Why is Confectioners Glaze Not Vegan?

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Confectioners’ glaze, also known as pharmaceutical glaze (not quite as appetizing, is it?), is used in a variety of candy with a shiny outer coating.

Mike and Ike’s are the common example that is brought up.

There have been many claims that Mike and Ike’s are vegan, but that’s because most wouldn’t think that confectioners’ glaze has animal products.

But it does (in almost all cases).

The main component is shellac. There are a few other organic compounds that evaporate off later, but those would all be considered vegan.

While it’s a bit of a grey area, shellac is not vegan.

I’ll give you a quick summary of shellac and veganism:

  • Shellac is derived from beetle excretions on bark.
  • In the modern shellac industry, bugs are regularly killed to obtain it.
  • Besides being gross, bugs are still animals, and shellac is not vegan.

Ultimately it’s still up to you.

Some vegans think it’s fine to eat honey, and shellac is pretty comparable to honey. People also consume shellac on fruit often without even knowing it.

So for the majority of vegans, confectioners’ glaze is not vegan friendly, but you will have to make your own decision, it’s not like there’s a vegan handbook that has firm rules.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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