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What’s That Glaze on Your Vitamins?

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What’s That Glaze on Your Vitamins?

Many people may not be aware that the glaze that covers some of their favorite products including vitamins, pharmaceuticals, candy and even some fruit may actually be made from shellac; a resin made from the secretions of the female lac insect.

When used in food and confections, shellac has the food additive number E904, and is described on food labels as ‘confectioner’s glaze’, ‘confectioner’s resin’, ‘resinous glaze’, ‘candy glaze’, ‘pure food glaze’ and ‘natural glaze’.

The main uses of shellac in confectionery are to do with coating chocolate goods, such as candy-covered nuts and raisins, and similar products. But what many people may not realize is that it’s also used as a coating on some nutritional supplements, medicines, fruit, and even coffee beans.

Image: Carlos Porto /

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Health, Pets, Vegan,

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Angel Flinn

Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.


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12:16AM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

thanks for sharing

6:52PM PST on Nov 12, 2011

Interesting and informative, should I mourn the insect?

4:09PM PDT on Aug 14, 2011

very nice

10:56AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

That was enlightening!

11:38AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011


1:00PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Thanks Lynda

I should have posted that. I laughed myself silly when when I 1st read it. The farmers in India are brilliant.

4:38AM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

it is good some people "care" about insects. to me, it seems animal rights people only care for cute mammals.

12:13AM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

I am speechless. Still trying to ... digest... the info.

Can you pls list the sources, where you find all this info?


7:36PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

It isn't any worse than what's in most of the packaged food on the store shelves: hair, feathers, wood pulp, more bugs, all by another name. But, uh, yum. And I agree with Sue Horwood. Corn and its derivatives...what a horror. It's in everything and it's not fun if you can't tolerate it.

7:13PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Sharon, there is no need to be alarmed. Despite the emotion-manipulative wording in this article, the insects are NOT killed. The “bug parts” are from lac bugs that have died of natural causes or from other insects who have entered the sticklac tunnel, and they are filtered out, along with bark fibres, through natural cotton fabric. The lac bug is NOT crushed up for dye: many trees that it feeds on have highly-coloured sap. It is in the best interests of the people of India and Thailand to keep the insects alive, as a dead insect will produce no income.

For anyone interested in the facts:

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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