7 Sneaky Non-Vegan Ingredients to Look For in Proclaimed Vegan Products


Veganism has now become mainstream, and with most people adopting this lifestyle, different vegan products are also hitting the market. And although most of them are authentically vegan, some brands are only there for business because they aren’t vegan at all. 

So, how can you tell apart vegan products from those that are not? The following list contains the most common sneaky non-vegan ingredients to look out for when purchasing vegan products.

  1. Gelatin

Gelatin is an animal protein derived from different animal parts (usually cows or pigs) such as the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.

Its often used as a gelling agent and a thickener in products such as gummy candy, marshmallows, cakes, and yogurts. It can also be used as a coating agent in vitamins and capsules.

  • Whey

Whey is a liquid that remains during cheese production after milk has been curdled and strained.

 It’s a common additive used in cheese-flavored snacks, crackers, sausages, hotdogs, and margarine.

It’s also used in prepackaged foods such as pancakes, puddings, waffles, caramel, and nougat.

  • Castoreum

Castoreum is an anal secretion from beavers, which they often use to mark their territories.

It’s often used as a flavoring in foods such as ice creams due to its vanilla smell. It also has a raspberry smell making it a suitable enhancer for strawberry and raspberry flavorings.

  • Isinglass

Isinglass is a form of gelatin obtained from swim bladders of fish. It’s commonly used for clarification or refining of wine and some types of beer. Although the beer can clear naturally when left undisturbed, isinglass accelerates the process.

  • Lactic acid

Lactic acid can be both vegan and non-vegan. It’s often used as a preservative, a flavoring, and a curing agent. It’s commonly present in processed foods such as olives, pickles, bread products, sauerkraut, frozen desserts, candy, wine, and fruit preserves.

It can be tricky to know whether a product has vegan or non-vegan lactic acid; however, always look for those products with a vegan seal or logo on their package.

  • Beeswax

Beeswax is such a sneaky ingredient that finds its way almost in everything. You’ll find it on different produces such as apples to help keep them appear fresh for longer.

You can also find it in sweats and candies as a coating as well as in cosmetics, both natural and un-natural ones.

  • Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is derived from lambswool. It’s often used as a fortifying ingredient in foods and drinks such as orange juice. It’s also present in different multivitamin brands.

Please make sure you check your labels carefully and always go for vitamin D2 as it’s derived from plants.

Differentiating between a vegan and a non-vegan product can be easy when you know exactly what should never be in products claiming to be vegan. So whenever you go shopping, take time and go through the ingredients list. You’ll be shocked! Otherwise, always look for a vegan logo or stamp to ensure your product has authentically been certified vegan.