Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hidden Animal Ingredients

(originally posted on www.wunderbudder.com on 02/01/13)

9 Common Animal Ingredients, Uncommonly Known:

Carmine (or Natural Red #4)

Sometimes under other names, such as carminic acid or cochineal extract, this red food coloring is made by crushing the bodies of female cochineal scale insects, and is found in foods from bottled juice to candy to yogurt.

Casein (or Caseinogen)

Ironically, this milk protein is commonly found in "dairy-free" cheeses, but can also be found in other foods, and in household items like paints and adhesives.


A protein extracted from the collagen of animal bones and by-products from slaugherhouses (generally cows and pigs), gelatin helps food stick together and is in things like marshmallows, gummy candies, and gel-caps. Kosher gelatin is usually made from kosher fish, but may come from specially processed cows. Vegetarian gelatin is agar, a gel-like substance found in red seaweed.

Isinglass (or Fish Gelatin)

Extracted from fish bladders, this collagen is used in the processing of some wine and beers, but doesn't remain in the final product.


Lanolin is excreted from the oil glands of sheep and is extracted from the wool after shearing. It's used in skincare, haircare, and cosmetics, and is a common ingredient in lip balms marketed as "natural".

Rennet (or Animal Rennet, Enzymes)

Made from the stomach of young mammals (usually calves), rennet is used in cheesemaking. Many cheeses contain animal rennet, but also may use vegetarian rennet, from vegetable sources, or microbial rennet, from bacteria or fungus.

Shellac ( or Gum Lac), Lac Dye

Secreted by the lac beetle, a scale insect, shellac is used as a coating for candy and pills, and in other items from glue to furniture polish to lipstick. Shellac is sometimes labelled as gum lac. The crushed shells of the lac beetle are used to make lac dye.

Vitamins & Fortified Foods

Not all vitamins and fortified foods contain animal products, but those that do are rarely labelled. Most common: vitamin D from lanolin and Omega 3 from fish.

White, and other Refined Sugars

Although sugars themselves are vegan, they are sometimes processed with bone char, used to "bleach" (lighten) the sugar, but will not be listed on the label. "Unbleached" sugars are not processed with bone char.

Want more? Check out...

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