CategoryIngredients

Is Shellac Vegan?

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To some vegans, shellac is a bit of a grey area. Most vegans who have read up on it try to avoid it, but don’t consider it the end of the world if they accidentally eat some. To understand why, let’s look at the argument from both sides. The Argument Against Shellac Being Vegan Technically, shellac is an animal product, so by a strict definition of veganism, it already...

Are Monoglycerides and Diglycerides Vegan? (E471)

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The short answer for this question is that some monoglycerides and diglycerides are vegan, and some are not. Sorry to say, there’s no easy answer that always applies. The reason is because glycerides are made commercially by a reaction between triglycerides and glycerol. If you’ve read my post on if glycerol is vegan, you’ll know that some glycerol comes from plant sources...

Is Potassium Sorbate Vegan?

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The short answer is that yes, potassium sorbate is vegan. It’s an ingredient you’ll often find in non-vegan foods like cheese, yogurt, and dried meats. But you’ll also find it in soft drinks, wines, baked goods, and a few other pre-packaged foods. What is Potassium Sorbate Used For? Potassium sorbate is a safe, food-grade preservative that slows mold and yeast growth in foods...

How Are Oats Made? (Steel cut, rolled, and quick)

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How you get from a wild oat plant like this: To the boxes of oats that you see in stores? It’s not too complicated, so let me break down the main steps for you as simply as possible. The Basic 5 Step Process of Making Steel Cut Oats Processing oats really isn’t all that different from most grains. While it will differ based on the facility, there are typically 5 main steps: Washing and cleaning...

Are Artificial Colors Vegan? Here are the facts…

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Artificial colors are everywhere in packaged foods, especially if you live in the United States. I’m going to look at each of the 8 most common artificial dyes that you’ll come across. Note that of these 8, three of them are much more popular than the rest: red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6. The Big Issue: Animal Testing All of these “artificial” colors are either made in commercial labs from...

Is Lactic Acid Vegan?

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You’ll find lactic acid (also called butyl lactate, ethyl lactate) in all sorts of things. Pickles, bread, soy products, etc. It’s common to be worried about it because we associate it with lactose (a sugar in dairy). Lactic acid is made by fermenting sugars. That sugar can be lactose (from dairy), but most lactic acid comes from sucrose, beet juice, or cornstarch (source). In...

Is Caramel Vegan?

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A lot of caramel is vegan, but some is not. The tricky part is that a lot of products that list “caramel” in the ingredients don’t specify if it contains dairy or not, or how it was made. There are 2 main issues that caramel may or may not have. Issue #1 – Dairy The simplest, pure caramel is made only by heating sugars. But a lot of products use caramel, or a caramel sauce that...

Is Gelatin Vegan?

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Gelatin is 100% NOT vegan. It’s made from the collagen in bones, skin, and hides of mainly pigs and cows. When it comes to candy, gelatin is a vegan’s biggest enemies. The biggest user of gelatin is JELL-O, but tons of gummy candies also use it to give the jelly-like texture. There’s no perfect vegan substitute, although pectin is a pretty good one. How Is Gelatin Made...

Is Citric Acid Vegan?

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Yes, citric acid is vegan. It’s a chemical that naturally occurs in citrus fruits (lemons, limes oranges, etc.). Given that it comes from fruits and is easily obtainable, all citric acid that you’ll find comes from these plant sources, and is therefore vegan. It was first isolated in a lab in 1784 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele using lemon juice. You’ll often find citric acid added to...

Is Xanthan Gum Vegan

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Verdict: Most xantham gum is vegan, but you’ll have to contact the manufacturer to be 100% sure. For such a small and not particularly common ingredient, this was a fairly tricky one to get to the bottom of. The reason why is that is produced by fermenting a specific type of bacteria. The problem is that there are many different ingredients used to culture it. This includes: Sugar cane...