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.
Anyway, to better understand if Fanta is vegan, we want to look at the ingredients.
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.
- 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.
- Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, tartaric acid, natural flavors, Potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, red 40, blue 1.
- Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate, red 40.
- 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.
- Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzoate, yellow 6, red 40.
- 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 they’re also a byproduct of animal testing.
Animal Testing and Colorants
Although colorants are animal-free, they’re not cruelty-free.
In development 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”.
Depending on your “level” of veganism, you may or may not avoid Fanta, since harm was effectively done, even though there’s no indication that further testing is presently being made in the manufacturing process.
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. I don’t do it, but I respect those that do.
Other Vegan Sodas
In addition to Fanta, there are plenty of brands that offer a range of delicious sodas in the market. 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 considered to be vegan:
- Dr. Pepper
There are some vegan sodas not mentioned here, but since I’m not familiar with each market, I’d rather mention the most popular. In my country (Portugal), there’s a delicious Soda by the name of Sumol. It’s a delicious drink, which I find to be even better than Fanta.
This being said, the concentration of sugars in these drinks is something I wouldn’t recommend to anyone.
Fanta can be considered vegan if you look beyond the development stage of the product. Presently, animals are not killed in the manufacturing stage of the product, so it depends on your stance.
If you want to be sure about whether Fanta or any other Soda is vegan, you should contact the company and its manufacturers, and inquire about the different ingredients.
And again, always keep your eyes peeled for some of the ingredients I’ve mentioned in this blog post.