Feature

Hidden animal products

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or are thinking of making the switch, be aware that there are hidden animal products in foods you’d never suspect – even in wine!

Hidden animal products

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If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or are thinking of making the switch, be aware that there are hidden animal products in foods you’d never suspect – even in wine! So, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 hidden animal products. You’ll be a ingredient reading pro in no time at all.

1. Lollies and jelly
Some red lollies are made from crushed cochineal beetles (carmine). Most sweets use gelatin, derived from the hooves of animals. Not many people know that white sugar producers may use bone char – charcoal from crushed, burnt animal bones – to make their product white. CSR and other major Australian producers no longer use it but overseas products may contain traces.

2. Nuts
While great for protein intake, certain packaged peanuts have gelatin in their salty coating.

3. Dairy-free ‘dairy’
Some dairy-free margarine spreads contain the animal product vitamin D3, as well as whey from processed cow’s milk and gelatin, while some soy cheeses include casein, a milk protein.

4. ‘Vegie’ burgers and sausages
A quick browse of the ingredients list of many brands reveals milk and eggs. The popular meat replacement Quorn is not vegan.

5. Noodles and pasta
These are typically made with eggs. However, most wheat and rice noodles contain no egg.

6. Potato chips
Most chip factories use chicken fat, especially for BBQ flavoured products. Some brands contain milk powder.

7. Beer, wine and cider
Many alcholic drinks are filtered with animal products, including fish bladders. Other products used often are egg and milk.

8. Fortified products such as juices and breads
Watch out for fish oil in omega-3 enhanced products (such as regular supermarket sandwich breads) and also lanolin in those drinks marked as being vitamin D or D3 enhanced. Some may also contain gelatin as a carrier for added colour, although it’s not often listed on the label as it’s not considered an ingredient.

9. Baked food
Cake and biscuit mixes can include animal fats like lard or tallow, and, crazy as it seems, bagels and pizza dough may contain an enzyme called L. Cysteine that’s sourced from bird feathers.

10. Breakfast cereals
Many breakfast cereals are made with honey. Some contain milk powder, as do many of the boxed mixes for those winter hot chocolates.