Hidden Ingredients of Animal Origin

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Products suitable for vegetarians and vegans should not include animal-origin ingredients because they should in no way be linked with the exploitation of animals.

Plant, mineral and synthetic ingredients processed from plant and mineral sources are not of animal origin, nor are microbiologically fermented plant-based ingredients.

Animal-origin additives

E120—cochineal (crimson, carmine), dye made from Dactylopius coccus beetles, light red coloring/carminic acid
E542—phosphates from bones used in the food industry
E631—sodium 5’-inosinate
E904— shellac, polishing agent (excreted by insects)
Calcium meso-inositol
Sperm oil/spermaceti derived from the sperm whale

Possibly animal derived additives (do not have to be of animal origin):

E101 – riboflavin, lactoflavin, vitamin B2
E101(a) – riboflavin 5’-phosphate
E153 – carbon black; animal derived: from bones, animal-free version: vegetable carbon
E161(b) – lutein
E161(g) – canthaxanthin
E236 – formic acid
E237 – sodium formate
E238 – calcium formate
E270 – lactic acid
E322 – lecithin
E325 – sodium lactate
E326 – potassium lactate
E327 – calcium lactate
E422 – glycerol (glycerin)
E430 (no longer permitted in food) – polyoxyethylene (8) stearate, polyoxyl (8) stearate
E431 – polyoxyethylene (40) stearate, polyoxyl (40) stearate
E432 – polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monolaurate (polysorbate 20)—detergent
E433 – polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan mono-oleate (polysorbate 80)
E434 – polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monopalmitate (polysorbate 40)
E435 – polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate (polysorbate 60)
E436 – polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan tristearate (polysorbate 65)
E470(a) – sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids
E470(b) – magnesium salts of fatty acids
E471 – mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate
E472(a) – acetic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472(b) – lactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acid
E472(c) – citric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472(d) – tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472(e) – mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472(f) – mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E473 – sucrose esters of fatty acids
E474 – sucroglycerides
E475 – polyglycerol esters of fatty acid
E476 – polyglycerol esters of interesterified ricinoleic acid (polyglycerol polyricinoleate); polyglycerol esters of dimerized fatty acids of soya bean oil
E477 – propylene glycol esters of fatty acids; propane-1,2-diol esters of fatty acids
E478 – lactylated fatty acid esters of glycerol and propane-1, 2-diol
E479(b) – thermally oxidized soya bean oil interacted with mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids
E481 – sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate
E482 – calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate
E483 – stearyl tartrate
E491 – sorbitan monostearate
E492 – sorbitan tristearate, span 65
E493 – sorbitan monolaurate, span 20
E494 – sorbitan mono-oleate, span 80
E495 – sorbitan monopalmitate, span 40
E570 – fatty acids (including myristic, stearic, palmitic and oleic), butyl stearate
E572 – magnesium salts of fatty acids (including magnesium stearate); calcium stearate
E585 – iron(II) lactate
E627 – guanosine 5’-disodium phosphate, disodium 5’-guanylate
E635 – disodium 5’-ribonucleotide
E640 – glycine and its sodium salt
E920 – cysteine (I), L-cysteine, sodium cysteine hydrochloride (II), potassium cysteine hydrochloride (III)
E1518 – glyceryl triacetate (triacetin)—glyceryl mono-, di- and tri-acetate (triacetin), calcium hepatonate, diacetin glyceryl, leucine, monoacetin, oxystearin

Animal fiber

- angora, astrakhan (curly lamb wool originally from Astrakhan, Russia), cashmere, mohair, wool, silk

Animal milk products

- casein, caseinates, lactates, lactose, butter, whey

Bee products

- pollen, beeswax, bee venom, honey, propolis, royal jelly

Human-origin products

- e.g. creatine, placenta

Marine animal products

- ambergris (an aromatic substance from the digestive tract of whales), caviar, chitin, coral, fish scales, isinglass (for clarification of some pale beers, obtained from fish bladder), oils and extracts obtained from marine animals (roe oil, shark oil, seal oil, sperm oil), natural sponge, pearls, roe, shellfish (flesh and shells), spermaceti (wax extracted from the head cavity of the sperm whale)


- amniotic fluids, animal and fish glues, carmine/carminic acid, strings (catgut), buckskin (deer hide), crushed snail shells, crushed insects, fixatives (civet musk, castoreum), essential oils (musk from glands of the musk deer), hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone), ivory, lanolin, mink oil, parchment, placenta, silk, shellac, snake venom, some vitamins (e.g. D3), urea, vellum (high quality parchment), any carriers, processing aids and release agents which contain animal-derived ingredients

Slaughter by-products

- animal fats (tallow, lard, suet, dripping), amino acids, aspic, bone, bone charcoal, bone meal, bristles, collagen, dried blood, fatty acid derivatives, feather, down, fur, gelatin, glycerin/glycerol, hair, skin (in the footwear and textile industry etc.), hoof and horn meal, oleic acid, oleoic oil (obtained by pressing lard), oleostearin, pepsin, proteins (elastin from eggs, keratin, reticulin), rennet (enzyme from calf and lamb stomach, used in cheese making), stearates, stearic acid, stearin


Animal-derived ingredients are not always obvious, such as:
- carriers—gelatin is used to carry beta-carotene and vitamin D2
- processing aids—lactose is used to fix flavor in crunchy products (chips etc.)
- release agents—used in the baking industry to prevent baking products and cakes from sticking to the molds and cooking containers

Animal tested products

The production and/or development of a product and its ingredients should not include animal-derived ingredients. Raw materials from other producers that have been tested on animals should not be used in the production.

Related Topics

3D model of a food additive



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