Generally, we don’t receive any warnings about hidden animal ingredients when we purchase our longtime favorite products. Indeed the term “hidden animal ingredients” is most appropriate.
Nowadays, animal ingredients are hard to recognize in food labels. There are so many new terms making the list of ingredients that it’s hard to keep track of or have any way of knowing whether the chemical word on the food label is a product derived from slaughtered animals or not.
Some of the following are only animal derivatives, and some are both plant and animal derivatives. To find out for certain, most reputable food manufacturers have a customer relations department that will provide ingredient sources and details.
– Albumen. Egg Albumen. Albumin. In eggs, milk, muscles, blood and in many vegetable tissues and fluids. In cakes, cookies, candies, and other foods.
– Biotin– B vitamin found in egg yolks and liver.
– Carmine. Cochineal. Carminic Acid. E120. red pigment from crushed female cochineal insects. It is a red dye used in red apple sauce and other foods.
– Calcium Carbonate. Calcite. Aragonite. A white powder or colorless, crystalline compound, found mainly in limestone, marble, and chalk, bones, teeth, shells and plant ash.
– Gelatin– protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments or bones with water, from cattle and hogs. Used to make marshmallows, yogurt, candy, ice-cream, and pill capsules.
– Glycerol/Glycerine– May be animal/lard-derived (unless otherwise noted). – Isinglass- A form of gelatin prepared from the internal membranes of fish bladders. Used to clarify wines.
– Lard– Cooking fat, which is a by-product of slaughtered pigs. Found in many cookies, cakes, soups, and other prepared or processed foods.
– Lecithin– Unless specifically “soya lecithin”, lecithin could be either plant or animal-derived.
– Lipase– Enzyme from the stomachs and tongues of slaughtered animals. Used in cheese and in the making of digestive aids.
– Monoglycerides. Diglycerides. Glycerides. Derived from glycerol, a colorless sweetener that is a by-product of soap manufacture (which normally uses animal fat).
– Oleic Acid– Derived from natural fats. Could be animal-based. – Polysorbate- Usually derived from animal fats.
– Rennet– Enzyme made from animal (namely cow/calf) intestines/stomachs and used in binding cheese. Found in almost all imported European cheeses, Parmiggiano/Romano cheeses, and many common cheddars.
– Stearic Acid– Animal fat used in chewing gum, food flavoring.
– Urea Carbamide– Excreted from urine. Used to brown baked goods such as pretzels.
Also, be careful of the listing “Artificial Colors” or “Artificial Flavors”, both may be derived from animals.
– Allentoin– Is the uric acid of (mainly) cows. It can also be found in plants. It is used in the manufacturing of cosmetics.
– Mink oil/musk oil– Is a by-product of dead animals.
– Shellac– Insect resin. – Silk- Produced by silk worms, most commonly obtained by boiling them alive.
Generally, we don’t receive any warnings about hidden animal ingredients when we purchase our longtime favorite products. Indeed the term “hidden animal ingredients” is most appropriate. They don’t want us to know that eating a potato chip is no different than eating a pork chop- if one is a vegetarian for ethical reasons.
So be careful at the “trusty” grocery store. Read your food labels carefully and watch out for those tongue twisting chemical terms. All too often, they are just long words for “animal fat”.
Sources: PETA and original research.