Tesco has been criticised for stocking non-vegan oranges despite claiming its fruit is suitable for vegans. The retailer labels its oranges non-vegan because they are treated with shellac, a resin secreted by the female lac bug. A number of other citrus fruits including lemons and limes are also affected by the practice. In response, Tesco has said it is working with growers to develop a vegan-friendly alternative, although customers have criticised the supermarket for being too slow to act.
The post-harvest treatment involves the application of a cosmetic and protective wax to fruit after harvesting to keep it fresh. Shoppers following a plant-based diet should buy organic citrus fruits to avoid using products that are coated in shellac.