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Home arrow Avoiding Animal Products arrow Animal-Derived Food Additives
Animal-Derived Food Additives Print E-mail
Animal-Derived Food Additives List (Page last updated in September 2007)

Let's face it, unless you're a food technologist or you've done a major in chemistry, 'L-Cysteine Hydrochloride' or 'Stearoyl Lactylate' are not going to mean much to you. So what do you do if you're a vegetarian and you wish to avoid food additives that are derived from animal products? You refer to tables like the ones on this page, that's what!

Additives on product labels are listed as a number (e.g. emulsifier (471)) or by the name. For ease of reference, that's why we've listed the additives by both name and by number. Also, many additives may be derived from plants/minerals/(the lab!) or from animals, so we've separated additives into those that ARE derived from animals, and those that MAY BE derived from animals. In the case of the latter, you will need to check with the manufacturer of the product to be sure about its suitability for vegetarians and vegans.

Please note:
The information provided on this page is accurate and correct to the best of our knowledge. No responsibility or liability will be taken for information that is subsequently found to be incorrect. As manufacturers can vary the source of the ingredients in their products from time to time, if you wish to ensure that a product is definitely suitable for vegetarians or vegans, you will need to contact them directly for confirmation.

Animal-Derived Food Additives List

Index to this page:
   - Food Additives Derived from Animal Products (listed by number)
   - Food Additives THAT MAY BE Derived from Animal Products (listed by number)
   - Food Additives Derived from Animal Products (listed by name)
   - Food Additives THAT MAY BE Derived from Animal Products (listed by name)

As at September 2007, any food additives not on the lists below are, to the best of our knowledge, always suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

 

          FOOD ADDITIVES DERIVED FROM ANIMAL PRODUCTS
         (listed by number)

CODE

ADDITIVE

DESCRIPTION

120

Cochineal A natural red colour derived from the bodies of pregnant scale insects.

441

Gelatine A thickening, stabilising emulsifying agent made by boiling animal (usually cattle or pigs) skin, ligaments, bones, sinews or other tissue.

469

Sodium Caseinate An emulsifier, stabiliser & binder, derived from cow’s milk.

542

Bone Phosphate An anti-caking agent made from the degreased steam-extract from animal bones.

901

Beeswax (white & yellow) A glazing and polishing agent made from bee honeycomb.

904

Shellac Glazing agent obtained from the resin produced by the lac insect.

 

   FOOD ADDITIVES THAT MAY BE DERIVED FROM ANIMAL PRODUCTS
    (listed by number)

CODE

ADDITIVE

COMMENTS

153

Carbon Black   

160a

Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma- Carotene May be held in gelatine matrix.

161g

Canthaxanthin   

252

Potassium Nitrate   

270

Lactic Acid Lactic acid is bitter-tasting acid that forms when certain bacteria combine with lactose (milk or sugar). It is used to impart a tart flavour, as well as in the preservation of some foods. It occurs naturally in the souring of milk and can be found in foods such as cheese (used in coagulation) and yogurt. It's also used in the production of acid-fermented foods such as pickles and sauerkraut.

322

Lecithin An emulsifier (which allows water & oils to mix); is mostly derived from soy beans, seeds, peanuts and maize. Although it may be derived from eggs, in this form it is declared as ‘egg yolk’ and not as ‘322’.

325

Sodium Lactate A derivative of lactic acid.

326

Potassium Lactate A derivative of lactic acid.

327

Calcium Lactate A derivative of lactic acid.

328

Ammonium Lactate A derivative of lactic acid.

329

Magnesium Lactate A derivative of lactic acid.

422

Glycerol/Glycerin May be produced from animal fats, synthesised from propylene or from fermentation of sugars.

430

Polyoxyethylene (8) Stearate   

431

Polyoxyethylene (40) Stearate   

432

Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Monolaurate or Polysorbate 20   

433

Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Mono-Oleate or Polysorbate 80   

434

Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Monopalmitate   

435

Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Monostearate or Polysorbate 60   

436

Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Tristearate or Polysorbate 65   

442

Ammonium Phosphatides   

470a

Sodium, Potassium and Calcium Salts of Fatty Acids   

470b

Magnesium Stearate   

471

Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids   

472a

Acetic & Fatty Esters of Glycerol   

472b

Lactic & Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol   

472c

Citric & Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol   

472d

Tartaric & Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol   

472e

Di-Acetyl Tartaric & Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol   

472f

Mixed Acetic and Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids   

473

Sucrose Esters of Fatty Acids   

474

Sucroglycerides   

475

Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids   

476

Polyglycerol Esters of Interesterified Ricinoleic Acid   

477

Propylene Glycol Mono- and Di-Esters   

478

Lactylated Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol and Propane-1,2 Diol   

479b

Thermally Oxidised Soya Bean Oil Interacted With Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids   

481

Sodium Oleyl or Stearoyl Lactylate   

482

Calcium Oleyl or Stearoyl Lactylate   

483

Stearyl Tartrate   

491

Sorbitan Monostearate   

492

Sorbitan Tristearate   

493

Sorbitan Monolaurate   

494

Sorbitan Mono-Oleate   

495

Sorbitan Monopalmitate   

570

Stearic Acid   

572

Magnesium Stearate   

585

Ferrous Lactate   

627

Disodium 5'-Guanylate A flavour enhancer, isolated from sardines or yeast extract.

630

Inosinic Acid   

631

Disodium Inosinate A flavour enhancer, often prepared from meat extract and dried sardines. It can also be a synthetic product made via a microbial synthesis process that begins with a vegetable source.

635

Sodium 5'-Ribonucleotides Flavour enhancer.

640

Glycine and its Sodium Salt   

910

L-Cysteine A flour treatment agent that can be extracted from duck and chicken feathers.

920

L-Cysteine Monohydrochloride L-Cysteine is a flour treatment agent that can be extracted from duck and chicken feathers.

921

L-Cysteine Hydrochloride Monohydrate L-Cysteine is a flour treatment agent that can be extracted from duck and chicken feathers.

966

Lactitol   

1518

Glycerol Mono-, Di- and Tri-Acetate or Tracetin   

 

                 FOOD ADDITIVES DERIVED FROM ANIMAL PRODUCTS
                 (listed by name)

ADDITIVE

CODE

DESCRIPTION

Beeswax (white & yellow)

901

A glazing and polishing agent made from bee honeycomb.
Bone Phosphate

542

An anti-caking agent made from the degreased steam-extract from animal bones.
Cochineal

120

A natural red colour derived from the bodies of pregnant scale insects.
Gelatine

441

A thickening, stabilising emulsifying agent made by boiling animal (usually cattle or pigs) skin, ligaments, bones, sinews or other tissue.
Shellac

904

Glazing agent obtained from the lac insect.

Sodium Caseinate

469

An emulsifier, stabiliser & binder, derived from cow’s milk.

 

                FOOD ADDITIVES THAT MAY BE DERIVED FROM ANIMAL
      PRODUCTS
      (listed by name)

ADDITIVE

CODE

COMMENTS

Acetic & Fatty Esters of Glycerol

472a

  

Alpha-Carotene

160a

May be held in gelatine matrix.
Ammonium Lactate

328

A derivative of lactic acid.
Ammonium Phosphatides

442

  
Beta-Carotene

160a

May be held in gelatine matrix.
Calcium Oleyl

482

  

Calcium Lactate

327

A derivative of lactic acid.

Canthaxanthin

161g

  
Carbon Black

153

  
Citric & Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol

472c

  
Di-Acetyl Tartaric & Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol

472e

  
Disodium 5'-Guanylate

627

A flavour enhancer, isolated from sardines or yeast extract. 
Disodium Inosinate

631

A flavour enhancer, often prepared from meat extract and dried sardines. It can also be a synthetic product made via a microbial synthesis process that begins with a vegetable source.
Ferrous Lactate

585

  
Gamma-Carotene

160a

May be held in gelatine matrix.
Glycerol/Glycerin

422

May be produced from animal fats, synthesised from propylene or from fermentation of sugars.
Glycerol Di-Acetate

1518

  
Glycerol Mono-Acetate

1518

  
Glycerol Tri-Acetate

1518

  
Glycine and its Sodium Salt

640

  
Inosinic Acid

630

  
Lactitol

966

  
Lactic Acid

270

Lactic acid is bitter-tasting acid that forms when certain bacteria combine with lactose (milk or sugar). It is used to impart a tart flavour, as well as in the preservation of some foods. It occurs naturally in the souring of milk and can be found in foods such as cheese (used in coagulation) and yogurt. It's also used in the production of acid-fermented foods such as pickles and sauerkraut.
Lactic & Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol

472b

  
Lactylated Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol

478

  
L-Cysteine

910

A flour treatment agent that can be extracted from duck and chicken feathers.
L-Cysteine Monohydrochloride

920

L-Cysteine is a flour treatment agent that can be extracted from duck and chicken feathers.
L-Cysteine Hydrochloride Monohydrate

921

L-Cysteine is a flour treatment agent that can be extracted from duck and chicken feathers.
Lecithin

322

An emulsifier (which allows water & oils to mix), is mostly derived from soy beans, seeds, peanuts and maize. Although it may be derived from eggs, in this form it is declared as ‘egg yolk’ and not as ‘322’.
Magnesium Lactate

329

A derivative of lactic acid.
Magnesium Stearate

470b,572

  
Mixed Acetic and Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids

472f

  
Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids

471

  
Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids

475

  
Polyglycerol Esters of Interesterified Ricinoleic Acid

476

  
Potassium Lactate

326

A derivative of lactic acid.
Potassium Nitrate

252

  
Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Monolaurate

432

  
Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Mono-Oleate

433

  
Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Monopalmitate

434

  
Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Monostearate

435

  
Polyoxyethylene (20) Sorbitan Tristearate

436

  
Polyoxyethylene (8) Stearate

430

  
Polyoxyethylene (40) Stearate

431

  
Polysorbate 20

432

  
Polysorbate 60

435

  
Polysorbate 65

436

  
Polysorbate 80

433

  
Propane-1,2 Diol

478

  
Propylene Glycol Mono- and Di-Esters

477

  
Sodium 5'-Ribonucleotides

635

Flavour enhancer.
Sodium Lactate

325

  
Sodium Oleyl

481

A derivative of lactic acid.
Sodium, Potassium and Calcium Salts of Fatty Acids

470a

  
Sorbitan Monolaurate

493

  
Sorbitan Mono-Oleate

494

  
Sorbitan Monopalmitate

495

  
Sorbitan Monostearate

491

  
Sorbitan Tristearate

492

  
Stearoyl Lactylate

481, 482

A derivative of lactic acid.
Stearyl Tartrate

483

  
Sucroglycerides

474

  
Sucrose Esters of Fatty Acids

473

  
Stearic Acid

570

  
Tartaric & Fatty Acid Esters of Glycerol

472d

  
Thermally Oxidised Soya Bean Oil Interacted With Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids

479b

  
Tracetin

1518

  


The information on this page was adapted from the following sources:
- 'Veg Out!  The How, What, Why, When and Where of Vegetarianism' (Tom Perry, 2000).
- The Vegetarian Society of the UK's E Numbers Information Sheet
- 'The Chemical Maze, Your Guide to Food Additives and Cosmetic Ingredients' (Bill Statham 2001)

 
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