Is Confectioners Glaze Vegan?

By Olivia

In short, confectioners glaze is not vegan. Confectioners glaze, also known as shellac, is derived from the excretions of insects. While it may not be immediately obvious, this means that it is not suitable for those following a vegan lifestyle.

What is Confectioners Glaze?

Confectioners glaze, often referred to as shellac, is a natural coating used in various industries, primarily in the food and pharmaceutical sectors. It is made by processing the resinous excretions of female lac bugs, a type of scale insect found in India and Thailand. The excretions are collected, purified, and refined to create confectioners glaze.

Confectioners glaze is commonly used as a glossy coating for candies, chocolate products, pharmaceutical pills and capsules, as well as in the manufacture of shiny food decorations.

Why is Confectioners Glaze Not Vegan?

Confectioners glaze is not considered vegan for the following reasons:

  • It is derived from insects: The primary source of confectioners glaze is the excretions of lac bugs. Since insects are animals, using their byproducts conflicts with vegan principles that avoid the use of animal-derived ingredients.
  • Alternative options exist: Vegans prioritize finding cruelty-free and plant-based alternatives to animal-derived products. Due to the availability of alternative glazing agents, such as carnauba wax or plant-based resins, confectioners glaze is not necessary for a vegan diet or lifestyle.

Understanding Veganism

Veganism is a lifestyle choice that seeks to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, whether for food, clothing, or any other purpose. While the primary focus of veganism is on dietary choices, many vegans also extend their principles to other aspects of their lives, including personal care products, clothing, and household items. The core tenets of veganism include avoiding the use of animal products and promoting the ethical treatment of animals.

Some vegans choose this lifestyle for health reasons, environmental concerns, or as an expression of empathy towards animals. Whatever the motivation, adopting a vegan lifestyle requires careful consideration of the ingredients in food and other products to ensure they align with these principles.

Common Misconceptions

There are several misconceptions surrounding confectioners glaze and its vegan suitability. It is important to address these to provide a comprehensive understanding:

  1. It is frequently confused with other glazing agents: Confectioners glaze is often mistaken for other glazing agents that may be vegan-friendly. For example, while shellac is derived from insects, carnauba wax is a plant-based alternative that can provide a similar glossy finish.
  2. It is sometimes labeled as “natural glaze”: Some products may use the term “natural glaze” as an alternative name for confectioners glaze. However, this does not change the fact that it is derived from insects and not suitable for a vegan lifestyle.

By understanding these common misconceptions, individuals can make informed choices about their dietary preferences and product selections.

Vegan-Friendly Alternatives

For those following a vegan lifestyle or individuals interested in exploring vegan options, there are several alternatives to confectioners glaze that can be used as a glossy coating or glazing agent. These alternatives include:

  • Carnauba wax: Derived from the leaves of the carnauba palm tree, this plant-based wax can provide a shiny finish to various food products.
  • Plant-based resins: Some manufacturers use resins derived from plant sources, such as acacia or cellulose, to create a glossy glaze.

These alternatives allow individuals to enjoy the same visual appeal and texture as confectioners glaze without compromising their vegan principles.


In conclusion, confectioners glaze, or shellac, is not a vegan-friendly ingredient. It is derived from the excretions of lac bugs, making it an animal-derived product. Vegans can opt for alternative glazing agents such as carnauba wax or plant-based resins to achieve a similar glossy finish without compromising their ethical principles. By understanding the ingredients in the products they consume, individuals can make informed choices that align with their lifestyle and values.