Food Additives

Worried about those pesky numbers in food ingredients being non-vegan? If it appears on this list then it may be a problem!

All of the following additives are potentially non-vegan.

If in doubt, you may need to google the product or contact the manufacturer to determine if the additive they use is suitable for vegans.

KEY
red – never vegan
all others – may not be vegan

e-numberDescription
101Riboflavin- may contain milk
104Quinoline Yellow- May involve the use of gelatine as a carrier
120Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines Natural Red 4 – Colouring
153Carbon Black – Colouring
Likely derived from various parts of animals unless otherwise described as Vegetable Carbons.
161gCanthaxanthin (Natural Orange Colour Xanthophylls) – Colouring.
Canthaxanthin is usually derived from plant material, but it can sometimes be made from fish and invertebrates with hard shells.
170 Calcium Carbonate. May be derived from the shells of marine organisms, snails, and eggs.
252Potassium Nitrate (Saltpetre) – Preservative
Saltpetre is usually assumed to be of natural origins but it can be artificially manufactured from waste animal matter.
270Lactic Acid – Antioxidant
Can be obtained from whey (from milk)
322Lecithins – Emulsifier and Stabilizer
Some Lecithin contains egg yolks. Other sources of Lecithin are soy. Lecithin can also be directly obtained from animal fat. Check with manufacturer.
325Sodium Lactate – Antioxidant
Sodium Lactate is the salt of Lactic Acid. (see E270 above)
326Potassium Lactate – Antioxidant / Acidity Regulator
Another type of salt derived from Lactic Acid. (see E270 above)
327Calcium Lactate – Antioxidant
Another type of salt derived from Lactic Acid. (see E270 above)
328Ammonium Lactate- Another type of salt derived from Lactic Acid. (see E270 above)
329Magnesium Lactate- Another type of salt derived from Lactic Acid. (see E270 above)
422Glycerol (Humectant, Solvent, Sweet Glycerin) – Sweetener
Mostly from animal fats, unless otherwise stated.
430 – 436Polyoxyethylene – Emulsifiers / Stabilisers
E430Polyoxyethylene (8) stearate (Emulsifier / Stabiliser)
E431Polyoxyethylene (40) stearate (Emulsifier)
E432Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monolaurate (polysorbate 20 Emulsifier)
E433Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate (polysorbate 80 Emulsifier)
E434Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monopalmitate (polysorbate 40 Emulsifier)
E435Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate (polysorbate 60 Emulsifier)
E436Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan tristearate (polysorbate 65 Emulsifier)
Not likely of animal origin as these additivies are normally derived from various types of fruit. But it’s worth checking with manufacturers the exact origins of the ingredients.
441Gelatine – Emulsifier / Gelling Agent
Gelatine is derived from animal skin and hoofs. It can be found in many kinds of confectionery, jellies and other sweets.
442Ammonium phosphatides – Emulsifier
Can sometimes be made using Glycerol (see 422 above).
469Sodium caseinate – Emulsifier/Stabiliser
Derived from milk
470aSodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids – Emulsifier / Anti-caking Agent
Derived from fatty acids, may originate from animal sources.
470bMagnesium Stearate – Emulsifier / Anti-caking Agent
Derived from fatty acids, may originate from animal sources.
471Mono- and Diglycerides of fatty acids (glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate) – Emulsifier
May contain animal fats.
472a-fE472 A to F are emulsifiers related to the mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids family:
E472a Acetic acid esters
E472b Lactic acid esters
E472c Citric acid esters
E472d Tartaric acid esters
E472e Mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters
E472f Mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters
Because the E472 family is derived from Glycerine (Glycerol) (see E422 above), they may contain animal fats.
473Sucrose esters of fatty acids – Emulsifier
May be derived from animals.
474Sucroglyceride – Emulsifier
May be derived from animals.
475Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids – Emulsifier
May be derived from animals.
476Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate – Emulsifier
May contain animal fats.
477Propane-1, 2-diol esters of fatty acids, propylene glycol esters of fatty acids – Emulsifier
May contain animal fats.
478Lactylated fatty acid esters of glycerol and propane-1 – Emulsifier
May contain animal fats.
479bThermally oxidized soya bean oil interacted with mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids – Emulsifier
May contain animal fats.
481Sodium Stearoyl-2-lactylate – Emulsifier
Can be obtained from whey and may contain animal fats.
482Calcium Stearoyl-2-lactylate – Emulsifier
Can be obtained from whey and may contain animal fats.
483Stearyl tartrate – Emulsifier
May contain animal fats.
484 Stearyl citrate- produced by the esterification of citric acid with stearyl alcohol. The stearyl acid can be either plant or animal fat, though usually it is derived from vegetable oil
491
492
493
494
495
Sorbitan monostearate, Sorbitan Tristearate, Sorbitan Monolaurate, Sorbitan Monooleate, Sorbitan Monopalmitate- Emulsifier and Stabilizer
From stearic acid and is used in dried yeast. Stearic acid is found in both vegetable and animal fats, but commercial production is usually synthetic. Check with manufacturer. See also 570
542Bone phosphate – Anti-caking agent
570Stearic Acid Fatty Acid – Anti-caking agent
Stearic acid is found in vegetable and animal fats, but commercial production is usually synthetic. Often used in dried yeast.
572Magnesium stearate, calcium stearate – Emulsifier and Anti-caking agent
See 570
585Ferrous lactate – Colouring
May be derived from animal source such as whey. (see 270)
627Disodium guanylate – Flavour enhancer
Almost always made from fish
630Inosinic acid – Flavour enhancer
Almost always made from animals and fish
631Disodium inosinate – Flavour enhancer
Almost always made from animals and fish
635Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides – Flavour enhancer
Often made from animals
640Glycine and its sodium salt – Flavour enhancer
Can sometimes be prepared from gelatine, but can be made synthetically.
901Beeswax – white and yellow – Glazing Agent
904Shellac – Glazing Agent
From a resin secreted by an insect called the lac beetle.
910
(920
921)
L-cysteine, L-cysteine hydrochloride, L-cysteine hydrochloride monohydrate  – Improving agent
Produced commercially from animal and human hair (and feathers). L-cysteine is used as an additive in around 5% of bread and other bakery products. It is not used in wholemeal bread or other wholemeal bakery products.
913Lanolin
Wax from sheep excreted by the skin of sheep and extracted from the wool.
920see 910 above
921see 910 above
966Lactitol – Sweetener
Derived from Lactose, commercially prepared using whey.
1000Cholic acid. A bile acid found in humans and animals. It is usually conjugated with glycine or taurine. Most commonly extracted from cows or ox.
1105Lysozyme – Enzyme
From eggs.
1518Glycerol Mono-, Di- and Tri-Acetate or Tracetin

The following ingredients are also never vegan:

  • Albumen
  • Beeswax
  • Casein
  • Cochineal (carmine)
  • Confectioners glaze
  • Food grade wax
  • Gelatin
  • Isinglass
  • Lard
  • Rennet
  • Vitamin D3 (unless labelled as a vegan alternative)
  • Whey