Is Cream of Tartar Vegan? – Yes, Here’s Why…

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Cream of tartar’s real name is potassium bitartrate.

You’ll find it in grocery stores in the baking aisle or by the spices.

It’s a byproduct of winemaking, used as a stabilizer in baking, most commonly when whipping up heavy cream or an alternative.

You might be worried that it comes from the winemaking process, because not all wine is vegan, but I’ll walk you through why it’s not an issue.

How Cream of Tartar Is Made During Winemaking

cream of tartar

Potassium bitartrate crystallizes during the fermentation process of grape juice, and is then extracted.

There are 5 main stages of winemaking:

  1. Harvesting
  2. Crushing and pressing
  3. Fermentation – Where potassium bitartrate is formed and extracted
  4. Clarification – Where animal products are sometimes used
  5. Aging and bottling

The reason that some wine isn’t vegan, is that animal products like gelatin and isinglass are often used during the “clarification” stage in order to remove unwanted particles that remain at this stage.

If potassium bitartrate formed and was removed at this stage, you could argue that it wasn’t vegan.

However, it’s removed before that stage, during fermentation instead.

SUMMARY

Cream of Tartar is derived from grapes during the winemaking process, and is made before any animal products are ever used.

Verdict: Cream of Tartar is Clearly Vegan

Despite having “cream” in its name, cream of tartar is vegan-friendly.

It comes straight from grapes, and is never in contact with an animal product (yeast, used during fermentation, is considered vegan).

You can buy cream of tartar from just about any grocery store in the baking aisle, and don’t need to buy a special vegan one, since I’ve never seen one with any added ingredients.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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