INGREDIENT LIST GUIDE

HOW DO I KNOW IF A PACKAGED FOOD IS VEGAN?

  • Look out for ‘vegan’ labelling. Stores like Woolworths use a ‘V’ label to mark many of their vegan products.
  • Check the allergen information. A product that states it contains cows milk, egg or shellfish is not vegan. (Many vegan products are however made in a factory that uses non-vegan derivatives.)
  • Read the ingredients. Scan the ingredient list for any bold words often indicating an allergen/ animal product. Look out for other additives like gelatine or casein. With practice it will become a habit and you’ll become a pro!

EXAMPLES OF WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:

  • Albumen (derived from egg, often used in candies, cookies and cakes)
  • Anchovies
  • Bone char (derived from animal bone, often found in white sugar)
  • Carbamide/Urea (often used to ‘brown’ baked foods like pretzels)
  • Carmine (derived from crushed red cochineal insect, often used as food colouring)
  • Casein (derived from milk)
  • Egg
  • Fish oil
  • Gelatine (derived from boiling animal bones, often found in gummy sweets, jelly, jams, puddings)
  • Honey
  • Isinglass (derived from fish bladder, often found in wine and beer)
  • Lactose (derived from milk)
  • Lanolin (often found in chewing gum)
  • Lard (derived from fat of pigs)
  • Milk, milk solids, milk powder, milk protein
  • Stearic acid (derived from animal fats, often found in chewing gum)
  • Whey powder (derived from milk)

For a complete list of animal-derived ingredients, click here.

WHAT ARE E NUMBERS?

E numbers are codes for substances used as food additives. For example: food colourings, preservatives, anti-caking agents and flavour enhancers. Many are of non-vegan origin.

E NUMBERS TO AVOID:

E120 – Carmine Dye
E441 – Gelatine
E542 – Edible Bone Phosphate
E901 – Beeswax
E904 – Shellac/ Resin
E910 – L-cysteine
E913 – Lanolin
E920 – L-cysteine
E921 – L-cysteine
E966 – Lactitol

For a complete list of E numbers, click here.

BE CAUTIOUS WHEN BUYING THE FOLLOWING:

  • Breads (often egg is used to glaze the top)
  • Orange juice (some contain fish oil)
  • Pesto (traditionally contains Parmesan cheese)
  • Pasta (may contain egg)
  • Salad dressing (may contain egg)