caraway seed, antioxidant (citric acid),organic sweet basil (included).

Certified vegan by Vege Project Japan.

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• TopValu Vegetable and Rice Puree Curry Roux Paste/トップバリュ 野菜と米ピューレでつくった ペーストタイプカレールウ. Ingredients: Vegetables (onion, potato, carrot), curry roux (corn starch, sugar, curry powder, salt, palm oil, potato starch, tomato powder, yeast extract, onion powder), rice puree, olive oil, bouillon (salt, sugar, yeast extract, dextrin, onion, spices).

The corn starch comes from non-genetically modified corn and the potatoes and potato starch come from non-genetically modified potatoes.

Eggs, milk, wheat, peanuts, buckwheat, shrimp, and crab are not used. Children and adults can enjoy this curry roux. Made at a factory in Akita Prefecture.

Topvalu curry roux paste    TopValue Curry Roux Paste back of package

POWDERS

There are many varieties of curry powders available in Japan that are suitable for vegans. If you live near a health food store, you’ll likely be able to find more brands there as well.

Kaze to Hikari Organic Vegan Curry may be available in upscale or specialty stores. The picture was taken in a Bio C’ Bon grocery store.

• Kaze to Hikari (Wind and Light) Organic Vegan Curry Roux, Medium/風と光 有機ヴィーガンカレールゥ 中辛. Ingredients: Organic domestically produced wheat, organic palm oil, organic concentrated grape juice, salt, organic tomato paste, organic onion powder-organic curry powder-organic ketchup, organic ginger powder, organic garlic powder.

Uses organic concentrated grape juice for sweetness instead of sugar and organic sugar-free tomato ketchup for a full-bodied flavour. Uses no animal ingredients at all to make a product suitable for vegans. Can be ordered many places online, including amazon.co.jp,  kenko.com, or directly from Kaze to Hikari’s website.

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Ohsawa curry is widely carried at health food shops.

Medium Spicy Ohsawa Curry Roux/オーサワのカレールウ(中辛). Ingredients: Organic palm oil (from Colombia), rice flour (from Niigata), maple sugar (from Canada), curry powder, salt (sun-dried salt), yeast extract, potato starch (made in Hokkaido), apple juice (domestic), powdered tomato, organic black pepper (from Sri Lanka), organic cocoa. Photo from website.

ohsawa curry roux, medium

Mild Ohsawa Curry Roux/オーサワのカレールウ(甘口). Ingredients: Wheat flour (domestic), organic palm oil, maple sugar, peanut paste, salt (baked salt), curry powder, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, malt extract. Photo from website.

ohsawa curry roux, sweet

S&B curry powders are widely available in supermarkets.

S&B customer service recommends their Eighteen-Vegetable Curry and S&B Golden Curry Japanese-style Curry Sauce Mix, no animal-derived ingredients for vegans, even though some of their other products don’t have obvious animal ingredients in them. It isn’t 100% clear which of their other products are suitable for vegans.

• S&B Spicy Curry Powder

A blend of more than 30 kinds of select spices, no additives included. 100% pure spice & herb ingredients. Photo from website.

 

s&b spicy curry powder

RETORT

Retort pack curries are premade and meant to heat and serve.

The following product is from a house brand from a supermarket called Seiyu.

• Approved by Everyone Chickpea and Vegetable Chana Masala Curry/みなさまのお墨付き ひよこ豆と野菜のチャナマサラカレー. Ingredients: Sauteed onion, vegetables (tomato, ginger, garlic), chickpeas, tomato paste, spice, corn oil, sugar, salt, onion powder, yeast extract powder/thickener (processed starch), seasoning (amino acids, etc.), coloring (caramel, capsicum pigment), calcium chloride. (Product contains soybeans.)

Seiyu Chickpea and Vegetable Chana Masala Curry    Seiyu Chickpea and Vegetable Chana Masala Curry back of package

At some upscale or specialty stores, as well as at the Chaya Macrobiotic restaurants in Tokyo, you can find the Chaya Macrobiotics curries. They are also available for purchase online.

•  Chaya Macrobiotics Bean Curry/チャヤマクロビの豆カレー. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, lotus root), kelp seaweed stock, roast onion, tomato paste, red kidney beans, coconut milk, chickpeas, soybeans, sugar beet sugar, carrot paste, pumpkin paste, olive oil, miso, curry powder, garlic paste, ginger paste, vegetable broth, Napa cabbage extract, fermented seasoning, wheat flour, vegetable extract, yeast extract, potato starch, salt, spice, soy sauce, rice vinegar.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

Three types of beans (red kidney beans, chickpeas, and soybeans) are combined with vegetables and several seasonings. The website recommends adding vegetables at home for a healthier and more satisfying curry. Does not use meat/egg/dairy/white sugar/ chemical seasoning. Retort-type curry.

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•  Chaya Macrobiotics Soy Keema Curry/チャヤマクロビのソイキーマカレー. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrot, lotus root, zucchini, red bell pepper), roast onion, kombu seaweed stock, granular soy protein, coconut milk, tomato paste, miso, vegetable oil (olive oil, rapeseed oil), garlic paste, beet sugar, rice syrup, spice, ginger paste, vegetable broth, potato starch, fermented seasoning, soy sauce, flour, curry powder, salt.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

Uses 8 kinds of spices, soy meat with a similar texture to meat, and miso instead of butter or margarine for richness.

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•  Chaya Macrobiotics Vegan Green Curry/チャヤマクロビのヴィーガングリーンカレー. Ingredients: Kelp seaweed stock, coconut milk, soy milk, vegetables (bamboo shoots, red bell pepper, onion), vegetable broth, beet sugar, spices, potato starch, ginger paste, garlic paste, yeast extract / chlorella (Product includes soybeans.).

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

Eleven varieties of herbs & spices, coconut milk and soy milk make a rich, spicy, tasty authentic green curry with an addictive kick of red pepper. Non-oil. Does not use wheat flour; suitable for gluten-free diets.

Photo from website.

chaya macrobiotics vegan green curry

•  Chaya Macrobiotics Vegetable Curry/チャヤマクロビの野菜カレー. Ingredients: Vegetables (pumpkin, carrot, lotus root, red bell pepper), kelp seaweed stock, roast onion, tomato paste, coconut milk, sugar beet sugar, carrot paste, pumpkin paste, olive oil, miso, curry powder, garlic paste, ginger paste, vegetable broth, Napa cabbage extract, fermented seasoning, wheat flour, vegetable extract, yeast extract, potato starch, salt, spice, soy sauce, rice vinegar.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

Meat, eggs, dairy products, white sugar, chemical seasonings, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients are not used at all. Retort-type curry.

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•  Chaya Macrobiotics Vegetable Curry Mild/チャヤマクロビの野菜カレー マイルド. Ingredients: Vegetables (pumpkin, carrot, lotus root, red bell pepper), roasted onion, kelp seaweed stock, pumpkin paste, tomato paste, olive oil, salt, ginger paste, garlic paste, flour, miso, spice, curry powder.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, Japanese mountain yam, apple, gelatin, sesame, cashew nut are manufactured in the same facilities.

A mild curry with 8 delicious vegetables. Meat, eggs, dairy products, white sugar, chemical seasonings, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients are not used at all. It is a retort type so you can easily heat it.

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Coco Ichibanya restaurants will often sell one or the other of two curries that don’t have animal ingredients for take-home purchase. In shops that don’t have the vegan menu for takeout or dining in, it’s been reported that the staff may be willing to heat and open one of these to serve in the restaurant. Click here to find out more about their vegan menu.

• Coco Ichibanya’s Vegetable Curry/CoCo壱番屋野菜カレー. Ingredients: Vegetables (potato, mushroom, young corn, carrot), curry roux, onion saute, sugar, salt, sesame paste, yeast extract, curry paste, roast onion/seasoning (amino acids etc.), caramel color, emulsifier, acidulant, flavouring. (Product contains wheat, soy and sesame.)

According to the package, this retort pouch vegetable curry does not contain animal ingredients, “動物性の原材料を使用していない.” This can be found in Coco Ichibanya restaurants near the register or in the occasional supermarket. The sugar may be bone-char processed. This product is meant to be heated up and then eaten. It says on the package not to open the package and microwave this flavour of curry in a bowl as may affect the flavour of the vegetables. One is meant to open the box, remove the pouch inside, boil the pouch unopened in hot water for 5-7 minutes, remove, open and serve.

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• Coco Ichibanya’s Vegetarian Curry/CoCo壱番屋ベジタリアンカレー Ingredients: Curry roux, onion saute, sugar, salt, sesame paste, yeast extract, spices, curry paste, roast onion, thickener (processed starch),seasoning (amino acids etc.), caramel coloring, emulsifier, acidity regulator, flavouring. (Product contains wheat, soy and sesame.)

According to the package, this retort pouch vegetarian curry does not contain animal ingredients, “ベジタリアンカレーとは、動物由来の原材料を使用していないカレーです.” This can be found in some Coco Ichibanya restaurants near the register. The sugar may be bone-char processed. This product is meant to be heated up and then eaten. It says on the package the product can either be taken out of the package, put into a bowl and microwaved or the package can be removed from the box, boiled in hot water for 5-7 minutes, opened, and served.

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Kaze to Hikari Organic Vegan Curry may be available in upscale or specialty stores. The picture was taken in a Bio C’ Bon grocery store.

• Kaze to Hikari (Wind and Light) Organic Vegan Curry Retort Pouch, Medium/風と光 有機ヴィーガンカレトルトカレー 中辛. Ingredients: Organic vegetables (organic onion, organic carrot, organic potatoes), organic marinated tomato juice, organic apple juice (concentrated), organic corn starch, organic coconut sugar, organic mixed curry, kombu seaweed stock, organic roasted soy flour, organic rice miso, organic blended miso, salt, organic shiitake mushroom powder.

Products containing wheat, soybeans, and apples are produced in the same factory.

Uses organic miso, spices, coconut sugar, and vegetables. Does not use wheat. Fat free. 84 calories.

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The only curry from Mujirushi Ryohin stores that appears vegan is the Chana Masala.

• Mujirushi Ryohin Chana Masala Small Curry/無印良品チャナマサラ小さめカレー. Ingredients: Chickpeas, tomato puree, fried onions, tomato paste, dried fried onions, chickpea puree, rapeseed oil, wheat, salt, grated garlic, grated ginger, coriander, green peppers, cumin, starch, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, fennel, clove, red pepper, laurel, mace. (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)

Items containing shrimp, crab, egg, dairy, and peanuts are processed on the same line.

A bean curry that uses chickpeas, tomato, cumin, coriander and cardamom.

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• Mujirushi Ryohin Apple and Vegetable Curry/無印良品国産りんごと野菜カレー contains honey.

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S&B is a popular brand that makes spices, as well as products aimed at people with allergies. Their customer service recommends their Eighteen-Vegetable Curry and S&B Golden Curry Japanese-style Curry Sauce Mix, no animal-derived ingredients for vegans, even though some of their other products don’t have obvious animal ingredients in them. It isn’t 100% clear which of their other products are suitable for vegans.

S&B Eighteen-Vegetable Curry with No Animal Ingredients/具材充実18種類の野菜カレー180g(動物性原材料不使用). Ingredients: Vegetables (young corn, lotus root, red bell pepper, ginger, tomato, garlic), sauteed onion, fried eggplant, corn oil, wheat flour, salt, apple paste (apples, fructose glucose liquid sugar), roasted spices (spices, corn oil), sugar, spices, yeast extract, curry powder, vegetables · fruit paste (reduced starch syrup, prune, dextrin, bell pepper, daikon, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, yellow bell pepper, Napa cabbage, tomato puree, onion, blueberry, pineapple, kabocha squash, salt, carrot, celery, olive oil) / thickener (modified starch), coloring agent (caramel, etc.?) It isn’t clear if the last ingredient(s) in the ingredient list are cut off or not.

Per their website, this curry contains no animal ingredients. It also has the Japanese Vegetarian Association mark on it. It can be purchased on the S&B website.

This product is medium spicy.

S&B curry vegetarian retort pouch

S&B customer service recommends their Eighteen-Vegetable Curry and S&B Golden Curry Japanese-style Curry Sauce Mix, no animal-derived ingredients for vegans, even though some of their other products don’t have obvious animal ingredients in them. It isn’t 100% clear which of their other products are suitable for vegans.

 S&B Little Prince Curry, 27 allergenic ingredient-free, retort pouch/エスビー食品 カレーの王子さま レトルト(アレルギー特定原材料等27品目不使用)

This vegetable and chickpea curry is aimed at children from 1 year old who have allergies. It contains 20 kinds of fruits and vegetables and can be eaten without as-is, without heating up, so is perfect for lunch. Does not contain palm oil.

Ingredients (retort pouch): Saute de onion, vegetables · fruit (carrot, sweet potato, potato, date, pepper, ginger, celery, garlic), chick pea, rapeseed oil, sugar beet, curry powder, tomato paste, salt, yeast extract, vegetable · fruit paste (Reduced starch syrup, prunes, dextrin, peppers, radish, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, yellow pepper, Chinese cabbage, tomato puree, onion, blueberry, pineapple, pumpkin, salt, carrot, celery, olive oil), sweet corn powder, spice.

Photo from website.

prince of curry retort pouch

Be sure not to get the following item as it contains pork.

• S&B Little Prince Minced Pork and Vegetable Curry/エスビー食品 カレーの王子さま豚ひき肉と野菜のカレー

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See the Sun vegan products have been seen at Life supermarkets and Natural Lawson stores, and the company also sells at vegan festivals.

For the European-Style Curry, the marks on the front of the package indicate that animal ingredients are not used, the product is low fat and does not contain eggs, dairy or flavoring. It contains large pieces (“block-type”) of the Zen meat, made from soybeans and rice. Labeled as vegan in Japanese on the See the Sun website.

See The Sun Zen Meat European-Style Curry/欧風カレー. Ingredients: Sauteed onion, apple paste, processed soybean product (defatted soybeans, rice powder), carrot puree, wine, tomato paste, spices, soy sauce, salt, dried shiitake mushrooms, olive oil, garlic paste, Chinese cabbage extract powder, yeast extract, kombu seaweed extract, Worchestershire sauce, sugar (sugar beet sugar), onion powder. (Product contains wheat, soybeans and apple.)

Product does not contain any of the other 27 allergenic substances, except for wheat, soybeans and apple.

zen meat front of package    zen meat back of package

For the Keema Curry, the marks on the front of the package indicate that animal ingredients are not used, the product is low fat and does not contain flavoring. It contains small pieces of the Zen meat, made from soybeans and rice. Labeled as vegan in Japanese on the See the Sun website.

See the Sun Zen Meat Keema Curry/ミーマカレー. Ingredients: Sauteed onion (domestic production), tomato paste, processed soybean product (defatted soybeans, brown rice flour), vegetables (garlic, ginger), curry powder, rice oil, sugar beet sugar, starch, salt, spices, yeast extract. (Product includes soy.)

Product does not contain any of the other allergenic substances, except for soy.

Photo from website.

zenmeatkeemacurry2019

• Seijo Ishii Spicy Curry/成城石井スパイシーカレー. Ingredients: Tomato puree, chickpea, onion, sugar, edible rapeseed oil, white quinoa, grated garlic, salt, grated ginger, garam masala (black pepper, coriander, cardamom, red pepper, allspice, white pepper, cumin, cinnamon), coriander, cumin, turmeric, thickener (modified starch).

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ROUX

It can be tough to find curry roux in block form that doesn’t have animal ingredients. There are two flavors of My Staple Curry, sold at Daiso 100-yen shops.

• My Staple Curry (Mild)/ウチの定番カレー甘口. Ingredients:  Ingredients: Wheat, edible vegetable oil (palm oil, rapeseed oil), sugar, salt, starch, curry powder, black pepper,  roasted onion powder, vegetable bullion, powdered soy sauce, cumin, garlic, roasted garlic powder, seasoning (amino acids etc.), caramel coloring, acidity regulator, spice extract.

Product contains wheat and soy.

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• My Staple Curry (Medium)/ウチの定番カレー中辛. Ingredients: Wheat, edible vegetable oil (palm oil, rapeseed oil), sugar, salt, starch, curry powder, black pepper, cumin, garlic, roasted onion powder, vegetable bullion, powdered soy sauce, roasted garlic powder, red pepper, seasoning (amino acids etc.), caramel coloring, acidity regulator, spice extract.

Product contains wheat and soy.

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S&B makes one variety of Golden Curry that doesn’t contain animal ingredients. Be sure the package says no animal-derived ingredients as S&B makes a variety of curry roux blocks and the packaging of some of their other products looks extremely similar. It’s not available at most supermarkets, but it can be found at Don Quixote or ordered on Amazon Japan.

• S&B Golden Curry Japanese-style Curry Sauce Mix, no animal-derived ingredients/S&B ゴールデンカレー動物性原材料不使用. Ingredients: Flour, edible fats and oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil), salt, sugar, curry powder, spices, caramel color, seasoning (amino acid etc.), acidulant.

Photo from website.

golden curry

S&B customer service recommends their Eighteen-Vegetable Curry and S&B Golden Curry Japanese-style Curry Sauce Mix, no animal-derived ingredients for vegans, even though some of their other products don’t have obvious animal ingredients in them. It isn’t 100% clear which of their other products are suitable for vegans.

S & B Little Prince Curry, Roux Type/エスビー食品 カレーの王子さま ルウタイプ. Ingredients: Edible fats and oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil), dextrin (tapioca starch), tapioca starch, salt, white sorghum, sugar beet sugar, vegetable paste (palm oil, onion, pumpkin, carrot, cabbage, broccoli, sweet corn, tomato puree, spinach, asparagus, kale), curry powder, Chinese cabbage extract powder, yeast extract powder, fruit paste (rapeseed oil, dextrin, reduced starch syrup, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, apple, banana), (includes banana / apple) / coloring agent (caramel coloring, paprika coloring), flavourings.

Combines sweetness of domestic yellow-green vegetables and fruit. No chemical seasoning added. For children from 1 year old. It contains palm oil.

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