A Basic Guide To Food Additives

Albumin: A gelling agent derived from blood plasma or egg white (albumen) used in cake and cookie manufacture. Albumin is also used in cosmetic manufacture. Egg white is sometimes used in ‘clearing’ wines.

Anchovy: Fish. Stinky. Used as a flavoring in pizza sauce, salad dressings, and some prepared sauces.

Artificial Color: May be derived from animal products.

Artificial Flavor: May be derived from animal products.

Aspartic Acid/Aspartame: Aspartame is an artificial sweetener derived from Aspartic Acid, an amino acid that is a component of proteins. Can be animal based.

Biotin: B vitamin found in egg yolks and liver.

Carmine: Crushed insects, used to make food coloring.

Carrageenan: Gelling agent derived from seaweed.

Casein/Caseinate/Sodium Caseinate: Milk product, often found in soy cheeses and other soy ‘dairy’ products.

Cochineal: Produced from crushed cochineal beetles, used as a red food coloring.

Dextrose: A sweetener related to glucose and derived from fruit. Can also be processed with an animal filter.

Diglycerides/Monoglycerides: Derived from glycerol, a colourless sweetener that is a byproduct of soap manufacture (which normally uses animal fat).

Gelatin: Made from boiled bones, used to make Jello, yogurt, marshmallows, candy, ice cream, pill capsules.

Glycerol/Glycerine: May be animal/lard derived (unless otherwise noted).

Guar gum: Food thickener obtained from the guar plant.

Honey: Bees’ food they make for themselves from pollen.

Isinglass: A form of gelatin derived from fish bladders. Can be used to clarify wines.

Jello: Contains gelatin. Vegan jellies and soft puddings made with carrageenan can be found in natural health stores.

Lactic Acid: Used as a preservative. Made by bacterial fermentation and derived from sour milk and fruit.

Lactose: Milk sugar from mammals’ milk.

Lard: Cooking fat, which is a by-product of slaughtered pigs. Found in many cookies, cakes, soups, and other prepared foods.

Lecithin/Soy Lecithin: Lecithin is found in plant and animal tissues. Soy lecithin is derived from soybeans.

Lipase: Enzyme derived from stomachs and tongues of slaughtered animals. Used in cheese making and digestive aids.

Malic acid: Fruit derived.

Marshmellows: Contain gelatin.

Milk: May be fortified with fish oil. Contact the dairy supplier for details of fortifying agents.

‘Natural Sources’: On a label, can mean animal or vegetable ingredients.

Non-Dairy Creamer: Contains dairy products.

Oleic Acid: Derived from natural fats, can be animal based.

Pectin: Found in ripe fruit and vegetables. Solidifies to a gel when heated.

Pepsin: Stomach enzyme used as a clotting agent in some cheeses.

Polysorbate: Usually derived from animal fat.

Rennet: Enzyme made from animal intestines/stomachs and used in cheese making. Vegetable rennet is a plant-based substitute.

Stearic Acid: Animal fat used in chewing gum, food flavouring.

Urea Carbamide: Excreted from urine. Used to brown baked goods such as pretzels.

Whey: A serum from milk. Widely used in bakery products.

Other products to be aware of:

Allantoin: Uric acid, mostly cows but can be found in many plants. Used in cosmetic manufacture.

Down: Bird feathers plucked from ducks and geese. Found in pillows, cushions and duvets.

Lanolin: Extracted from wool, often used in ointments.

Mink oil/musk oil: By product of dead animals.

Shellac: Insect resin.

Silk: Produced by silk worms (commonly obtained by boiling them alive in their cocoons).

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