Is Sugar Vegan?

Plant-Based Diet
Plant-Based Diet
Vegan Sugar
Vegan Sugar

Veganism is a highly popular way of life that is being widely adopted by people who are concerned about animal welfare and those that are impressed by the benefits of the diet. Vegans avoid all forms of animal products from their life. They do not eat animal-derived foods or use any lifestyle products obtained from animals.

When it comes to foods, some could be non-vegan although they are sourced from plants. That is because animal-derived products are used at some stages of the making of the food. Is sugar vegan? Let us find out the answer in this article.

What Are The Different Types Of Sugar?

Different from what many have thought, sugar is not necessarily vegan. Refined sugar, commonly called table sugar is the most common sweetener that is widely used in recipes. White, brown, and powdered sugar, all fall in the category of refined sugar.

Refined sugar is obtained from two sources, sugar cane and beets. Although the sugars obtained from the two sources have similar texture and taste, they have entirely different refining procedures. Beet sugar is always vegan as its processing does not involve any animal products.

However, cane sugar may not always be vegan.

Why Are Some Types Of Non-Vegan Sugar?

When sugar is made from sugar cane, the sugar cane stalks are crushed to obtain juice from its pulp. Then the juice is processed and filtered. After that, the sugar is bleached using bone char. Bone char is an adsorbent that adsorbs the color pigment of the sugar, and that is how refined sugar gets its characteristic white color.

If bone char is used in the bleaching of sugar, the sugar is no longer vegan. Do not think that bone char used in bleaching will be present in the final product. However, the sugar will still be considered non-vegan. Bone char is widely used as a decolorizing agent in the making of refined sugar. It is obtained from the bones of slaughtered cattle.

How To Find Vegan Sugar?

Sugar obtained from beets does not involve the use of animal products like bone char, and thus is vegan. You can also find cane sugar that is certified vegan. Look for the following terms on the sugar label when you want vegan sugar:

  • Organic
  • Unrefined
  • Natural
  • Raw

These terms on the label assure that the refined sugar is vegan.

Vegans have to study the label of the sugar they purchase to ensure that it is vegan.