Is Orange Juice Vegan? If you are like me, your phone wakes you up, you struggle to get out of bed and then shuffle downstairs to grab two things – coffee to get me going and then a delicious glass of 100% pure orange juice. I then sit down and for the next 10 minutes, breathe and take ceremonious sips from both drinks – now my day is just perfect (that is before my children wake up). I am not alone. In the US we each drink around 2.32 gallons of orange juice per year. Around 15% of Adults and 18% of Children consume Orange Juice in the US. Tropicana is the 12th most popular brand in the world according to Brand Finance.
However, since I started writing this blog, I have started to question whether everything is vegan. I mean, only the night before I was writing about whether coffee was vegan and found out that there is one type of coffee that is processed by “weasels”. Yes, a weasel or more precisely a Civet Cat (you can read that post here: “Is Coffee Vegan? How To Find Out the Truth“). The seeds of doubt had been planted. But, I mean, come on surely orange juice is vegan…. right?
Is Orange Juice Vegan?
As a general rule, 100% Orange juice is vegan. This is because oranges are vegan. However, some orange juices are not vegan. This can be the case when orange juice is fortified – this is the process of having nutrients added that don’t naturally occur in the juice – these additional “fortifying” ingredients can be non-vegan. Two examples are Vitamin D3 which is sourced from Sheep’s Wool and the addition of Omega Oils which come from Fish.
During my research, I even came across a very well-known juice brand that contained beef derivatives. I think it is safe to say you don’t have to be vegan to be even slightly grossed out by this.
Is Orange Juice Vegan – Things To Look Out For
Is 100% Orange Juice Vegan?
100% orange juice is vegan because oranges are vegan. Orange juices that have additional ingredients added are sometimes not vegan.
Which Orange Juice Isn’t Vegan?
The main non-vegan ingredients to watch out for are –
Vitamin D3 (Lanolin)
Some orange juices are fortified with vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 often isn’t vegan as it is often made from Lanolin – a grease that sheep secrete to make their wool waterproof. Lanolin is high in vitamin D3 which is why it is used as a fortifying ingredient.
Fish Oil and Gelatins
Look out for any orange juices labeled as “heart-healthy” like Tropicana Healthy Heart as it contains fish oil and gelatins from anchovies, sardines, and tilapia. It is the oils from these fish that provide the high Omega 3 content that makes the drink “Heart Healthy”.
If you want to read more about Tropicana and which of their juices are not vegan read my article Is Pepsi Vegan? Secrets to Know About Pepsi Drinks …and yes, Pepsi makes Tropicana.
This can be an issue for some vegans and is in many sweetened drinks. I have talked about it before in my pieces: Is Soda Vegan? Revealing What You Need To Know, Is Cream Soda Vegan? Unlock All You Need To Know, and Is Root Beer Vegan? Unlock The Hidden Root Cause.
Sugar can be processed with bone char, mainly to give its white appearance. No bone char is left in the sugar – but it is processed using it. Some vegans choose not to consume any sugar that has been processed with bone char. The only way to do this is to just stick to sugar labeled as organic, raw, unrefined, beet sugar, or high fructose corn syrup. A lot of vegans are fine with sugar potentially processed with bone char and just avoid any products that are derived from animals.
Some cheaper orange juices and mixes in the market may contain added sugar. Again, if you stick to 100% freshly squeezed orange juice this should not be an issue, regardless of your stance on sugar.
Is Orange Juice Vegan – How to Have 100% Orange Juice at Home
If like me, you just want to be pointed to a 100% vegan orange juice to buy then I recommend purchasing any Organic 100% Orange Juice – one of my favorites is the 365 Organic Orange Juice which you can get on Amazon here.
Alternatively, if you just want to be extra sure then how about making your own orange juice at home with a citrus juicer (you can get a great one from Amazon here), or if you are like me and once a year like to brag about how you hand squeezed your orange juice that morning here is a hand orange juicer from Amazon which I use roughly twice per year.
Is Orange Juice Vegan? – What About Other Non-Orange Juices
After I researched the above the next question that popped into my mind was “hold on if orange juice cannot be vegan what about other juices?”. Are there any other juices out there you need to also watch for? To help you out I put together some key points to look out for.
Cochineal (also called Carmine), and this bit gets really disgusting, is a red coloring derived from the cochineal bug. It is mostly used in red-hued juices. There have been many ways Cochineal has been labeled globally and historically. Words to look out for on the label include: “E120”, “natural red 4”, and “crimson lake”.
US manufacturers are now required to list Cochineal by name on the label so always be on the lookout for it. Tropicana Orange Strawberry Banana. contains cochineal as does Minute Maid Ruby Red Grapefruit Drink. If you want to read more about Minute Maid and other Coca-Cola owned brand drinks check out my blog Is Coca-Cola Vegan? Secrets to Know About Coca-Cola Drinks.
Fish Bladders (Isinglass)
Dried fish bladders or Isinglass is normally associated with the Beer or Wine industry (if you want to know how you can read about it in my posts: Why Is Wine Not Vegan – How to Know The Truth? and Is Beer Vegan – Introducing The Secret To Finding Out).
Is Apple Juice Vegan?
Apple juice is often clarified using fish bladders – they are used to help give a clear apple juice by clumping together molecules which can cause a hazy murky appearance. The good news is that not all brands do this – for example, Tropicana 100% Apple Juice is PETA-approved.
Is Orange Squash Vegan?
If like me, you grew up in the UK then you would have grown up with Orange Squash. Nothing would refresh you more after running about like a 9-year-old maniac only can than a glass of Robinsons Orange Squash mixed with some cooled water. Having grown up on the stuff it naturally made me wonder if it was vegan. Unfortunately, some brands of squash are not vegan. For example, Kia-Ora Orange Squash No Added Sugar and Schweppes Orange Squash are not vegan as they contain fish gelatin as a stabilizer for the beta-carotene color.
These are just sold in the UK and Ireland so if you live there watch out for those squashes.
Vegan Orange Juice Cocktails
Is all this talk of fish bladders, fish oil, and bugs making you feel in need of a strong drink? I couldn’t agree more. Below are three of my favorite orange-based alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails you can make to enjoy nature’s sunshine fruit. Just remember to use 100% Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice.
A Mimosa is probably the most popular orange cocktail drink available. Brunch places around the world lure people in with the offer of bottomless Mimosas to great effect. Here is how to make one at home:
- Take a champagne flute and place it in the freezer for a couple of minutes so it is nice and frosty.
- Fill the glass halfway up with a chilled sparkling wine of your choice. We love this Belissima Brut Prosecco from wine.com. It is certified vegan as well! We prefer to use a dry prosecco like this rather than a sweet one (just look for the word “brut”).
- Fill the second half of the glass with 100% orange juice (it is important to add the orange juice after the prosecco as the mimosa will self-mix and you won’t have to stir). I personally love using no-pulp orange juice as otherwise, pulp gathers at the top of the mimosa. This is a great organic orange juice from Amazon. Or you can freshly squeeze oranges to give it that extra freshness – just make sure to strain the juice to remove the pulp.
- You don’t have to do this but I love to add a small dash of Grand Marnier from Amazon to make it extra orangey and yummy! Grand Marnier is vegan as well according to Barnivore.
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry (just be sure it doesn’t contain cochineal for color).
Vegan Orange Martini
If you are in the mood for more of an evening orange-based drink, here is a recipe for a classic Orange Martini.
- 2 ounces of vodka – virtually all neat vodkas are vegan – check out our post Is Alcohol Vegan? How To Know The Truth;
- 1 ounce of Cointreau (Maison Cointreau is vegan according to Barnivore));
- 2 ounces of orange juice;
- A dash of maple syrup (I always prefer to use maple syrup instead of simple sugar syrup); and
- Pour the above ingredients into a martini shaker, shake and then strain into a martini glass. You can garnish it with a slice of orange if you wish.
Vegan Non-Alcoholic Cocktail
If you don’t drink or just want to treat yourself to something a bit special during the day then you must try this mock-tail orange recipe. I called it an “Orange Sunset”.
You will need –
- One cup of ginger ale – we love this Virgil’s Ginger Ale from Amazon here (Virgil’s lists their sodas as vegan on their website).
- One cup of orange juice – I find pulp free works best for the drink;
- A handful of fresh mint leaves
- Half an ounce of fresh lemon juice
- A dash of maple syrup (if you like your drink a bit sweeter).
To make it, simply crush the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker then add in the remaining ingredients and shake well. Once shaken, strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry (just be sure it doesn’t contain cochineal for color).
Do you like alcoholic drinks?
If you like alcoholic drinks then you should check out my piece on Is Alcohol Vegan? How To Know The Truth. In it, I break down everything you need to know about Wine, Beer, and Liquor, whether they are vegan, and how to tell the difference between vegan and non-vegan Wine, Beer, and Liquor.
Is Orange Juice Vegan? – The Final Sip
Coming into this blog piece I was sure I wasn’t going to find any orange juice to not be vegan. I mean how could it be? You grow some oranges (mostly likely in Florida – fun fact in most seasons more than 90 percent of America’s orange juice is made from Florida-grown oranges), then you pick them, squeeze them, bottle, sell and drink. At nowhere in this process does anything have to be non-vegan. However, after doing a bit of research I can tell you that not all orange juice is vegan.
If it has been fortified or is just anything that isn’t “100% Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice” you may be drinking something that isn’t “100% Pure Orange Juice” – know what I mean. If in doubt always pick the orange juice that is chilled in the grocery store and says made from 100% juice. Even then always double-check the back for any additional additives.
…now you know.
Beverage makers may change ingredients and/or manufacturing processes. Always double-check ingredients before purchasing any beverages.
Like what you are reading
Like this article, want to find out more? Want to know if your favorite Root Beer, Soda, Wine, Beer, or even if your morning coffee (yes, your morning coffee) is vegan? Then check out some of our other articles and sign up for our newsletter below:
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