Non Vegan Ingredients

10 Ingredients In Breakfast Cereals That Are Not Vegan

Breakfast cereals seem like a safe bet for vegans as long as you switch out dairy milk for plant-based milk but, you may be surprised to discover that many breakfast cereals contain ingredients sourced from animals.

In this article, I am sharing the non-vegan ingredients that may be hidden in your favorite breakfast cereal,

Non-Vegan Ingredients In Breakfast Cereals

If you look closely at the label on a box of cereal you may notice the following ingredients.

Some of these ingredients may be obvious to some whereas others are a bit trickier.

  • Honey
  • Gelatin
  • Whey
  • Whey Powder
  • Dry Milk
  • White Sugar
  • Vitamin D3
  • Lanolin ( Cholecalciferol)
  • Lecithin
  • Tocopherol

Sneaky Non-Vegan Ingredients In Breakfast Cereals

Some of the ingredients in our foods do not clearly state what it is or where they came from.

The following ingredients are the trickiest to know about and remember when you are shopping as a vegan.

Why Isn’t Vitamin D3 Vegan

The Vitamin D3 that is often added to breakfast cereals is sourced from sheep’s wool.

It can be confusing because Vitamian D2 is plant-based whereas Vitamian D3 is not.

Most breakfast cereals contain Vitamin D3 which is not vegan-friendly.

Why Isn’t Lanolin Vegan

Lanolin which is also referred to as Cholecalciferol is one of those ingredients that many of us have no idea what it even is.

We have another sheep’s wool ingredient when you discover Lanolin or Cholecalciferol on your ingredients list.

This is an oil from sheep’s wool that is used in breakfast cereals as a coating to make the cereal more “water-resistant”.

Why Isn’t Lecithin Vegan

Lecithin can come from plants if it’s labeled as soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin.

Other times lecithin can come from tissues, organs, and egg yolks.

Lecithin is added to breakfast cereals as an emulsifier, that improves the texture of the cereal.

When lecithin is used the ingredients stick together better and help give many breakfast cereals that classic crunchy texture we all love.

Why Isn’t Tocopherol Vegan

Tocopherol is a preservative that helps many food products including breakfast cereals last longer on the shelves.

There are many different types of tocopherols with some being sourced from animals, others may come from plants or petroleum.

Why Isn’t Gelatin Vegan

An experienced vegan can spot gelatin on a food label from a mile away but, some may be shocked to even find gelatin in cereals.

If you are newer to a vegan lifestyle you may not even be aware that gelatin comes from animals.

Gelatin is a protein that comes from boiling down animal bones and ligaments.

Why Isn’t White Sugar Vegan

White sugar is a tricky and controversial ingredient that is found in most breakfast cereals.

White sugar can be processed using bone char from animals.

Although, none of the bone char ends up in the finished product the use of any animal products is off-limits to most vegans.

Common Non-Vegan Ingredients In Breakfast Cereals

We’ve discussed the sneaky ingredients that may be hiding in your breakfast cereal but, there are also some more obvious ingredients within that are not vegan-friendly.

Honey In Breakfast Cereals

You do need to look closely at your breakfast cereal labels even if honey is in the name of the cereal.

I’ve found many cereals that don’t even include honey but, there are plenty that do and honey can be added as a sweetener when you least expect it.

Whey In Breakfast Cereals

You will often discover whey or whey powder in breakfast cereals.

This ingredient is derived from dairy milk making it not vegan.

You may also notice dry milk powder listed as well.

Want More Cereal Information?

Recommended Guides

Vegan Cereal Guide

Best Vegan Cereals

How To Shop For Vegan Cereals

Favorite Breakfast Supplies