Tesco customer stunned to find some fruit found in supermarkets isn’t vegan

Some fruits are classed as unsuitable for plant-based diets because of the pesticides used to make the item look better and grow larger

A Tesco shopper was shocked to find that some of the store’s fruits, including oranges and satsumas, are not vegan-friendly

A Tesco shopper was stunned to find that some of the supermarket’s fruit isn’t suitable for plant-based diets.

The woman looked both in store and online and found that some packs of oranges, satsumas and mandarins are labeled “non vegan”.

Tweeting about her shock, she said: “I am shocked to find out that the oranges I was trying to buy all day are not vegan. Pfft.”

She had been searching for the “Tesco Finest Emperor Oranges 4 Pack”, but couldn’t buy them due to her choice of diet.

Non-vegan fruits were also found in Marks and Spencer and Morrisons.

The fruits themselves are of course vegan, but they are classed as unsuitable due to the chemicals sprayed on them as they grow.

Farmers often use pesticides to make the fruit look better, and grow larger.

Imazalil – banned in all but tiny amounts – is the common non-vegan item used by growers on their fruit and veg.

Some fruits are sprayed with pesticides, making them non-vegan



The E904 version of the chemical, as it will be shown on any label, is a wax made of shellac.

There are also other versions of the same wax which are made up of beeswax to give fruits such as oranges a shine. Vegans don’t eat shellac or beeswax as they come from animals and therefore aren’t part of a plant-based diet.

The added chemical also drew attention to the hazardous pesticide Propiconazole, banned apart from tiny amounts by the EU as it is hazardous to health.

Now that the UK has left Europe, Propiconazole is no longer regulated as harshly and is being used as a pesticide on fruit and veg. It is known to have cancer increasing qualities.

There was widespread criticism of the use of pesticides, especially the two listed above.

One social media commenter said: “Propiconazole banned by the EU because of risks to fertility and to the health of the unborn child. Propiconazole is now on fruit in the UK. Important work done by the EU in assessing safety of chemicals – now ditched by Govt.”

Another said: “When fruit isn’t suitable for Vegans you know something bad is happening.”

With one explaining: “Imazalil & propiconazole are fungicides & are the reason why we should’ve been(long before now) scrubbing citrus fruits before using the peel & washing hands after peeling & before eating treated fruit. Better to buy organic, untreated fruits when available.”

Tesco told MyLondon that all their oranges are suitable for vegans but some oranges are labeled ‘non-vegan’ due to the wax applied post-harvest which contains shellac which helps keep fruit fresh.

They said it is a common treatment for conventional citrus packing in the industry. They are also working with growers to develop a vegan-friendly alternative.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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