Vegan Articles & Tips
Those Mystery Non-Vegan Ingredientsby Vegan Digest Editors
Sometimes reading an ingredient list can be a trip back to high school and that dreaded
chemistry class. Eating whole foods and doing your own cooking is the simplest way to avoid non-vegan
items. But we all want a cracker or cookie now and then. If you've spent any time
reviewing ingredient lists for non-vegan food products, you may have come across ingredients
you don't recognize. Here are a few common non-vegan ingredients to avoid.
Gelatin is an odorless, tasteless and colorless thickening agent, which when dissolved
in hot water and cooled, forms a jelly. It is used in the preparation of many
different foods to give structure.
It is derived from collagen found in the bones, cartilage, connective tissue, and skin of animals, usually cows.
Most commercially produced gelatin today is made from pig skin.
Casein is a milk phosphoprotein present in the milk from all mammals. It is normally found in dairy products such as
cheese, but is also used independently as an emulsifying and binding agent in many processed
foods. Keep an eye out for "vegetarian" cheeses and meats that contain Casein.
Rennet comes from the fourth stomach of animals such as cows, goats, and sheep. When this extract is added to milk,
rennet will cause the milk to coagulate, forming the curds and whey which are the foundation of cheesemaking.
Look for rennet in "vegetarian" cheeses.
Whey comes from milk and is the fluid that remains after the first stages of the cheese-making process. Whey is
found in many processed foods, including bread, cereal, crackers, cookies, and more.