How to identify animal ingredients in foods

For many years now, animal rights activists have been trying by hook or by crook to ban the use of ingredients of animal origin in industry, but so far in vain. And if meat-eaters are of little interest to these questions, then vegetarians who deliberately give up meat, milk or eggs can continue to use them or their derivatives, without even knowing about it. You can eliminate such situations and remain unconvinced by learning how to define them. Moreover, this is not as difficult as it seems.

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Perhaps, industrial production is unthinkable without food additives. They help to improve the taste of food products, change their color, and finally extend the shelf life. Depending on their origin, they are all divided into several types, but vegetarians, by virtue of their beliefs, are interested in natural supplements of animal origin. Simply because they are made from raw materials that animals give. Most often it is animal fats or them pigment cells… The first are used for making émwlgatorovand the latter – dyes… Meanwhile, such ingredients are often produced from cartilage, crushed bones of killed animals, or enzymes secreted by their stomachs.

How to identify animal ingredients in foods

The surest way to determine the origin of ingredients is to contact a technologist. The fact is that along with additives of animal or plant origin, there are also controversial ingredients that can be made from one or the other raw materials. True, information about them is always indicated on the package, although sometimes it is somewhat veiled, which can confuse even an experienced vegetarian. Therefore, in order to deal with it, it is worth studying the entire list of food additives of animal origin, as well as the specifics of their use where possible.

Animal ingredients in food

According to the Ontario Livestock Council, the industry uses 98% of animal organisms, 55% of which is food. What is this and where are they going? There are a lot of options.

  • – the very substance that is obtained from the bones, tendons and cartilage of animals after their death during prolonged boiling. It is formed thanks to collagen, an integral part of connective tissue, which is transformed into gluten… The liquid obtained after cooking is evaporated and clarified. After cooling, it turns into jelly, which is then dried and used in the process of making marmalade, flour and sweets. The main advantages of gelatin are determined by its properties: it is transparent, tasteless and odorless, and at the same time easily converts the confectionery mass into jelly. Meanwhile, few people know that vegetable gelatin has the same properties, which is more preferable for vegetarians. It is made from agar-agar, citrus and apple peel, seaweed, carob. A person who once gave up meat should be guided by confectionery products made with vegetable gelatin.
  • Abomasum, or rennet. It can be of animal origin, when it is obtained from the stomach of a newborn calf, or vegetable, microbial or microbacterial. All three of the latter methods produce an ingredient that vegetarians can consume. Abomasum itself is a substance that is widely used in the production of cheeses and some types of cottage cheese. Its main advantage, for which it is valued in the food industry, is its ability to break down and process. It is interesting that this enzyme has no analogues and is not produced artificially, therefore it is quite expensive. However, fortunately, it is not always applied. On the market, you can still find cheeses made with the addition of ingredients of plant origin, such as: Adyghe or Oltermanni, etc. First of all, they are given by additives of non-animal origin, which are indicated by the names: Fromase, Maxilact, Milase, Meito Microbial Rennet.
  • Albumin is a substance that is nothing more than dried serum proteins. It is used instead of the more expensive egg white when baking bakery products, cakes, pastries, as it beats well, forming a foam.
  • Pepsin is most often a supplement of animal origin, in addition to those cases when it is accompanied by the postscript “microbial”. Only in this case is it “allowed” to vegetarians.
  • Vitamin D3. An additive of animal origin, since it is a raw material for its manufacture.
  • Lecithin. This information will primarily interest vegans, since animal lecithin is made from eggs, while soy is made from soy. Along with it, you can find vegetable lecithin, which is also actively used in the food industry.
  • Carmine. May be denoted by the names carminic acid, cochineal, E120… It is a colorant that gives jams, drinks, or marmalades a red hue. It is obtained from the body of Coccus cacti or Dactylopius coccus females. They are insects that live on fleshy plants and their eggs. Needless to say, for the production of 1 kg of the substance, a huge number of females are used, collected just before laying eggs, since during this period they acquire a red color. Subsequently, their casings are dried, treated with all sorts of substances and filtered, obtaining a natural but expensive dye. At the same time, its shades depend solely on the acidity of the environment and can vary from orange to red and purple.
  • Coal, or CARBON BLACK (hydrocarbon). Indicated by a mark E152 and can be a vegetable or animal ingredient. A variety of it is Carbo Animalis, which is obtained from the burning of cow carcasses. It can be found on the labels of certain products, although it is prohibited for use by some organizations.
  • Lutein, or LUTEIN (Е161b) – is made from, however, in some cases it can be obtained from plant materials, for example, mignonette.
  • Cryptoxanthin, or KRYPTOXANTHIN, is an ingredient that may be referred to as Е161с and be made from both vegetable and animal raw materials.
  • Rubixanthin, or RUBIXANTHIN, is a food supplement that is marked on the packaging with an icon Е161d and can also be of animal or non-animal origin.
  • Rhodoxanthin, or RHODOXANTHIN, is an ingredient identified on the packaging as E161f and made from both types of raw materials.
  • Violoxanthin, or VIOLOXANTHIN. You can recognize this additive by labeling E161e… It can also be of animal and non-animal origin.
  • Canthaxanthin, or CANTHANTHIN. Indicated by a mark Е161g and is of two types: plant and animal origin.
  • Potassium nitrate, or NITRATE is the ingredient most often labeled by manufacturers E252… The substance has a negative effect on the body, since at best it simply increases blood pressure, and at worst it contributes to the development of cancer. At the same time, it can be made from both animal raw materials and non-animal raw materials (potassium nitrate).
  • Propionic acid, or PROPIONIC ACID. Known by label E280… In fact, it is a by-product of the production of acetic acid, which is obtained during fermentation. However, there is an opinion that in some cases it can be an ingredient of animal origin. Nevertheless, it is necessary to avoid it not only for this reason. The fact is that propionic acid is a carcinogen.
  • Calcium malates, or MALATES. Indicated by a mark E352 and are considered ingredients of animal origin, although opinion is controversial.
  • Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate, or E433… There are doubts about this nutritional supplement, as it is rumored that it is obtained through the use of pork fat.
  • Di- and monoglycerides of fatty acids, or MONO- AND DI-GLYCERIDES OF FATTY ACIDS. Indicated by marking E471 and are formed from by-products of the meat industry, such as, or from vegetable fats.
  • Calcium phosphate, or bone phosphate, which is known by the tag E542.
  • Monosodium glutamate, or MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE. It is not difficult to find it on the packaging, since there it is indicated by a mark E621… The origin of the ingredient is controversial, since in Russia it is obtained from sugar production waste. Nevertheless, this is not a reason to remain loyal to him, because, according to the American public, it is monosodium glutamate that leads to the development of attention deficit disorder and even in schoolchildren. Most often, the first manifests itself in the form of sharp, unreasonable desires to eat, even if certain foods. However, to date, these are only guesses that have not been confirmed by official science.
  • Inosinic acid, or INOSINIC ACID (E630) Is an ingredient derived from animal and fish tissue.
  • Sodium and potassium salts of L-listein, or L-CYSTEINE AND ITS HYDROCHLRIDES – AND POTASSIUM SALTS is an additive that is indicated by the label E920 and, according to unconfirmed reports, is made from animal hair, bird feathers or human hair.
  • Lanolin, or LANOLINE – an ingredient that is indicated by a mark E913 and represents the sweat marks appearing on the wool of sheep.

What else should vegetarians fear?

Among food additives, there are other particularly dangerous types that are best avoided. And the point here is not only in their origin, but also in the effect on the body. This is about:

  • E220… This is sulfur dioxide, or SULPHUR DIOXIDE, which is often fumigated with. A seemingly common substance can actually interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12, or even worse – contribute to its destruction.
  • E951… This is aspartame, or ASPARTAME, at first glance, a safe synthetic substance that acts as a sweetener. But in fact, this is the strongest poison, which in the body is transformed almost into formalin and can be fatal. Aspartame is prized by manufacturers for the incredible feeling of hunger and the desire to eat tons of hydrocarbon foods, which is why it is added to the composition of sweet sodas. By the way, this is why the latter are often on the shelves side by side with chips and cereals. In several countries, it was banned after the athlete drank dietary Pepsi with its content after training and died.

Needless to say, the list of harmful and even dangerous ingredients that are undesirable not only for vegetarians, but also for ordinary people, is endless, because it is constantly being replenished. How to protect yourself and your health in these conditions? Carefully read the labels, cook it yourself if possible and use only natural food additives, for example, vanilla pods instead of artificial vanillin, and never get hung up on the bad, but just enjoy life!

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