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Is It Vegan?

So is it vegan? Here is a list of faq's asked by people who want to know if there are any animal ingredients in their food. This page will be added to as I go along.



Don't forget those pesky e numbers which may or may not be animal derived. Also here is a list of foods suitable for vegans.

  • Is vitamin D vegan?

  • Is lactic acid vegan?

  • Is sugar vegan?

  • Are bagels vegan?

  • What about alcohol?

  • On the ingredients list of my favourite product, it says "natural flavourings". What are these?

  • Are soya products all vegan?

  • Is casein vegan?

  • Is gluten vegan?

  • Is glycerine vegan?

  • Is cocoa butter vegan?

  • Is malic acid vegan?

  • Is Coca Cola vegan?

  • What about caramel colour?

  • Is artificial flavouring vegan?

  • Are McCain potato products suitable for vegans?

    Is vitamin D vegan?

    Vitmain D3 (cholecalciferol) is derived from the lanolin of sheep. Lanolin is a product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool, so is not vegan. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is derived from yeast so is therefore suitable for vegans.


    Is lactic acid vegan?

    This is a confusing one. Lactic acid is mostly suitable for vegans as it is usually derived from cornstarch or beet sugar. Occassionally it can be derived from stearate (slaughterhouse derivative), which would make it unsuitable for vegans. However, this kind of lactic acid is less common in commercial foods due to lactose intolerance. If you want to be 100% certain - contact the manufacturer.

    Generally, any ingredient that starts with "lac" are vegan, whereas ingredients with "lactose" are not suitable for vegans as they are always derived from dairy.


    Is sugar vegan?

    Sugar itself is vegan but some sugars are filtered with bone char. Look out for organic sugar as these do not go through the refining process and are therefore suitabe for vegans.

    More on vegan sugar.


    Are bagels vegan?

    Most are suitable for vegans as long as they do not contain any obvious ingredients such as milk and eggs. Bagels are mostly made from a basic bread dough which will be vegan. Make sure they are not glazed with egg/milk or honey.

    More on bagels.


    What about alcohol?

    Some alcohol is clarified with animal based products such as egg whites, gelatin and isinglass (isinglass is a powder which is derived from fish bladder). This means that alcohol which is clarified this way is unsuitable for vegans. Some alcohol is clarified with earth based materials, which would be suitable for vegans. More on vegan alcohol.


    On the ingredients list of my favourite product, it says "natural flavourings". What are these?

    Difficult one this. Natural flavourings can either be plant or animal derived. The only way to check this out is to ring the manufacturer. Obviously if the product is labeled as being vegan, the natural flavourings will be plant derived.


    Are soya products vegan?

    Not neccessarily. Soya products such as soya cheese can still contain ingredients derived from animals. Some vegetarian soya products contain egg and milk so are also not suitable for vegans.


    Is casein vegan?

    No. Casein is derived from animal milk. Look out for this in soy cheeses and other products which may appear to be vegan. Caseinates such as calcium caseinate, potassium caseinate and sodium caseinate are derived from casein and are also not suitable for vegans.


    Is gluten vegan?

    Gluten is typically made from wheat, rye and barley protein so is suitable for vegans. Sometimes called seitan.


    Is glycerine vegan?

    Glycerine is commonly animal based but can be derived from vegetables. You will need to contact the manufacturer of the product to find out.


    Is cocoa butter vegan?

    Yes. Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil or theobroma cacao, is a pale yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cacao bean. It is used to make chocolate, pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries. Cocoa butter has a mild chocolate flavour and smell.


    Is malic acid vegan?

    Yes. You may sometimes see this ingredient on a product label but as it is derived from fruit, it is suitable for vegans.


    Is Coca Cola vegan?

    Taken from their UK website:

    None of the products of Coca-Cola Great Britain contain milk, egg or ingredients derived from mammals. As some practicing vegetarians avoid fish products as well, it is important to note that some of our products contain minute traces of fish gelatine, which is used as a stabiliser for the beta-carotene colour. These products are: 'Lilt ' and 'Lilt' Zero ‘Relentless’ Inferno 'Kia-Ora' Orange Squash and 'Kia-Ora' Orange Squash no added sugar 'Minute Maid' Orange & Passionfruit 'Schweppes' Deuce no added sugar Orange & Guava 'Powerade' Orange.


    What about caramel colour?

    Caramel colour is derived from corn or cane sugar and is made commercially by heating sugar and other carbohydrates under controlled conditions to achieve the desired colour. It is suitable for vegans.


    Are artificial flavourings vegan?

    Can be either animal or plant derived. The definition of a flavorant is: "the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavouring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or any other edible portions of a plant, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose primary function in food is flavouring rather than nutritional."


    Are McCain potato products suitable for vegans?

    This from the company:

    All of our products are cooked in sunflower oil, however our Simply Gorgeous range is basted in beef fat, but this is carried out in an isolated building away from our main production line.

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