Suspect Foods not for Pure Vegetarians

On this page, we compile a list of such “suspect” (Doubt if they are really Pure Vegetarian) foods.

Types of Suspect Foods
  1. Many foods may appear to have names that seem like a Pure Vegetarian food. But in reality the food may not be a Pure Vegetarian or it may come from a source that may not be Pure Vegetarian.
  2. Other foods may not have an easy to understand name thus potentially disguising their origin and whether they are a Pure Vegetarian food or not.
  3. Some additives are named or numbered in a way making it difficult to determine whether they are derived from animals or not.
  4. Foods with animal ingrediants
List of Common Suspect Foods (in no particular order)
  1. White Sugar (whitened with bone char) Ref :  1
  2. Cheeses that use animal rennet (enzymes from animal stomach lining) Ref : 1 2
  3. Cheeses that use gelatin (derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin, bones and connective tissue) Ref : 1 2
  4. Cane sugar clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon
  5. Apple juice clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon
  6. Alcohol clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon
List of not so common Suspect Foods
  1. Rennet  Ref : 1
  2. Gelatin  Ref : 1
  3. Collagen Ref : 1
  4. Sturgeon (fish) Ref : 1

List of Suspect Additives

E Numbers : 120, 153, 161g, 252, 270, 322, 325, 326, 327, 422, 430 – 436, 441, 442, 470a, 470b, 471, 472 a – f, 473, 474, 475, 476, 477, 478, 479b, 481, 482, 483, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 542, 570, 572, 585, 631, 635, 640, 901, 904, 910, 920, 921, 966

(Ref :

E Number Additive Name
120 Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines Natural Red 4 – colouring
A colouring that makes many foods red. Found in alcoholic drinks, fruit pie fillings, jams, many sweets and even cheeses. Cochineal is made from the female insect found on cacti called Dactylopius Coccus. She is boiled alive or left to “cook” alive through sun exposure. Cochineal is the result of crushing scales of the insect into a red powder.
153 Carbon Black, Vegetable Carbons – colouring
If the description on product packaging says “Vegetable Carbons”, then it is most likely free of animal derivatives. (but could be derived from GM crops!) But if the additive is described as “Carbon Black”, it ‘s more likely to be derived from various parts of animals.
161g Canthaxanthin (Natural Orange Colour Xanthophylls) – colouring.
Be aware that although Canthaxanthin is usually derived from plant material, it can sometimes be made from fish and invertebrates with hard shells.
252 Potassium Nitrate (Saltpetre) – Preservative
Saltpetre is usually assumed to be of natural origins but it can be artificially manufactured from waste animal matter. Potassium nitrate is often found in smoked type cheeses – so even if the cheese contains vegetable rennet and not animal rennet, it may contain potassium nitrate made from animal waste, so check with the cheese manufacturer to determine the source of the potassium nitrate.
270 Lactic Acid – Antioxidant
Can be obtained from whey so Vegan’s should determine the source of the ingredient by contacting manufacturers. Lactic Acid can be found in carbonated drinks, beer, dressings and various tinned products.
322 Lecithins – Emulsifier and Stabilizer
Some Lecithin contains egg yolks so not suitable for Vegans. Other main sources of Lecithin are from soya bean oil and is likely to be genetically modified (if sourced from countries such as the US) Lecithin can also be directly obtained from animal fat.
325 Sodium Lactate – Antioxidant
Sodium Lactate is the salt of Lactic Acid. (see E270 above)
326 Potassium Lactate – Antioxidant / Acidity Regulator
Another type of salt derived from Lactic Acid. (see E270 above)
327 Calcium Lactate – Antioxidant
Another type of salt derived from Lactic Acid. (see E270 above)
422 Glycerol (Humectant, Solvent, Sweet Glycerin) – Sweetener
There is contention surrounding the origins of Glycerol. Through various industrial reselling practices, a majority of glycerine originates as a by-product of soap manufacturing. Many soaps are manufactured using animal fats. This indicates that even though glycerine occurs naturally in plants, what ends up in food and soap products mostly originates from animals.
430 – 436 Polyoxyethylene – Emulsifiers and Stabilisers
E numbers 430 to 436 are various types of polyoxyethlene:
E430 Polyoxyethylene (8) stearate (Emulsifier / Stabiliser)
E431 Polyoxyethylene (40) stearate (Emulsifier)
E432 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monolaurate (polysorbate 20 Emulsifier)
E433 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate (polysorbate 80 Emulsifier)
E434 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monopalmitate (polysorbate 40 Emulsifier)
E435 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate (polysorbate 60 Emulsifier)
E436 Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan tristearate (polysorbate 65 Emulsifier)
These additives are very unlikely to originate from animals as they are normally derived from various types of fruit. It may still be worth checking with manufactures as to the exact origins of the ingredients which make up these Emulsifiers and stabilisers.
441 Gelatine – Emulsifier / Gelling Agent
You may not find this E number 441 on food ingredients listings anymore because instead of an additive, Gelatine has now been classed as food (made of animal skin and hoofs) in it’s own right. Remember, all types of gelatine are animal based and can be found in dairy products like yoghurts, plus many kinds of confectionery, jellies and other sweets.
442 Ammonium phosphatides – Emulsifier
Amonium phosphatides can sometimes be made using Glycerol (see 422 above) Therefore the finished additive may contain animal fat.
470a Sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty acids – Emulsifier / Anti-caking Agent
As 470 is derived from fatty acids, these may originate from animal sources.
470b Magnesium Stearate – Emulsifier / Anti-caking Agent
This is another magnesium salt from fatty acids and like 470a, may originate from animal sources.
471 Mono- and Diglycerides of fatty acids (glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate) – Emulsifier
Because E471 is derived from Glycerine (Glycerol) (see E422 above), there may be a slim chance that E471 might contain animal fats.
472 a – f E472 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), there may be a slim chance that any of these might contain animal fats.
473 Sucrose esters of fatty acids – Emulsifier
E473 is a sucrose ester of E471, being fatty acids, which may be derived from animals.
474 Sucroglyceride – Emulsifier
E474 is a glyceride of sucrose ester of E471, being fatty acids, which may be derived from animals.
475 Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids – Emulsifier
Being an ester of fatty acids which may be derived from animals.
476 Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate – Emulsifier
As this is produced from glycol esters the glycerol can be sourced from a by-product of animal fats in the manufacturing of soap.
477 Propane-1, 2-diol esters of fatty acids, propylene glycol esters of fatty acids – Emulsifier
The glycol esters of fatty acids can be sourced from a by-product of animal fats in the manufacturing of soap.
478 Lactylated fatty acid esters of glycerol and propane-1 – Emulsifier
See 477 above
479b Thermally oxidized soya bean oil interacted with mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids – Emulsifier
See 471 above
481 Sodium Stearoyl-2-lactylate – Emulsifier
See 471 above and 270 (contains Lactic Acid and Stearic Acid)
482 Calcium Stearoyl-2-lactylate – Emulsifier
See 471 above and 270 (contains Lactic Acid and Stearic Acid)
483 Stearyl tartrate – Emulsifier
See 471 above
491 Sorbitan monostearate – Emulsifier and Stabilizer
From stearic acid and is used in dried yeast. Stearic acid is found in vegetable and animal fats, but commercial production is usually synthetic. See also 570
492 Sorbitan Tristearate – Emulsifier
See 491
493 Sorbitan Monolaurate – Emulsifier
See 491
494 Sorbitan Monooleate – Emulsifier
See 491
495 Sorbitan Monopalmitate – Emulsifier
See 491
542 Bone phosphate – Anti-caking agent
570 Stearic 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.
572 Magnesium stearate, calcium stearate – Emulsifier and Anti-caking agent
See Stearic Acid 570
585 Ferrous lactate – Colouring
A lactate is a compound formed when a mineral is bound to lactic acid. This is why additives named as a lactate may have been derived from an animal source such as whey. (see 270)
631 Disodium inosinate – Flavour enhancer
Almost always made from animals and fish
635 Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides – Flavour enhancer
Often made from animals
640 Glycine and its sodium salt – Flavour enhancer
Can sometimes be prepared from gelatine.
901 Beeswax – white and yellow – Glazing Agent
Not suitable for Vegans.
904 Shellac – Glazing Agent
Shellac is a resin secreted by an insect called the lac bug Laccifer lacca Kerr (Coccidae) . It is often unclear as to whether the insect is killed in the process of commercially obtaining shellac as the resin is left by the insect on various plants. Whether this resin is harvested as a residue or extracted by directly killing the insects needs further investigation.
910 L-cysteine – Improving agent
Produced commercially from animal and human hair (and feathers). When produced from animal hair it is almost certain that all L-cysteine is taken from slaughtered animals. When human hair is used it is often sourced from women in third-world countries. 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.
920 L-cysteine hydrochloride – Improving agent
Produced from L-cystine (see 910 above)
921 L-cysteine hydrochloride monohydrate – Improving agent
Produced from L-cystine (see 910 above)
966 Lactitol – Sweetener
Derived from Lactose, commercially prepared using whey, so unsuitable for vegans.


Foods with animal ingredients

Ref :


Hormone from adrenal glands of hogs, cattle, and sheep. In medicine. Alternatives: synthetics.

(See Amino Acids.)

In eggs, milk, muscles, blood, and many vegetable tissues and fluids. In cosmetics, albumen is usually derived from egg whites and used as a coagulating agent. May cause allergic reaction. In cakes, cookies, candies, etc. Egg whites sometimes used in “clearing” wines. Derivative: Albumin.

(See Albumen.)

(See Allantoin.)

(See Allantoin.)

Aliphatic Alcohol.
(See Lanolin and Vitamin A.)

Uric acid from cows, most mammals. Also in many plants (especially comfrey). In cosmetics (especially creams and lotions) and used in treatment of wounds and ulcers. Derivatives: Alcloxa, Aldioxa. Alternatives: extract of comfrey root, synthetics.

Alligator Skin.
(See Leather.)

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids.
Any one of several acids used as an exfoliant and in anti-wrinkle products. Lactic acid may be animal-derived (see Lactic Acid). Alternatives: glycolic acid, citric acid, and salicylic acid are plant- or fruit-derived.

From whale intestines. Used as a fixative in making perfumes and as a flavoring in foods and beverages. Alternatives: synthetic or vegetable fixatives.

Amerchol L101.
(See Lanolin.)

Amino Acids.
The building blocks of protein in all animals and plants. In cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, shampoos, etc. Alternatives: synthetics, plant sources.

Aminosuccinate Acid.
(See Aspartic Acid.)


Animal Fats and Oils.
In foods, cosmetics, etc. Highly allergenic. Alternatives: olive oil, wheat germ oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, safflower oil, etc.

Arachidonic Acid.
A liquid unsaturated fatty acid that is found in liver, brain, glands, and fat of animals and humans. Generally isolated from animal liver. Used in companion animal food for nutrition and in skin creams and lotions to soothe eczema and rashes. Alternatives: synthetics, aloe vera, tea tree oil, calendula ointment.

Arachidyl Proprionate.
A wax that can be from animal fat. Alternatives: peanut or vegetable oil.

Biotin. Vitamin H. Vitamin B Factor.
In every living cell and in larger amounts in milk and yeast. Used as a texturizer in cosmetics, shampoos, and creams. Alternatives: plant sources.

From any slaughtered animal. Used as adhesive in plywood, also found in cheese-making, foam rubber, intravenous feedings, and medicines. Possibly in foods such as lecithin. Alternatives: synthetics, plant sources.

Boar Bristles.
Hair from wild or captive hogs. In “natural” toothbrushes and bath and shaving brushes. Alternatives: vegetable fibers, nylon, the peelu branch or peelu gum (Asian, available in the U.S.; its juice replaces toothpaste).

Bone Char.
Animal bone ash. Used in bone china and often to make sugar white. Serves as the charcoal used in aquarium filters. Alternatives: synthetic tribasic calcium phosphate.

Bone Meal.
Crushed or ground animal bones. In some fertilizers. In some vitamins and supplements as a source of calcium. In toothpastes. Alternatives: plant mulch, vegetable compost, dolomite, clay, vegetarian vitamins.

(See Vitamin D.)

(See Leather.)

Caprylamine Oxide.
(See Caprylic Acid.)

Capryl Betaine.
(See Caprylic Acid.)

Caprylic Acid.
A liquid fatty acid from cow’s or goat’s milk. Also from palm, coconut, and other plant oils. In perfumes, soaps. Derivatives: Caprylic Triglyceride, Caprylamine Oxide, Capryl Betaine. Alternatives: plant sources, especially coconut oil.

Caprylic Triglyceride.
(See Caprylic Acid.)

(See Urea.)

Carmine. Cochineal. Carminic Acid.
Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Reportedly, 70,000 beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, red apple sauce, and other foods (including red lollipops and food coloring). May cause allergic reaction. Alternatives: beet juice (used in powders, rouges, shampoos; no known toxicity), alkanet root (from the root of this herb-like tree; used as a red dye for inks, wines, lip balms, etc.; no known toxicity; can also be combined to make a copper or blue coloring). (See Colors.)

Carminic Acid.
(See Carmine.)

Carotene. Provitamin A. Beta Carotene.
A pigment found in many animal tissues and in all plants. When used as an additive, typically derived from plant sources. Used as a coloring in cosmetics and in the manufacture of vitamin A.

Casein. Caseinate. Sodium Caseinate.
Milk protein. In “nondairy” creamers, soy cheese, many cosmetics, hair preparations, beauty masks. Alternatives: soy protein, soy milk, and other vegetable milks.

(See Casein.)

Castor. Castoreum.
Creamy substance with strong odor, originally from muskrat and beaver genitals but now typically synthetic. Used as a fixative in perfume and incense. While some cosmetics companies continue to use animal castor, the majority do not.

(See Castor.)

Tough string from the intestines of sheep, horses, etc. Used for surgical sutures. Also for stringing tennis rackets, musical instruments, etc. Alternatives: nylon and other synthetic fibers.

Cera Flava.
(See Beeswax.)

Fatty acids and sugars found in the covering of nerves. May be synthetic or of animal origin. When animal-derived, may include tissue from brain. Used in moisturizers.

Cetyl Alcohol.
Wax originally found in spermaceti from sperm whales or dolphins but now most often derived from petroleum. Alternatives: vegetable cetyl alcohol (e.g., coconut), synthetic spermaceti.

Cetyl Palmitate.
(See Spermaceti.)

A fiber derived from crustacean shells. Used as a lipid binder in diet products; hair, oral, and skin-care products; antiperspirants; and deodorants. Alternatives: raspberries, yams, legumes, dried apricots, many other fruits and vegetables.

(See Lanolin.)

A steroid alcohol in all animal fats and oils, nervous tissue, egg yolk, and blood. Can be derived from lanolin. In cosmetics, eye creams, shampoos, etc. Alternatives: solid complex alcohols (sterols) from plant sources.

Choline Bitartrate.
(See Lecithin.)

Unctuous secretion painfully scraped from a gland very near the genital organs of civet cats. Used as a fixative in perfumes. Alternatives: (See alternatives to Musk.)

(See Carmine.)

Cod Liver Oil.
(See Marine Oil.)

Fibrous protein in vertebrates. Usually derived from animal tissue. Can’t affect the skin’s own collagen. An allergen. Alternatives: soy protein, almond oil, amla oil (see alternatives to Keratin), etc.

Colors. Dyes.
Pigments from animal, plant, and synthetic sources used to color foods, cosmetics, and other products. Cochineal is from insects. Widely used FD&C and D&C colors are coal-tar (bituminous coal) derivatives that are continuously tested on animals because of their carcinogenic properties. Alternatives: grapes, beets, turmeric, saffron, carrots, chlorophyll, annatto, alkanet.

(See Cortisone.)

Cortisone. Corticosteroid.
When animal-derived, a hormone from adrenal glands. However, a synthetic is widely used. Typically used in medicine. Alternatives: synthetics.

Cysteine, L-Form.
An amino acid from hair that can come from animals. Used in hair-care products and creams, in some bakery products, and in wound-healing formulations. Alternatives: plant sources.

An amino acid found in urine and horsehair. Used as a nutritional supplement and in emollients. Alternatives: plant sources.

(See Panthenol.)

(See Monoglycerides and Glycerin.)

Dimethyl Stearamine.
(See Stearic Acid.)

Duodenum Substances.
From the digestive tracts of cows and pigs. Added to some vitamin tablets. In some medicines. Alternatives: vegetarian vitamins, synthetics.

(See Colors.)

Egg Protein.
In shampoos, skin preparations, etc. Alternatives: plant proteins.

Protein found in the neck ligaments and aortas of cows. Similar to collagen. Can’t affect the skin’s own elasticity. Alternatives: synthetics, protein from plant tissues.

Emu Oil.
From flightless ratite birds native to Australia and now factory-farmed. Used in cosmetics and creams. Alternatives: vegetable and plant oils.

(See Vitamin D.)

(See Vitamin D.)

(See Estrogen.)

(See Animal Fats.)

Fatty Acids.
Can be one or any mixture of liquid and solid acids such as caprylic, lauric, myristic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic. Used in bubble baths, lipsticks, soap, detergents, cosmetics, food. Alternatives: vegetable-derived acids, soy lecithin, safflower oil, bitter almond oil, sunflower oil, etc.

FD&C Colors.
(See Colors.)

From exploited and slaughtered birds. Used whole as ornaments or ground up in shampoos. (See Down and Keratin.)

Fish Liver Oil.
Used in vitamins and supplements. In milk fortified with vitamin D. Alternatives: yeast extract ergosterol, exposure of skin to sunshine.

Fish Oil.
(See Marine Oil.) Fish oil can also be from marine mammals. Used in soapmaking.

Fish Scales.
Used in shimmery makeup. Alternatives: mica, rayon, synthetic pearl.

Obtained from animals (usually mink, foxes, or rabbits) cruelly trapped in steel-jaw traps or raised in intensive confinement on fur farms. Alternatives: synthetics. (See Sable Brushes.)

(See Gelatin.)

Gelatin. Gel.
Protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones in water. From cows and pigs. Used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics. Used as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings (e.g., Jell-O). In candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, yogurts. On photographic film and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules. Sometimes used to assist in “clearing” wines. Alternatives: carrageen (carrageenan, Irish moss), seaweeds (algin, agar-agar, kelp—used in jellies, plastics, medicine), pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, silica gel. Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the marshmallow plant. Vegetarian capsules are now available from several companies. Digital cameras don’t use film.

Glucose Tyrosinase.
(See Tyrosine.)

(See Glycerin.)

Glycerin. Glycerol.
A byproduct of soap manufacture (normally uses animal fat). In cosmetics, foods, mouthwashes, chewing gum, toothpastes, soaps, ointments, medicines, lubricants, transmission and brake fluid, and plastics. Derivatives: Glycerides, Glyceryls, Glycreth-26, Polyglycerol. Alternatives: vegetable glycerin (a byproduct of vegetable oil soap), derivatives of seaweed, petroleum.

(See Glycerin.)

(See Glycerin.)

(See Glycerin.)

Guanine. Pearl Essence.
Obtained from scales of fish. Constituent of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid and found in all animal and plant tissues. In shampoo, nail polish, other cosmetics. Alternatives: leguminous plants, synthetic pearl, or aluminum and bronze particles.

Hide Glue.
Same as gelatin but of a cruder impure form. Alternatives: dextrins and synthetic petrochemical-based adhesives. (See Gelatin.)

Hyaluronic Acid.
When animal-derived, a protein found in umbilical cords and the fluids around the joints. Used in cosmetics and some medical applications. Alternatives: synthetic hyaluronic acid, plant oils.

(See Cortisone.)

Hydrolyzed Animal Protein.
In cosmetics, especially shampoo and hair treatments. Alternatives: soy protein, other vegetable proteins, amla oil (see alternatives to Keratin).

Imidazolidinyl Urea.
(See Urea.)

From hog pancreas. Used by millions of diabetics daily. Alternatives: synthetics, vegetarian diet and nutritional supplements, human insulin grown in a lab.

A form of gelatin prepared from the internal membranes of fish bladders. Sometimes used in “clearing” wines and in foods. Alternatives: bentonite clay, “Japanese isinglass,” agar-agar (see alternatives to Gelatin), mica, a mineral used in cosmetics.

Isopropyl Lanolate.
(See Lanolin.)

Isopropyl Myristate.
(See Myristic Acid.)

Isopropyl Palmitate.
Complex mixtures of isomers of stearic acid and palmitic acid. (See Stearic Acid.)

Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. In hair rinses, shampoos, permanent wave solutions. Alternatives: almond oil, soy protein, amla oil (from the fruit of an Indian tree), human hair from salons. Rosemary and nettle give body and strand strength to hair.

Lactic Acid.
Typically derived from plants such as beets. When animal-derived, found in blood and muscle tissue. Also in sour milk, beer, sauerkraut, pickles, and other food products made by bacterial fermentation. Used in skin fresheners, as a preservative, in the formation of plasticizers, etc. Alternatives: plant milk sugars, synthetics.

(See Lanolin.)

(See Lanolin.)

Lanolin. Lanolin Acids. Wool Fat. Wool Wax.
A product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool. Used as an emollient in many skin-care products and cosmetics and in medicines. An allergen with no proven effectiveness. (See Wool for cruelty to sheep.) Derivatives: Aliphatic Alcohols, Cholesterin, Isopropyl Lanolate, Laneth, Lanogene, Lanolin Alcohols, Lanosterols, Sterols, Triterpene Alcohols. Alternatives: plant and vegetable oils.

Lanolin Alcohol.
(See Lanolin.)

(See Lanolin.)

Fat from hog abdomens. In shaving creams, soaps, cosmetics. In baked goods, French fries, refried beans, and many other foods. Alternatives: pure vegetable fats or oils.

Leather. Suede. Calfskin. Sheepskin. Alligator Skin. Other Types of Skin.
Subsidizes the meat industry. Used to make wallets, handbags, furniture and car upholstery, shoes, etc. Alternatives: cotton, canvas, nylon, vinyl, ultrasuede, pleather, other synthetics.

Lecithin. Choline Bitartrate.
Waxy substance in nervous tissue of all living organisms. But frequently obtained for commercial purposes from eggs and soybeans. Also from nerve tissue, blood, milk, corn. Choline bitartrate, the basic constituent of lecithin, is in many animal and plant tissues and prepared synthetically. Lecithin can be in eye creams, lipsticks, liquid powders, hand creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, other cosmetics, and some medicines. Alternatives: soybean lecithin, synthetics.

Linoleic Acid.
An essential fatty acid. Used in cosmetics, vitamins. Alternatives: (See alternatives to Fatty Acids.)

Enzyme from the stomachs and tongue glands of calves, kids, and lambs. Used in cheesemaking and in digestive aids. Alternatives: vegetable enzymes, castor beans.

(See Lipoids.)

Lipoids. Lipids.
Fat and fat-like substances that are found in animals and plants. Alternatives: vegetable oils.

Marine Oil.
From fish or marine mammals (including porpoises). Used in soapmaking. Used as a shortening (especially in some margarines), as a lubricant, and in paint. Alternatives: vegetable oils.

Essential amino acid found in various proteins (usually from egg albumen and casein). Used as a texturizer and for freshness in potato chips. Alternatives: synthetics.

Mink Oil.
From minks. In cosmetics, creams, etc. Alternatives: vegetable oils and emollients such as avocado oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.

Monoglycerides. Glycerides. (See Glycerin.)
From animal fat. In margarines, cake mixes, candies, foods, etc. In cosmetics. Alternative: vegetable glycerides.

Musk (Oil).
Dried secretion painfully obtained from musk deer, beaver, muskrat, civet cat, and otter genitals. Wild cats are kept captive in cages in horrible conditions and are whipped around the genitals to produce the scent; beavers are trapped; deer are shot. In perfumes and in food flavorings. Alternatives: labdanum oil (from various rockrose shrubs) and extracts from other plants with a musky scent.

Myristal Ether Sulfate.
(See Myristic Acid.)

Myristic Acid.
Organic acid typically derived from nut oils but occasionally of animal origin. Used in shampoos, creams, cosmetics. In food flavorings. Derivatives: Isopropyl Myristate, Myristal Ether Sulfate, Myristyls, Oleyl Myristate. Alternatives: nut butters, oil of lovage, coconut oil, extract from seed kernels of nutmeg, etc.

(See Myristic Acid.)

“Natural Sources.”
Can mean animal or vegetable sources. Most often in the health-food industry, especially in the cosmetics area, it means animal sources, such as animal elastin, glands, fat, protein, and oil. Alternatives: plant sources.

Nucleic Acids.
In the nucleus of all living cells. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, etc. Also in vitamins, supplements. Alternatives: plant sources.

(See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Octyl Dodecanol.
Mixture of solid waxy alcohols. Primarily from stearyl alcohol. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Oleic Acid.
Obtained from various animal and vegetable fats and oils. Usually obtained commercially from inedible tallow. (See Tallow.) In foods, soft soap, bar soap, permanent wave solutions, creams, nail polish, lipsticks, many other skin preparations. Derivatives: Oleyl Oleate, Oleyl Stearate. Alternatives: coconut oil. (See alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils.)

(See alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils.)

(See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Oleyl Alcohol. Ocenol.
Found in fish oils. Used in the manufacture of detergents, as a plasticizer for softening fabrics, and as a carrier for medications. Derivatives: Oleths, Oleyl Arachidate, Oleyl Imidazoline.

Oleyl Arachidate.
(See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Oleyl Imidazoline.
(See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Oleyl Myristate.
(See Myristic Acid.)

Oleyl Oleate.
(See Oleic Acid.)

Oleyl Stearate.
(See Oleic Acid.)

(See Palmitic Acid.)

(See Palmitic Acid.)

(See Palmitic Acid.)

Palmitic Acid.
A fatty acid most commonly derived from palm oil but may be derived from animals as well. In shampoos, shaving soaps, creams. Derivatives: Palmitate, Palmitamine, Palmitamide. Alternatives: vegetable sources.

Panthenol. Dexpanthenol. Vitamin B-Complex Factor. Provitamin B-5.
Can come from animal or plant sources or synthetics. In shampoos, supplements, emollients, etc. In foods. Derivative: Panthenyl. Alternatives: synthetics, plants.

(See Panthenol.)

In hogs’ stomachs. A clotting agent. In some cheeses and vitamins. Same uses and alternatives as Rennet.

Placenta. Placenta Polypeptides Protein. Afterbirth.
Contains waste matter eliminated by the fetus. Derived from the uterus of slaughtered animals. Animal placenta is widely used in skin creams, shampoos, masks, etc. Alternatives: kelp. (See alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils.)

(See Glycerin.)

From animal protein. Used in cosmetics. Alternatives: plant proteins and enzymes.

Derivatives of fatty acids. In cosmetics, foods.

Obtained from the liver oil of sharks and from whale ambergris. (See Squalene, Ambergris.) Used as a lubricant and anti-corrosive agent. In cosmetics. Alternatives: plant oils, synthetics.

A steroid hormone used in anti-wrinkle face creams. Can have adverse systemic effects. Alternatives: synthetics.

Tree sap gathered by bees and used as a sealant in beehives. In toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, supplements, etc. Alternatives: tree sap, synthetics.

Provitamin A.
(See Carotene.)

Provitamin B-5.
(See Panthenol.)

Provitamin D-2.
(See Vitamin D.)

Rennet. Rennin.
Enzyme from calves’ stomachs. Used in cheesemaking, rennet custard (junket), and in many coagulated dairy products. Alternatives: microbial coagulating agents, bacteria culture, lemon juice, or vegetable rennet.

(See Rennet.)

Resinous Glaze.
(See Shellac.)

Animal-derived vitamin A. Alternative: carotene.

Ribonucleic Acid.
(See RNA.)

RNA. Ribonucleic Acid.
RNA is in all living cells. Used in many protein shampoos and cosmetics. Alternatives: plant cells.

Royal Jelly.
Secretion from the throat glands of worker honeybees. Fed to the larvae in a colony and to all queen larvae. No proven value in cosmetics preparations. Alternatives: aloe vera, comfrey, other plant derivatives.

Sable Brushes.
From the fur of sables (weasel-like mammals). Used to make eye makeup, lipstick, and artists’ brushes. Alternatives: synthetic fibers.

Sea Turtle Oil.
(See Turtle Oil.)

Shark Liver Oil.
Used in lubricating creams and lotions. Derivatives: Squalane, Squalene. Alternatives: vegetable oils.

(See Leather.)

Shellac. Resinous Glaze.
Resinous excretion of certain insects. Used as a candy glaze, in hair lacquer, and on jewelry. Alternatives: plant waxes, Zein (from corn).

Silk. Silk Powder.
Silk is the shiny fiber made by silkworms to form their cocoons. Worms are boiled in their cocoons to get the silk. Used in cloth. In silk-screening (other fine cloth can be and is used instead). Taffeta can be made from silk or nylon. Silk powder is obtained from the secretion of the silkworm. It is used as a coloring agent in face powders, soaps, etc. Can cause severe allergic skin reactions and systemic reactions if inhaled or ingested. Alternatives: milkweed seed-pod fibers, nylon, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments (kapok), rayon, and synthetic silks.

In some cosmetics (crushed).

Sodium Caseinate.
(See Casein.)

Sodium Steroyl Lactylate.
(See Lactic Acid.)

Sodium Tallowate.
(See Tallow.)

Spermaceti. Cetyl Palmitate. Sperm Oil.
Waxy oil originally derived from the sperm whale’s head or from dolphins but now most often derived from petroleum. In many margarines. In skin creams, ointments, shampoos, candles, etc. Used in the leather industry. May become rancid and cause irritations. Alternatives: synthetic spermaceti, jojoba oil, and other vegetable emollients.

Sponge (Luna and Sea).
A plantlike animal. Lives in the sea. Becoming scarce. Alternatives: synthetic sponges, loofahs (plants used as sponges).

(See Shark Liver Oil.)

Oil from shark livers, etc. In cosmetics, moisturizers, hair dyes, surface-active agents. Alternatives: vegetable emollients such as olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, etc.

(See Stearic Acid.)

(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearamine Oxide.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearic Acid.
When animal-derived, a fat from cows, pigs, and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, etc. May also be of plant origin, including from cocoa butter and shea butter. Can be harsh, irritating. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, food flavoring. Derivatives: Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine, Stearyl Imidazoline. Alternatives: Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats, coconut.

Stearic Hydrazide.
(See Stearic Acid.)

(See Stearic Acid.)

(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearoyl Lactylic Acid.
(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Acetate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Alcohol. Sterols.
A mixture of solid alcohols. Can be prepared from sperm whale oil. In medicines, creams, rinses, shampoos, etc. Derivatives: Stearamine Oxide, Stearyl Acetate, Stearyl Caprylate, Stearyl Citrate, Stearyldimethyl Amine, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Stearyl Heptanoate, Stearyl Octanoate, Stearyl Stearate. Alternatives: plant sources, vegetable stearic acid.

Stearyl Betaine.
(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Caprylate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Citrate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyldimethyl Amine.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Heptanoate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Imidazoline.
(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Octanoate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Stearate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Steroids. Sterols.
From various animal glands or from plant tissues. Steroids include sterols. Sterols are alcohol from animals or plants (e.g., cholesterol). Used in hormone preparation. In creams, lotions, hair conditioners, fragrances, etc. Alternatives: plant tissues, synthetics.

(See Stearyl Alcohol and Steroids.)

(See Leather.)

Tallow. Tallow Fatty Alcohol. Stearic Acid.
Rendered beef fat. May cause eczema and blackheads. In wax paper, crayons, margarines, paints, rubber, lubricants, etc. In candles, soaps, lipsticks, shaving creams, other cosmetics. Chemicals (e.g., PCB) can be in animal tallow. Derivatives: Sodium Tallowate, Tallow Acid, Tallow Amide, Tallow Amine, Talloweth-6, Tallow Glycerides, Tallow Imidazoline. Alternatives: vegetable tallow, Japan tallow, paraffin, ceresin (see alternatives to Beeswax). Paraffin is usually from petroleum, wood, coal, or shale oil.

Tallow Acid.
(See Tallow.)

Tallow Amide.
(See Tallow.)

Tallow Amine.
(See Tallow.)

(See Tallow.)

Tallow Glycerides.
(See Tallow.)

Tallow Imidazoline.
(See Tallow.)

Triterpene Alcohols.
(See Lanolin.)

Turtle Oil. Sea Turtle Oil.
From the muscles and genitals of giant sea turtles. In soap, skin creams, nail creams, other cosmetics. Alternatives: vegetable emollients (see alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils).

Uric Acid.
(See Urea.)

Vitamin A.
Can come from fish liver oil (e.g., shark liver oil), egg yolk, butter, lemongrass, wheat germ oil, carotene in carrots, and synthetics. An aliphatic alcohol. In cosmetics, creams, perfumes, hair dyes, etc. In vitamins, supplements. Alternatives: carrots, other vegetables, synthetics. (Please note that Vitamin A exists in two forms: see also Carotene, Retinol.)

Vitamin B-Complex Factor.
(See Panthenol.)

Vitamin B Factor.
(See Biotin.)

Vitamin B12.
Can come from animal products or bacteria cultures. Twinlab B12 vitamins contain gelatin. Alternatives: vegetarian vitamins, fortified soy milks, nutritional yeast, fortified meat substitutes. Vitamin B12 is often listed as “cyanocobalamin” on food labels. Vegan health professionals caution that vegans get 5–10 mcg/day of vitamin B12 from fortified foods or supplements.

Vitamin D. Ergocalciferol. Vitamin D2. Ergosterol. Provitamin D2. Calciferol. Vitamin D3.
Vitamin D can come from fish liver oil, milk, egg yolks, and other animal products but can also come from plant sources. Vitamin D2 is typically vegan. Vitamin D3 may be from an animal source. All the D vitamins can be in creams, lotions, other cosmetics, vitamin tablets, etc. Alternatives: plant and mineral sources, synthetics, completely vegetarian vitamins, exposure of skin to sunshine.

Vitamin H.
(See Biotin.)

Glossy, hard substance that is soft when hot. From animals and plants. In lipsticks, depilatories, hair straighteners. Alternatives: vegetable waxes.

Wool Fat.
(See Lanolin.)

Wool Wax.
(See Lanolin.)