Is Orange Juice Vegan? The Answer Might Surprise You!
Is orange juice vegan? This post will explain everything you need to know, including some sneaky ingredients in juice to look out for.
Orange juice is a popular drink, packed with vitamin C and often enjoyed at breakfast time. But did you know that its not always vegan?
If you’ve ever thought about a list of non-vegan foods and drinks, I’m sure that orange juice has never came to mind. After all, it’s juice made from a fruit, right? How could that not be vegan?
I thought the same when I first transitioned to a plant-based diet and I was worried that the orange juice I’d been drinking contained animal products. But after I looked into it some more, I was relieved to find it didn’t. I quickly learned which types of juice were suitable and which were not.
Is orange juice vegan?
Most orange juice is vegan. If you squeeze the juice yourself using unwaxed oranges, it will always be vegan-friendly, as long as it has nothing else added to it. Most supermarket orange juices are marked as vegan these days but there are a few ingredients to watch out for, just in case.
Ingredients to watch out for
Here are the most common non-vegan ingredients you might find in orange juice:
Vitamin D is sometimes added to orange juice and they will be labelled as fortified. In the UK at least, this mostly tends to be added to orange-flavoured drinks like Sunny D, rather than actual orange juice. But it’s worth keeping an eye out for.
In case you don’t know, vitamin D is not always vegan. Some types are derived from a wax that comes from sheep’s wool, also known as lanolin. There are also plant-based sources of vitamin D so you can still enjoy fortified orange juice as long as it’s labelled as vegan.
Again, this is quite rare in UK orange juices but it’s something to watch out for. If the product is fortified with omega 3 then it’s very likely this is from an animal-based source. However, just like the vitamin D, there are also plant-based sources of omega 3. If in doubt, just check whether or not the juice is labelled vegan.
Shellac is an ingredient made from lac bugs and is not vegan-friendly. The e-number for shellac is E904. Shellac usually isn’t added directly to the juice but some companies use shellac-coated oranges to make their product. This is the case with Co-Op freshly squeezed orange juice, which is only labelled as vegetarian.
What about added sugar?
In the UK, all sugar is vegan-friendly so if you’re purchasing from a UK store and the juice hasn’t been imported, you can be sure that any added sugar is vegan.
Which orange juices are vegan?
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular brand-named orange juices in the UK and what the ingredients are in each.
Cawston Press orange juice is vegan approved. It’s made from oranges and nothing else.
Juice Burst orange juice is vegan and is made only with oranges.
Both Tropicana’s smooth orange juice and their orange juice with bits have ‘orange juice’ as the only listed ingredient. They are also labelled as vegan-friendly online.
Innocent orange juice is made with 100% oranges and is vegan. This applies to their smooth juice and the juice with bits.
This is not an extensive list of course, only a few of the most well-known brands in the UK. There are plenty of others that I’ve missed out so just make sure to check the labels before buying if you want to be certain it’s vegan.
So, is orange juice vegan? Most of the time, yes. Non-vegan ingredients that might be added are Vitamin D3 and omega 3. Some orange juices are made with oranges coated with shellac and would therefore not be suitable for vegans. If in doubt, only purchase juices that are labelled as vegan.
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