Shellac use on fruit in UK Supermarkets

Moved to

Many vegans may not be aware that the shine on some of your favourite fruits may actually be made from shellac: a resin from the secretions of the female lac insect. The food additive is also known as E904 and is used to keep the fruit longer and gives it a shiny protective coating. I also understand that Innocent smoothies are not labelled as being suitable for vegans as they might contain shellac.  Some orange juices are also not vegan for this reason. Shellac is also used on sweets, nail products and many other uses. So if you see E904 or shellac you know to avoid it and if something looks shiny try to find out what wax made it that way.
So I have been contacting supermarkets and trying to find out if they use shellac on any of the fruit and with the help of information obtained from others that have also wrote and got a reply this is the summary so far.

Aldi say they are only able to give this information by single product in a named store as they don't use the same supplier for each store.

We can confirm that the only fruits that could contain post harvest treatments which carry a very small amount of shellac are citrus fruits. This is common in the industry at present, and our business is working with overseas suppliers and post harvest treatment companies ongoing to try and find an alternative which does not contain shellac.

I can confirm that shellac waxes are used by some of our suppliers for the waxing of citrus fruits and apples (apples from USA only).

Use it on all citrus fruit, but not other fresh products. They sell unwaxed oranges and lemons, but not unwaxed other citrus such as kumquats, satsuma's etc.

They don't currently use it on fruit or veg I am told, but i have seen that other people have had different answers and advised to check the boxes that they are displayed in to see which wax is being use. If its says E904 you know its shellac.

Shellac is part of some fruit waxes which is currently used on our own brand citrus fruit and avocados.

No answer yet from other supermarkets. If anyone knows anymore info, please let us know.

The Vegan Baker - still testing recipes

I am still testing recipes from the vegan baker. I  made oat bars at the weekend and rich tea bread today.
The oat bars are like a flapjack with a layer of fruit spread in the middle. They tasted good, but there wasn't enough fruit spread in mine to show the filling once sliced, so I would definitely double the fruit spread if I made them again.

Today I made the rich tea bread. Now this can vary in taste depending on what fruit and nut combination you use and what tea you use. I used hibicus today as that was the only herb tea I had and although I don't like the tea, I thought why not, as i haven't got licorice which was one of the suggestions and I wanted to make it today. I am not a fan of any tea, but wanted to make this for my mum and she really liked it and i thought it was ok. 

Next up has got to be the chocolate cake on the front cover. It actually uses agar and I don't have any, but I have loads of greens jellies that I got for 5p so I thought I would try that instead. It may not firm up, but frosting isn't usually this firm anyway and I'm confident it will still taste good.

Previous recipes from the book i've tried are biscotti and lamingtons which I just love on both accounts and brownies were ok.

UK Treat - Guide Nine - Lidl Supermarket



They do a donut in the bakery section the round one with jam, non of the ring donuts are vegan. Most of there bread is vegan. There bakery list is here. (June 2014). There pink iced ring donuts are vegan see this post for info.

Christmas Lines - The Favorina range comes out in October each year with Christmas lines.

I know there is lots of biscuits and  a few chocolate bars in flavours such as orange, cranberry and ginger as well as plain ones and there is a apple strudel in the freezer. A selection of the chocolate bars are shown here, the chocolate article is kept more up to date.

They also sell these two palmiers (sweet puff pastry shaped discs) which the supplier says contains traces of milk in the flavourings. They do say may contain milk, so no good for a allergy sufferer. Wonder what delights could be made with these.

 Mortons tarts. Pineapple only. Raspberry ones won't be vegetarian or vegan from January 2015. 
Sold in Scotland only.

Lidl now have a deluxe range and have quite a few suitable for vegan products. Including sorbets, assorted stuffed dates (marzipan, pistachio and walnut), almond turron, barbecued almonds, pineapple juice in a bottle (not from concentrate) and strawberry jam! There is also savoury things in the range. This range seems to change often.

Coconut ice, clearly labelled vegan.

Nice to see the sorbets labelled vegan!

Amongst the cake mixes is a mix for cherry profiteroles. As the ingredients say to add eggs, not sure if they would work with egg replacer or not. Will update if I find out. Haven't checked out the other cake mixes, but there maybe some vegan friendly ones, most shops have some and then just add egg replacer.

Chocolate halva and jelly cubes labelled vegan.


Crumpets you might not think of as a sweet treat, but I love them toasted with jam!

Please do let us know what we should add to
this list and lets make it a great resource.

This is one of many supermarket guides. Click on supermarkets to view other guides.
We are on facebook. We have a page and a chat room
Please feel free to join us, especially if you want to help compile the supermarket articles. 

3rd recipe test from The Vegan Baker

Bean and brazil nut brownies

I decided on brownies although i've never had one before and not really keen on chocolate flavoured things, prefer chocolate itself. But my MIL is staying and likes this sort of thing, so this is what I chose for my third experiment. They tasted ok to me. My MIL liked them and I will be giving some to a vegan friend so will see what she says. But its not a recipe I would do again for me, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them. I replaced the cashews with brazil nuts and the rice syrup with golden syrup and the beans with black beans and judging my the taste and texture this didn't make a difference.

Previous recipes from the book i've tried are biscotti and lamingtons which I just love on both accounts!

2nd recipe test from The Vegan Baker book.

Just got The Vegan Baker out of the library this week after ordering it in November. First I made a two part list of what I wanted to try, one was the recipes I already had the ingredients for and the other for the recipes I needed to buy some ingredients for. I made the lamington recipe the other day which was very yummy and I would make again. Second recipe I tried yesterday was for biscotti. The recipe was for Pistachio and fennel. But as I didn't have enough pistachio it became pistachio, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and fennel
biscotti. The recipe is easy to do, just very time consuming as you have to wait for the first bake to cool, before slicing and then bake again.

First bake just out of the oven. 

After waiting for the first bake to cool, you slice them and rebake. This is them just going back in. If you dont wait for them to cool thoroughly they crumble. Its hard to resist just trying to slice and I made this mistake, but eventually waited and the rest sliced OK. 

Worth waiting for and enjoyed with a hot chocolate!

Would definitely make again.

First recipe test from The Vegan Baker

Just got The Vegan Baker out of the library this week after ordering it in November. Now where to start as there is so many nice looking recipes. First I made a two part list of what I wanted to try, one was the recipes I already had the ingredients for and the other for the recipes I needed to buy some ingredients for. 

First up was Lamingtons. Now I have never heard of these before, but they looked tasty and I had all the ingredients and I so love coconut!

So first you make the cake. The recipe made enough for two cakes. So I have frozen one for another day, as I didn't need that many lamingtons. I substitued the rice syrup for butterscotch syrup, which is butterscotch flavoured golden syrup. This is the cakes cooling.
 Than you make a chocolate sauce for dipping. This is chocolate, margarine, sugar and soya milk. I used orange chocolate as that is what I had. You make the sauce, dip the cake which you have cut into squares into it and let it soak up the sauce. Then roll in desiccated coconut. Done! Yum!

 Fininshed results
The book suggested if you have leftover sauce to serve with them which is what we did and we have some left to serve with the rest. So first cake from book. Very easy and although a little time consuming, very tasty. There did seem to be a lot of ingredients as you use plain flour, oat flour and ground almonds amongst other things, but I would make them again. So a definate recommendation for this recipe.

A girl called jack book review and Peach and Chickpea curry

Having been a fan of Jack Monroes blog I thought i'd have a look at her book. Its not a vegan cookbook, but many of the recipes are.  The first recipe I tried today was the Peach and Chickpea Curry. We both like it and there is now leftovers for tomorrow which is good. To save time I didn't cook for 30 minutes so mine is more like a stew than a curry, but I could of added less liquid or cooked it for longer. I should of cooked some rice to go with it and will do next time. Very delicious and a recipe I would do again. I am sure the recipe will be on her blog or guardian articles. The book has many recipes I plan to try including a few savoury breads. So far so good. Next recipe to follow soon.