The OJ Post


I’ve decided to bring together some information about Vitamin D-enhanced orange juice from various companies. I’m going to do so in this post. I’ll be writing to various orange juice manufacturers to find out where the vitamin D in their juice comes from. Results will be accumulated here.

Non-animal derived

Hello Ryan:

Thank you for visiting the Tropicana Website. We are happy to answer your questions.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from food. Vitamin D functions to raise the blood levels of calcium and phosphorus and is part of a large group of bone-making and bone-maintaining nutrients and other compounds. Some vitamin D is made in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. The form of vitamin D added to Tropicana products is vitamin D3. It is a synthetic powder and is the same form that is added to milk. Our source of vitamin D is not derived from an animal and the product is kosher certified.

We hope this information is helpful.


Minute Maid
Animal derived

Thank you for contacting Coca-Cola North America, Mr. MacMichael. We appreciate your interest in our brands.

Our Vitamin D is actually made in a process similar to how your own body makes Vitamin D. Your skin naturally makes a cholesterol called 7-dehydrocholesterol. When you go out into the sunlight, the sun irradiates your skin and this 7-dehydrocholesterol is converted into vitamin D3.

Vitamin D used in Minute Maid juice comes from isolating the cholesterol component from lanolin. Cholesterol is then converted to 7-dehydrocholesterol, which when activated by ultra-violet irradiation and purified this component becomes Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).

We hope this information is helpful. Should you have additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Industry and Consumer Affairs

11 Responses to “The OJ Post”

  1. Ryan Howard

    ALL VITAMIN D3 IS NOT VEGAN. It’s cholecalciferol. HENCE, both minute maid AND tropicana use non-vegan D3.

    D2 IS vegan.


  2. Ryan

    Hmmm… that’s what I originally thought, too, but the response from Tropicana directly contradicts that. Perhaps I’ll check with a few other reliable sources and see what they say.

  3. Joe Jepsen

    Is it possible to get OJ without vitamin D added? With all these companies adding synthetic vitamins that arn’t properly processed by the body you can overdoes on them!

    Vitamin D toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. It can also raise blood levels of calcium, causing mental status changes such as confusion.

    High blood levels of calcium also can cause heart rhythm abnormalities. Calcinosis, the deposition of calcium and phosphate in the body’s soft tissues such as the kidney, can also be caused by vitamin D toxicity.

  4. Ryan

    Joe — Sure, lots of OJ comes “plain” or without vitamin D.

  5. holy holily holian

    salutations holiests holy healing life peace truth calm,
    Lanolin, a grease from wool-bearing animals, acts as a skin ointment, water-proofing wax, and raw material (such as in shoe polish).

    Lanolin is “wool fat” or grease, chemically akin to wax, it is produced by wool-bearing animals such as sheep, and is secreted by their sebaceous glands. These glands are associated with hair follicles. Lanolin acts as a waterproofing wax, and recent studies indicate that antibiotics are also present in the lanolin. It aids sheep in shedding water from their coats. Certain breeds of sheep produce large amounts of lanolin, and the extraction can be performed by squeezing the wool between rollers. Lanolin is used commercially in a great many products ranging from rust-preventative coatings to cosmetics. Most or all the lanolin is removed from wool when it is processed into textiles e.g. yarn or felt.

    Lanolin is often used as a raw material for producing vitamin D3.

    so minute maid is not vegan, from an animal. & probably the same with tropicana, for they don’t call sheeps wool animal. i argued this many times with companies that put it in vitamins. but the health department has no power to safeguard us, by omitting the company has to say if its an animal. so either the health department needs, help or it isn’t doing its job.

    we need to check further if that synthetic powder is vegan, for they may call it synthetic because of how its dreived, by squeezing wool hair between rollers. & out comes a product that is synthetic to the people whom care not enough, or fail to relalize they are ignorant that that is an animal product.

    so till more proof comes, vitamin d-3 is non vegan, & the synthetic is probably from sheeps wool or some animal part. it has to be a liver or hand, wing, leg, etc… to be an animal part to some companies, for they are into making money, so don’t care, only if what will sell, & saying products from wool is animal they bypass. they aren’t aware of the health dangers & should be told. if we we tell these major companies to use vitamin d-2 instead, for the synthetic & wool made d-3 is harmful to us, & cruelty is involved.

    blessings of holiests holy healing life peace calm truth 4 ever

  6. Vegan Sommelier

    Actually, yes, it *is* true that vitamin D3 can be synthesized (meaning produced artificially) these days, rather than derived from lanolin. While this is still more the exception than the norm when it comes to D3, the synthetic version does exist, and it is the form used by Tropicana.

  7. Maynard S. Clark

    I hope that we’ll be seeing SOON a spate of articles in major vegetarian, animal rights, natural health, macrobiotic, etc. publications about this issue, with at least this level of sophistication and sensitivity.

  8. Michael Donaldson

    Synthetic vitamin D3, cholecalciferol is available for formulators from DSM Nutritional Products. They are a supplier, not a retailer, but you can encourage the use of this synthetic D3 form in formulas, as it is the form which is bio-identical to what your skin makes in the sunshine.

  9. Cory

    Here is a more recent response from Tropicana saying their D3 is derived from an animal source (though they still call it synthetic):
    “The form of vitamin D added to Tropicana products is Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is considered synthetic and the starting raw material is cholesterol which is derived from wool grease (lanolin).”

    DSM Nutritional Products also uses lanolin as a source material for their D3: (or just search their website for “lanolin”)
    “The manufacturing process of the substance vitamin D3 and its derivatives does not include the use of materials of human origin but does include a material of animal origin. The material of animal origin is wool grease (lanolin) from healthy sheep”

    Neither product is vegan.

  10. Elliot Gang

    At present there is ZERO vegan Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in food or vitamin use. All the alleged vegan D3 is either derived from animals or actually D2.

    There are several expensive syntheses of D3 from plant materials used for producing minute amounts of D3 isotopically labeled in certain locations for research. There exists at least two D3 syntheses that are within spitting distance of being economic, but it is less than obvious how to get there.

    Since the late 1970’s it has been known that D3 and very close relatives are produced in a variety of plants; previously it was thought only D2 and congeners were produced by plants. More interestingly, some common grasses are among the plants capable of D3/homolog production. However, an economic extraction procedure awaits discovery, mostly due to total lack of interest.

    As a rule of thumb, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof – since there have been no publicized economically viable successes and many false claims about vegan D3 I would advise a healthy dose of skepticism. But it could happen – the science is promising.

  11. Ziggy Tomcich

    People should not be taking Vitamin D supplements in any form. Vitamin D should come in the form of sunlight. Dr. Mcdougal, who advocates a vegan diet, wrote about vitamin D supplements and how they often times cause the body more harm than good:

Leave a Reply