Animal Derived Ingredients in Food and other products

E120 Carmine

E120 Carmine (Red food colouring from scale insects)

Animal ingredients and products are hidden in so many products, it is hardly possible to completely avoid them, especially when they are named an E-number. This list may help you knowing what you buy.

Below ingredients are from this list is The Vegan Societys website.

Glossary of animal substances

*   indicates that non-animal (synthetic, vegetable or plant/mineral-derived) versions/sources by the same name are known to exist.

• albumen/albumin egg white Use: food binder
• alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) * naturally occurring chemicals derived from fruit or milk Use: cosmetics
ambergris morbid concretion obtained from the intestine of the sperm whale used in perfumes and cigarettes
• amino acids * ‘building blocks’ of proteins
• amniotic fluid fluid surrounding the foetus within the placenta Use: cosmetics
• amylase * enzyme in saliva and pancreatic juice
• anchovy small fish of the herring family, often an ingredient of Worcester sauce and pizza toppings Use: flavour enhancer 
• angora fibre obtained from rabbits or goats Use: clothing
• aspic savoury jelly derived from meat and fish Use: glazing agent
• astrakhan skin of stillborn or very young lambs from a breed originating in Astrakhan, Russia Use: clothing
• beeswax  * (E901) secreted by bees to produce combs Uses: furniture- and floor-polishes, candles, cosmetics 
• bone/bonemeal animal bone Uses: horticultural fertiliser, bone-china ornaments, crockery, supplements
• brawn boiled meat, ears and tongue of pig Use: foodstuff
• bristle * stiff animal hair, usually from pigs Use: brushes
• calcium mesoinositol hexaphosphate Uses: baked goods, soft drinks, processed vegetables 

• capiz shell Use: lampshades
• carmine/carminic acid (E120) red pigment obtained from cochineal Uses: food and drink dyes
• casein milk protein Use: cheese
• cashmere fine wool from the cashmere goat and wild goat of Tibet Use: clothing
• castoreum obtained from the anal sex gland of the beaver Use: fixative in perfumes
• catgut dried and twisted intestines of the sheep or horse Uses: stringed musical instruments, surgical stitching
• caviar(e) roe of the sturgeon and other fish Use: a relish
• charcoal * charred bone or wood Use: clarifying agent
• chitin organic base of the hard parts of insects and crustaceans e.g. shrimps, crabs Uses: conditioners and skin-care products, thickener and moisturiser in shampoos
• chamois soft leather from the skin of the chamois antelope, sheep, goats, deer etc. Use: cleaning cloth
• cholecalciferol see vitamin D3 
• cholic acid (E1000) extracted from the bile of cows Use: emulsifier
• civet substance scraped from glands in the anal pouch of the civet cat Use: fixative in perfumes
• cochineal (E120) dye-stuff consisting of the dried bodies of scale insects, used for making carmine Uses: red food and drink colouring
• cod-liver oil oil extracted from the liver of cod and related fish Uses: food supplement
• collagen constituent of connective tissue which yields gelatin(e) on boiling Uses: cosmetics, sausage skins, supplements
• coral hard calcareous substance consisting of the continuous skeleton secreted by coelenterate polyps for their support and habitation Uses: jewellery, ornaments
• deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) * controls protein synthesis/stores genetic information. Found in all animal and plant cells Uses: cosmetics, genetically modified organisms, shampoos
• down underplumage of fowls (especially duck and goose) Uses: filling quilts, pillows, sleeping bags, padded clothing
• dripping melted animal fat Use: frying
• eider down small, soft feathers from the breast of the eider duck Use: filling quilts
• elastin protein uniting muscle fibres in meat Use: moisturiser in cosmetics
• fatty acids * organic compounds: saturated, polyunsaturated and unsaturated
• feather epidermal appendage of a bird Uses: fashion accessory, feather dusters
• felt cloth made of wool, or of wool and fur or hair Use: clothing
• gelatin(e) jelly obtained by boiling animal tissues (skin, tendons, ligaments etc.) or bones Uses: confectionery, biscuits, capsules, jellies, photographic film, match heads (note, in some food gelatin can be replaced by agar agar)
• glycerin(e)/glycerol (E422) * clear, colourless liquid which may be derived from animal fats, synthesised from propylene or from fermentation of sugars Uses: solvent for flavours, texture improver, humectant
• hide animal skin (raw or tanned) Uses: clothing and footwear, clothing accessories, upholstery

• insulin * pancreas of cattle, sheep or pigs Use: managing diabetes

• isinglass very pure form of gelatin(e) obtained from the air bladders of some freshwater fish, especially the sturgeon Uses: clarifying alcoholic drinks, jellies
• keratin protein found in hair, horns, hooves and feathers Uses: shampoos and conditioners, fertiliser
• L’cysteine hydrochloride (E920) * manufactured from animal hair and poultry feathers or synthetically from coal tar Uses: shampoo, improving agent for white flour
• lactitol (E966) produced from milk sugar Use: sweetener
• lactose milk sugar Uses: tablet filler, sweetener, carrier for flavouring agents, especially in crisps
• lanolin(e) * fat extracted from sheep’s wool and hide Uses: cleaning products, an emollient and emulsifier used in cosmetics, especially lipsticks
• lard fat surrounding the stomach and kidneys of pigs, sheep and cattle Use: culinary
• leather tanned hide (mostly from cattle but also sheep, pigs, goats etc.) Uses: clothing and footwear, clothing accessories, upholstery
• lecithin (E322) * fatty substance found in nerve tissues, egg yolk, blood and other tissues, mainly obtained commercially from soya bean, peanut and corn Uses: emulsifier in baked goods and confectionery
• lutein (E161(b)) * deep-yellow substance found in egg yolk, obtained commercially from marigold Use: food colouring
• lysozyme (E1105) * enzyme which may be derived from eggs Use: preservative
• mohair cloth or yarn made from the hair of the angora goat Use: clothing
• musk * substance secreted by glands of the male musk deer Use: perfume
• oleic acid * fatty acid occurring in animal and vegetable fats Uses: soaps, cosmetics, ointments
• oleoic oil liquid obtained from pressed tallow Use: margarines
• oleostearin solid obtained from pressed tallow Uses: soap and candles
• oestrogen * female sex hormone from cow ovaries or pregnant mares’ urine Uses: cosmetics, body-building supplements, hormone creams
• parchment * skin of the calf, sheep or goat, dressed and prepared for writing etc.
• pearl (‘Mother of’, or ‘cultured’) concretion of layers of pain-dulling nacre formed around a foreign particle within the shell of various bivalve molluscs, principally the oyster Uses: jewellery and decorative
• pepsin enzyme found in gastric juices Use: cheese making (NOTE: plus supplements)
• placenta organ by which the foetus is attached to the umbilical cord Use: cosmetics
• progesterone * sex hormone Use: hormone creams
• propolis bee glue, used by bees to stop up crevices and fix combs to the hive Uses: toiletries and cosmetics
 rennet extract of calf stomach containing the enzyme rennin which clots milk Uses: cheese, junkets
 reticulin one of the structural elements (together with elastin and collagen) of skeletal muscle

• ribonucleic acid (RNA) * see deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

• roe eggs obtained from the abdomen of female fish Use: a relish

• royal jelly food on which bee larvae are fed and which causes them to develop into queen bees Use: food supplement

• sable fur from the sable marten, a small carnivorous mammal Uses: clothing, artists’ brushes

• shellac (E904) insect secretion Uses: hair spray, lip sealer, polishes, glazing agent

• silk cloth made from the fibre produced by the larvae (silk worm) of certain bombycine moths, the harvesting of which entails killing the insect Uses: clothing, cosmetics

• sodium 5′-inosinate occurs naturally in muscle, prepared from fish waste Use: flavour enhancer
• sperm oil oil found in the head of various species of whale Use: candles
• spermaceti wax fatty substance found mainly in the head of whales and dolphins Uses: medicines, candles, cosmetics
 sponge * aquatic animal or colony of animals, characterised by a tough elastic skeleton of interlaced fibres Use: bathing aid
• squalene/squalane found in the liver of the shark (and rats) Uses: toiletries and cosmetics
• stearate * salt of stearic acid Use: body-building supplements
• stearic acid (E570)* organic acid prepared from stearin
• stearin(e) * general name for the three glycerides (monostearin, distearin, tristearin), formed by the combination of stearic acid and glycerin; chiefly applied to tristearin, which is the main constituent of tallow and suet Uses: medicines, skin softener in toiletries and cosmetics
• suede * kid-, pig- or calf-skin, tanned Uses: clothing and footwear
 suet * solid fat prepared from the kidneys of cattle and sheep Use: cooking
 tallow hard animal fat, especially that obtained from the parts around the kidneys of ruminants Uses: soap, candles
• taurine * amino acid
• testosterone * male hormone Use: body-building supplements
• urea * nitrogenous waste formed in the liver and excreted by the kidneys Use: toiletries and cosmetics
 vellum * fine parchment prepared from the skins of calves, lambs or kids Use: writing material
• vitamin A * (retinol) derived from fish-liver oil or egg yolk Uses: cosmetics, food supplement
• vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) vitamin derived from lanolin or fish oil Use: vitamin and food supplements (note: there are some raw D3 supplements on the market)
• velvet * fabric made of silk, cotton, rayon or nylon Use: clothing
• volaise ostrich meat
 whey residue from milk after the removal of the casein and most of the fat, by-product of cheese making Uses: margarines, biscuits, crisps, cleaning products
• wool hair forming the fleecy coat of the domesticated sheep and similar animals Uses: clothing including felt, mattresses.



Animal-derived additives

 E120 (CI75470) carmine/cochineal • E542 edible bone phosphate • E901 beeswax • E904 shellac • E913Lanolin • E966 Lactitol • E1000 Cholic Acid • E1105 Lysozyme • calcium mesoinositol hexaphosphate •lactose • sperm oil • spermaceti

Possibly animal-derived

• E101 riboflavin, lactoflavin, vitamin B2

• E101a riboflavin 5′-phosphate

• E153 (believed animal-free version only may be used in food) carbon black, vegetable carbon

• E161(b) lutein (note: according to Chemical Maze and Wikepedia lutein is produced by plants)

• E161(g) canthaxanthin

• E236 formic acid

• E237 sodium formate

• E238 calcium formate

• E304 Fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbyl stearate

• E322 lecithin

• E325 sodium lactate

• E326 potassium lactate

• E327 calcium lactate

• E304fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbyl stearate

• E422 glycerol (glycerine)

• E430polyoxyethylene (8) stearate, polyoxyl (8) stearate

• E431 polyoxyethylene (40) stearate, polyoxyl (40) stearate

E432 polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate, polysorbate 20, tween 20

• E433 polyoxyethylene sorbitan mono-oleate, polysorbate 80, tween 80

• E434 polyoxyethylene sorbitan monopalmitate, polysorbate 40, tween 40

• E435polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate, polysorbate 60, tween 60

• E436 polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate, polysorbate 65, tween 65

• E442 glycerol

• E470(a) sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids

• E470(b)magnesium salts of fatty acids

• E471 glycerides of fatty acids, glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate

E472(a) acetic acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids, acetoglycerides, glycerol esters

• E472(b) lactic acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids, lactylated glycerides, lactoglycerides

• E472(c) citric acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids

• E472(d)  tartaric acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids

• E472(e) mono and diacetyltartaric acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids

• E472(f) mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids

E473 sucrose esters of fatty acids

• E474 sucroglycerides

• E475 polyglycerol esters of fatty acids

• E476polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids of castor oil, polyglycerol polyricinoleate; polyglycerol esters of dimerised 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 oxidised 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 ferrous lactate

• E626 guanylic acid

• E627guanosine 5′-disodium phosphate, sodium guanylate, disodium guanylate

• E628 dipotassium guanylate

• E628calcium guanylate

• E631 inosine 5’-disodium phosphate, sodium 5′-inosinate

• E632 dipotassium inosinate

• E633calcium inosinate

• E634 calcium 5’-ribonucleotides

• E635 disodium 5’-ribonucleotides

• E635 sodium 5′-ribonucleotide

• E640 glycine and its sodium salt

• E631 disodium 5’-inosinate (IMP)

• E920 L-cysteine hydrochloride

• E921 L-cystine

• E1518 glyceryl mono-, di- and tri-acetate (triacetin)

• calcium heptonate calcium phytate • diacetin • glyceryl • leucine • monoacetin • oxystearin • and any unspecified flavourings.

Lactic acid as an additive is highly unlikely to be derived from dairy (in general commercial terms, 100% of the commercial market is from vegan sources) but if you want to be positive, you should contact the manufacturer.


Animal-derived carriers

Some additives that are not animal derived may involve the use of gelatine as a carrier.  These include E104 quinoline yellow, E160a(i) mixed carotenes and E160a(ii) β-carotene.

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