While many people love taking vitamin supplements, not everyone likes the idea of swallowing pills. If you’re part of the latter group, you might be tempted to opt for gummy vitamins instead.
Gummy vitamins are easy to chew, tasty, and especially popular among children whose parents will do anything to get them to take their vitamins. Before giving them vitamins, explore what age is the safest for kids to start taking them!
But are gummy vitamins vegan? Keep reading to find out more about these supplements and whether or not they’re right for you!
Quick answer: No, gummy vitamins are generally not vegan. Most gummy vitamin brands use animal-sourced additives that make their nutritional supplements unsuitable for vegans.
However, there’s some great news — some gummy vitamins, like all our products, happen to be certified vegan.
Why most gummy vitamins aren’t vegan
As you know, vegan diets shouldn’t contain animal products in any form; and since gummy vitamins don’t typically contain eggs, meat, or dairy, they should be vegan, right? Think again.
Here’s a list of non-vegan ingredients in most gummy vitamins.
Gelling Agent (Gelatin)
Every gummy, vitamin or sweet treats contain a gelling agent. This gelling agent is the ingredient responsible for the chewy, bouncy, and rubbery texture of gummy products.
Natural gum, pectin, agar-agar, and gelatin are some of the most often used gelling agents on the market — with gelatin and pectin being the most prevalent in gummy vitamins.
Gelatin is an odourless and tasteless protein obtained by boiling the skin, tendons, bones, ligaments, and other tissues of animals in the water. The animals often used to make gelatin are pigs, cattle, sheep, poultry, and fish.
Any gummy vitamin containing gelatin is not vegan-friendly because of the ingredient’s animal sources.
Vegan Alternative to Gelatin
There are plenty of plant-based alternatives to gelatin, but the most common is pectin.
Pectin can be found in fruits and is certified vegan, vegetarian, kosher, and halal.
Gelatin is the only non-vegan component in most gummy vitamins. If the gelatin can be replaced with pectin, like in some multivitamins, the gummy supplement can be suitable for vegan consumption.
Glazing Agents (Beeswax and Shellac)
Beeswax and shellac (or confectioner’s glaze) are two other non-vegan ingredients found in most gummy vitamins.
Beeswax has been used as medicine and an additive in our foods since the stone age.
Today, beeswax is even more popular than it has ever been. It’s used in various foods, including marshmallows, jello, and gummy vitamins.
As the name suggests, beeswax is gotten from the honeycomb of honeybees and other bees. It is made by worker bees, who, like honey, utilise particular abdominal wax glands in their abdomens to construct the material.
On the other hand, shellac is commonly associated with sealants and varnishes but is also used in gummy vitamins and sweets. It is a resin gotten from the female lac beetle, which is native to the trees of India and Thailand.
Nearly 100,000 bugs are killed to generate one pound of shellac flakes, which are then mixed with alcohol to make the famous confectioner’s glaze.
Similar to how a Ziploc bag works, beeswax and shellac preserve the freshness and flavour of gummies for a more extended amount of time.
Unfortunately, beeswax and shellac are not vegan due to their animal origins and the threat to these insects’ existence.
Vegan Alternative to Beeswax and shellac
Carnauba Wax, commonly known as Brazil wax or palm wax, is a popular alternative to beeswax. It is a natural plant wax gotten from the leaves of the carnauba palm (Copernicia prunifera).
Women’s multivitamins and all other gummy vitamins use Carnauba wax as its glazing agent in place of beeswax. All our supplements are certified Vegan, vegetarian, halal, and kosher.
Palm oil is used to make gummy vitamins chewy, stretchy, and, as the name implies, gummy.
Technically, palm oil should be vegan since it is gotten from the fruit of the African oil palm tree.
However, many vegans opt to avoid it because they believe that palm oil production abuses animals, which vegans strictly oppose.
Why is Palm Oil Non-Vegan
Palm oil is harmful to the environment. It necessitates the burning and clearing of vast portions of the rainforest for its plantations.
As a direct result of palm oil production, many animal and insect species that live in the rainforest have been killed or forced to leave their natural habitats — some have even been threatened with extinction.
Some of these animals include orangutans, tigers, rhinos, bears, pygmy elephants, leopards, and proboscis monkeys.
Vegan Peace defines veganism as a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.
So, because palm oil production is directly linked to animal exploitation and cruelty, many vegans claim that consuming it cannot be vegan.
Palm Oil Alternative
While most gummy vitamin brands use different palm oil alternatives, we chose to go with Sunflower oil.
Sunflower oil is extracted from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. It is also a good source of vitamin E and is low in saturated fat (11%), making it a healthy heart choice.
Many people also prefer gummy vitamins because they are easy to consume, especially when you are trying to improve your vitamin intake on the go.
And while the majority of gummy vitamins on the market are made from animal sources, there are some brands that make vegan gummy vitamins.
Not to toot our own horn, but one brand that does this wonderfully is Chewwies. All our gummies are certified Vegan, vegetarian, halal, and kosher.
We make sure all our products are free from sugar, gelatine, alcohol, gluten, dairy, allergens, artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives on the healthy side of things.
Check out our online shop for vegan gummy vitamins you and your kids will love.