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)
- 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)
- Fish oil
- Gelatine (derived from boiling animal bones, often found in gummy sweets, jelly, jams, puddings)
- 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)