Is Fanta Vegan? Or Does It Still Contain Traces Of Fish Gelatin?

As you know, Fanta is a carbonated soft drink that belongs to the Coca Cola company. It was created in Germany, during World War Two, and is now sold in 188 countries, including the United States.

Frankly, I prefer Fanta over Coke, and if I want to get dirty, a Fanta is what I’ll get.

What I love the most about Fanta, is how it adapted to different cultures.

In each country, you have flavors that best resonate with the respective culture, and so flavors differ. Grape-flavored Fanta has high demand in Portugal while in Japan, the banana-flavored Fanta remains the fan-favorite.

In any case, to know if Fanta is vegan we need to check the ingredients and understand how the company behind it actually works. 

What Does Fanta Contain?

To figure out the real nature of this drink, we must take a close look at the list of ingredients. This said, I’m not going to look at every single flavor, so I’ll just focus on the predominant flavors instead.

  • Orange
    • Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup,  citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural flavors, modified food starch, sodium polyphosphates, glycerol ester of rosin, yellow 6, red 40.
  • Grape
    • Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, tartaric acid, natural flavors, Potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, red 40, blue 1.
  • Strawberry
    • Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate, red 40.
  • Pineapple
    • Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, modified food starch, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, medium-chain triglycerides, salt, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, yellow 5, yellow 6.
  • Peach
    • Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzoate, yellow 6, red 40.
  • Berry
    • Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, citric acid, sodium citrate, malic acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, blue 1.
  • Green Apple
    • Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, malic acid, citric acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, yellow 5, acacia gum, blue 1.

Fanta is made from water, sugar, orange juice concentrate, various acidulants, stabilizers, and colorants that vary based on the flavor at hand.

They are technically vegan because they come from a vegetable source, yet, to a certain extent, they’re also a byproduct of animal testing. 

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Animal Testing and Colors

Although colorants are animal-free, they’re not cruelty-free.

In developmental stages, colorants were tested on animals such as mice, rats, or dogs.

In these tests, animals suffered damage to their bodies, developing terminal illnesses. Not only that, but they were also subject to stressful, and inhumane procedures before finally being put to “sleep”.

An example is the Allura Red AC (E129), a dye used in food and cosmetics which is often tested on animals. Studies that were published in 2017 and 2018 as having mice as test subjects. 

In these tests, the animals suffer physical damage and develop diseases, suffering greatly before being put to rest.

Depending on how strong your feel about this subject, you may or not want to avoid consuming Fanta or any other food containing dyes/colors. 

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The Coca-Cola Company

Fanta belongs to the Coca-Cola company. 

Although most of the soft drinks that the company produces are free of animal ingredients, unfortunately, there is still some ongoing animal cruelty due to:

  • Sponsorships of events that use animals

Coca-cola still sponsors events that use animals for entertainment purposes where the animal is a subject of human dominance. This includes events such as races, rodeos, and similar activities.

Rodeos are very common in America and involve different activities with wild horses, bulls and calves. Besides being used as a means of profit, these animals suffer, get injured, and some even end up dying.

  • Animal Testing

Coca-Cola no longer tests its products on animals. However, there may be animal testing of some ingredients, particularly when government agencies require it.

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Fanta Wasn’t Always Animal-Free

Until 2010, some Fanta flavors contained small traces of fish gelatin acting as stabilizers for the beta-carotene color. However, from what I understood, that procedure has changed and gelatin was replaced by starch.

What I found interesting was that fish gelatin wasn’t subject to declaration in some countries, and thus it wasn’t listed as an ingredient. Fortunately, the rules have changed and more transparent policies are in place.

What Should You Look Out For In Sodas?

While most sodas are vegan, there are a few ingredients you should look out for.

As such, do make sure you check out these 4 specific ingredients before buying your next soda:

  • Honey — This is far from common, but drinks like Honest Lemon and Honey contain honey, and therefore are not vegan.
  • Vitamin D3 — Although no animals are killed to produce Vitamin D3, it is still derived from the lanolin in sheep’s wool. The lanolin itself goes through several purification processes that turn it into a pure chemical called cholecalciferol. Since that name was too hard to pronounce, they probably called it Vitamin D3.
  • Carmine (Dye) — Carmine is a crimson red dye. This specific dye is produced from scale insects such as the cochineal and is used in artificial flowers, paints, crimson ink, some cosmetics, and even medication. Carmine is also included in some foods, such as juices, yogurt, and candy.
  • Ester Gum — Ester gum is a stabilizer made from glycerol, a property often used as a sweetener in foods. Although glycerol can be attained from both plant and animal sources, it can also be produced synthetically in a lab. Typically, glycerol obtained from plants is either derived from soybeans or palm oil. While you may consider soybeans to be vegan, most vegans are against palm oil due to the impact of deforestation to extract palm oil. In essence, you must ask manufacturers about the type of glycerol listed on their label and check if it’s truly from a safe source.

Generally, people don’t go through the hassle of asking manufacturers about the different, shady ingredients on a label, so it depends on where you situate yourself, as a vegan.

Other Sodas Without Animal Ingredients

In addition to Fanta, there are other brands of soda without animal ingredients. These are by no means the healthiest drinks out there (on the contrary), but they’re perfect for a cheat day.

Here’s a list of other sodas without animal ingredients:

  • 7up
  • Pepsi
  • Dr. Pepper

However, it’s important to note that some of these brands may sponsor events in which animals are exploited for entertainment purposes. 

Conclusion

Fanta can be considered vegan if you simply take the ingredients into account.

However, Fanta belongs to the Coca-Cola Company, which sponsors events in which animals are exploited for the sake of entertainment. 

If you want to be sure about whether a specific soda is vegan, you should contact the company and its manufacturers to inquire about the different ingredients. Additionally, you should do a background check on the brand itself, or the company that owns it, to figure out if there’s any form of animal-cruelty in the mix. 

Thank you for reading!

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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