Vegan advice: Sneaky terms

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Q: Hi Georgia, My question is whether you can recommend any handy resources that help with all the little sneaky terms they write on the labels to hide animal products? I have always been a label checker and would like to think I have gotten much better at spotting all the terms but here I am having just discovered that even my bread could contain animal products. Gross! Any suggestions you might have would be appreciated :) - Label Sleuth

Dear Label Sleuth,

Thanks for your question. Ensuring that the foods you buy are vegan can be a frustrating and annoying process, even for people who take the time to thoroughly read labels. There are a lot of sneaky terms out there that you might not immediately recognise as being from animals, but they are. Here is a list of some of the most common ones to keep any eye out for.

  • Casein - a milk protein
  • Lactose - a milk sugar
  • Whey - a milk by-product
  • Collagen - from the skin, bones and connective tissues of animals such as cows, chickens, pigs and fish
  • Elastin - found in the neck ligaments and aorta of bovine, similar to collagen
  • Keratin - from the skin, bones and connective tissues of animals such as cows, chickens, pigs and fish
  • Gelatine/gelatin - obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments and/or bones and is usually from cows or pigs
  • Aspic - industry alternative to gelatine; made from clarified meat, fish or vegetable stocks and gelatine
  • Lard/tallow - animal fat
  • Shellac - obtained from the bodies of the female scale insect tachardia lacca
  • Honey - food for bees, made by bees
  • Propolis - used by bees in the construction of their hives
  • Royal Jelly - secretion of the throat gland of the honeybee
  • Vitamin D3 - from fish-liver oil or sheep's wool; note that vegan versions are available and are made from lichen
  • Albumen/albumin - from egg
  • Isinglass - a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish, and is used mainly for the clarification (fining) of wine and beer
  • Cod liver oil - in lubricating creams and lotions, vitamins and supplements
  • Pepsin - from the stomachs of pigs, a clotting agent used in vitamins

To be sure products are vegan, check for a vegan certified logo on the label, such as Vegan Australia Certified..

Georgia xx

Georgia Bamber is a vegan success coach based in the Southern Highlands NSW. Certified in coaching and plant based nutrition she knows a thing or two about embracing a vegan lifestyle. You can find out more about Georgia and how she can help you at www.successfullyvegan.com.

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