List of Non-Vegan Substances and Animal Derived Ingredients in Food Products

There are vegan alternatives for most if not all of the non-vegan substances used in the food industry. Check out this list of the Animal-Derived Ingredients in Food Products to help you identify them.


Description: A coagulant and food thickener derived from animal bones, skin and other parts containing collagen

Source: source

Use: Gelatin is used to thicken and solidify a wide range of foods, including gummy bears, fruit-flavored jello, and marshmallows


Description: It is a form of collagen

Source: Is a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish

Use: Used mainly for the clarification or fining of some beer and wine

Lactic Acid

Description: Lactic acid is an organic acid. It is white in the solid state. When in the dissolved state, it forms a colorless solution

Source: Found in blood and muscle tissue. Also in sour milk, beer, sauerkraut, pickles, and other food products made by bacterial fermentation.

Use: Topical preparations and cosmetics to adjust acidity and for its disinfectant and keratolytic properties

Alternative: Plant-based milk sugars, synthetics


Description: Is a natural wax produced by honey bees

Source: The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of bees

Use: Candle-making, food additive E901, Lubricate Wood, polish furniture, lip balm, water proofing agent


Description: Is a pigment of a bright-red color scale insects such as the cochineal, Armenian cochineal, and Polish cochineal.

Source: Carmine is made by crushing the female cochineal insect. The insects are harvested, sun-dried and crushed. They are then put into an acidic solution that produces carminic acid.

Use: coloring agent, food dye, food colorant

Glycerin / Glycerol

Description: It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic. (labeled E422 in food)

Source: A byproduct of soap manufacture (normally uses animal fat)

Use: Used in FDA approved wound and burn treatments, as a sweetener in the food industry and as a humectant pharmaceutical formulations.

Alternative: Vegetable glycerin (a byproduct of vegetable oil soap), derivatives of seaweed, petroleum.


Description: Rendering is a process that converts waste animal tissue into stable, usable materials.

Source: Rendered form of beef or mutton fat, primarily made up of triglycerides.

Use: In wax paper, crayons, margarines, paints, rubber, lubricants, etc. In candles, soaps, lipsticks, shaving creams, other cosmetics


Description: Milk protein.

Source: These proteins are commonly found in mammalian milk

Use: Paint, glue, and foor


Description: A steroid alcohol in all animal fats. A type of lipid. It is a yellowish crystalline solid.

Source: Nervous tissue, egg yolk, and blood. Can be derived from lanolin.

Use: In cosmetics, eye creams, shampoos, etc

Alternative: Solid complex alcohols (sterols) from plant sources

Fish oil

Description: Oil

Source: Derived from the tissues of fish species with oil in soft tissues and in the coelomic cavity around the gut

Use: Dietary supplements,


Description: Is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. Is milk fat rendered from butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat.

Source: source

Use: Commonly used in cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, Middle Eastern cuisine, South Asian cuisine, traditional medicine, and religious rituals.

Alternative: Modern vegetable shortening is sometimes called 'vegetable ghee' and used for cooking, especially by vegans


Description: Lard is a semi-solid white fat product obtained by rendering the fatty tissue of a pig.

Source: Pig

Use: Used as substitute of butter


Description: Lipases perform essential roles in digestion, transport and processing of dietary lipids (e.g. triglycerides, fats, oils)

Source: In most, if not all, living organisms. Enzyme from the stomachs, tongue glands of calves, and lambs

Use: Used in digestive aids as it helps the body break down fats.

Alternative: Vegetable enzymes, can be from plants, fungus or yeast.


Description: Rennet is a complex set of enzymes produced in the stomachs of ruminant mammals. Chymosin, its key component, is a protease enzyme that curdles the casein in milk. In addition to chymosin, rennet contains other enzymes, such as pepsin and a lipase.

Source: Stomachs of ruminant mammals

Use: Rennet is used to separate milk into solid curds and liquid whey, and so it or a substitute is used in the production of most cheeses.


Description: Retinol, also known as vitamin A1-alcohol, is a vitamin in the vitamin A family

Source: Retinoids are found naturally only in foods of animal origin. Liver and other organs

Use: As a supplement it is ingested to treat and prevent vitamin A deficiency, especially that which results in xerophthalmia.

Shellac / Glaze

Description: Shellac is an insect produced resin

Source: Secreted by the female lac bug on trees in the forests of India and Thailand.

Use: brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish


Description: Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained.

Source: It is a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese or casein

Use: Whey is used to produce whey cheeses such as ricotta, brunost, and whey butter and many other products for human consumption.


Description: It is a white compound, water-soluble with a mildly sweet taste.

Source: Lactose is only found in milk from mammals. Lactose makes up around 2โ€“8% of milk (by weight)

Use: including drug manufacturing, food processing, and fermentation as filler or binder

Animal Derived Ingredients List

Animal Derived Ingredients Categories


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