Oryx Desert Salt Logo
Oryx Desert Salt Logo

7 Hidden Non-Vegan Ingredients: Read The Label!


November 1st is world vegan day and did you know that according to google trends, South Africa ranks among the world’s top 25 nations where veganism is most popular?  In fact, these days the interest in veganism in South Africa is at an all time high.


Veganism means so much more than just eating a plant-based diet; it would be more accurate to see it as a way of life. It’s a philosophy of living which strives to avoid any kind of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing or any other purpose and instead promotes the use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment.


Meat and dairy products are obvious no-no’s if you’re vegan, but you’ll be surprised to discover how many animal-derived ingredients can be sneaked into processed foods.  There’s only one way to be sure and that is to only buy foods that are certified vegan and to read ingredient listings very carefully.

 Here are some non-vegan ingredients to look out for, some fairly obvious and some far less so:

  • Honey as a sweetener – we sometimes forget that bees form part of the animal kingdom!
  • Gelatin (derived from animal (usually cow) collagen) is a gelling agent frequently found in fruit snacks, marshmallows, desserts and candies
  • Casein is a protein derived from animal’s milk (sheep or cow) and sometimes will be listed in non-dairy food items like soy cheese. It can be listed as calcium caseinate or sodium caseinate which may not initially alert you to its animal origins.
  • Confectioner’s Glaze on Candy – also listed as resinous glaze, shellac, natural glaze or pure food glaze, comes from the hardened resinous material secreted by the lac insect (yes, we know… eeeww!) You’ll know it’s there on sweets which have a super-glossy sheen.
  • Isinglass is a common ingredient used to clarify fermented drinks such as beer or wine. It’s made from fish bladders and is therefore definitely not vegan.  You can’t taste the difference so you’ll need to depend on finding out whether your favourite tipple contains it by checking on their website.
  • L.Cysteine is an ingredient processed from feathers or hog hair and is used as a conditioner in some pre-packed breads and baked goods and also to produce meaty flavours.
  • Whey is the whitish liquid left over in cheese-making after milk has been curdled (Remember Miss Muffet eating her curds and whey?) It’s often added to nutritional supplements and protein shakes.


Although our products don’t carry a vegan certification, the answer is YES! Our entire range is cruelty-free, ethically sourced, and contains no animal-derived products of any kind.

Salt is vital for life, but health-giving salt is so much more than just sodium chloride. Our salt is pure, harvested from an unpolluted source in the pristine Kalahari Desert and is unrefined, preserving all its natural essential minerals and micro-nutrients vital for optimal health.

Spot the iconic Oryx horns on restaurant tables and in retail stores nationwide. South African customers can find Oryx Desert Salt in premium Woolworths stores, Cape Union Mart, Pick ‘n Pay, Food Lovers Market, Dischem and Spar as well as most health shops and deli’s countrywide.

Also available in Whole Foods Market stores in the USA, Namibia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Germany, UK, Taiwan, Nigeria and launching in Australia next.
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