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What's wrong with. . .

Wines And Beers

Wine is clarified, or cleared, after fermentation. Some of the ingredients used include:

- edible gelatins (made from bones)
- isinglass (made from the swim bladders of fish)
- casein and potassium caseinate (milk proteins)
- animal albumin (egg albumin and dried blood powder)

[For more information see]

In the UK beer (bitter) is also commonly fined using isinglass. Many bottled bitters and most lagers are vegan. Guinness is not suitable for vegans. Most spirits are vegan except for Campari (contains cochineal) and some Vodkas (passed through bone charcoal).


Some refined sugars use bone charcoal as a decolourant. In the UK Tate and Lyle and Billingtons sugars are free of animal substances. British Sugar, trading as Silver Spoon (the largest UK supplier) state that their white sugar is vegan but they cannot guarantee their brown sugars as some bone charcoal may be used by their suppliers. No data is presently available concerning sugar in other countries.


In the UK all Kelloggs products are unsuitable for vegans as Vitamin D3 (of animal origin) is added. In the US some of Kellogg's cereals are apparently vegan, Kellogg's Nutri-Grain cereal (plain "Wheat" variety only) is a good vegan source of B12. Be careful though, the almond- raisin variety contains animal based glycerin.

Crisps (Potato Chips)?

Many manufacturers use whey as the flavour carrier. Check with your local vegan society as to what crisps are vegan.

Sheesh! Anything Else?

For sure. If a manufacturer can stick some part of an animal in something, chances are they probably will. Learn to be a fastidious label reader and avoid products not properly labelled unless you know for sure that they are suitable for vegans. Buy products from companies who make their stance on animal products known. Look out for ethically vegan companies and support them when possible. Some foods have "E" numbers listed in the ingredients, with no mention as to the source of these E numbers. Ones to definitely avoid include:

120 - cochineal
542 - edible bone phosphate
631 - sodium 5'-inosinate
901 - beeswax
904 - shellac
920 - L-cysteine hydrochloride


calcium mesoinositol hexaphosphate, lactose, sperm oil, spermaceti

Possibly animal derived:

101,101a,153,203,213,227,270,282,302,322,325,326,327,333,341a,3 41b,341c, 404,422,430,431,432,433,434,435,436,470,471,472a,472b,472c,472d ,472e,473, 474,475,476,477,478,481,482,483,491,492,493,494,495,570,572,627, 635


calcium hepatonate, calcium phytate, diacetin-glyceryl, glyceryl diacetate, glyceryl triacetate, glycine, leucine, monoacetate, monoacetin, oxystearin, triacetin and any unspecified flavourings.

(Adapted from the VEGAN-L FAQ by Michael Traub.)

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