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Is Orange Juice Vegan-Friendly?

by Fabian Jackson

4min read

Who doesn’t love starting the day with a glass of the sweet stuff now and then? But is orange juice always suitable for vegans? Keep reading to find out exactly why this question has a complicated answer.

Orange juice

A glass of orange juice may help improve heart health, decrease inflammation and is rich in important nutrients like potassium, folate and, of course, vitamin C. So why might this seemingly vegan-friendly drink not always be 100% plant-based?

orange juice

Is orange juice vegan?

You’d assume that the answer here is an outright yes – oranges are a fruit and therefore orange juice is vegan. Unfortunately, the truth is a little less straightforward. 

The fruit juices we buy are, not always, but often, containing added ingredients for flavour, colour shelf-life, cost and even health benefits. 

Why orange juice isn’t always vegan

When it comes to orange juice there are a few main reasons why you should check your OJ’s label. Firstly, juices are often fortified with calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 to add extra health benefits.

slices of orange

Vitamin D2 can be sourced from plants but vitamin D3 is generally sourced from fish oil or lanolin (sheep’s wool). Secondly, the omega-3 fatty acids sometimes added to orange juice are again sourced from fish oil or sometimes gelatin. 

Less likely today, but juices can sometimes be coloured with non-vegan colourings and sweetened with sugar that has been refined with bone char.

How can I make sure I’m only buying vegan orange juice? 

The best course of action isn’t to stop drinking orange juice, but to buy freshly squeezed juices that are classed as ‘pure’ with no additives. 

Keep your plant-based questions coming our way through the comments section below! 

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Fabian Jackson
by Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

Read more from Fabian


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