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Ingredients and Chemicals that May Contain Meat Products by Stephen Knapp


This is to provide further insight into the many simple and common ingredients that may still contain meat products in them without being aware of it.


Acid casein - Made from milk. Bread and cereal enrichment.

Activated carbon - Vegetable (within USA) or animal (cow bone). Sugar processing and water purification.

Adipic acid (Hexanedioic Acid) - Synthetic, may contain extremely low amount of meat products. Processed food to impart a tart flavoring.

Adrenaline - Adrenal glands of hogs, cattle, and sheep. Medicine.

Albumen - Egg white, blood, vegetable tissues. Usually derived from egg whites. Baked goods, cakes, cookies, pastries, candies and cosmetics.

Albumin - Made from blood, eggs, cow's milk or vegetable To add texture or to thicken food.

Allantoin - Cows, most mammals, many plants (especially comfrey). In cosmetics, creams and lotions.

Ambergris - Whale intestines, synthetic or vegetable. Used in making perfumes and as foods flavoring.

Amino acid - Animal, vegetable, synthetic and bacterial. Supplements, baked goods, cosmetics and shampoos. It is the building block of proteins.

Amylase - Fungal, bacterial, animal (pig). Products (baked goods) where sugar comes from corn. It is an enzyme that breaks starch down to a more basic form.

Cane sugar (Sucrose) - Vegetable. Animal bones are often used as a filter while processing it. Natural sugar. Florida Crystal Sugar and Jack Frost Sugar are not processed with animal bones.

Capric acid (N-decanoic Acid) - Vegetable or animal. Ice cream, baked goods, sweets, beverages and artificial flavorings. An element in some fats used to make synthetic flavoring. red lollipops and food coloring

Caprylic Acid - Cow's or goat's milk Coconut oil, palm oils, perfumes and soaps.

Carmine (Cochineal or Carminic Acid) - Red coloring made from insects. Candies, frozen pops, bottled juice, red apple sauce, colored pasta, "natural" cosmetics and shampoos.

Carotene - Provitamin A. Beta Carotene Animal, plants Coloring in cosmetics and vitamin A.

Casein - Milk protein. Added to dairy products such as cottage cheese, "non-dairy" creamers, cream cheese, sour cream, cheese. Added to imitation and soy cheese, breads and cereals. Cosmetics and hair preparations.

Carbohydrate - Vegetable or animal (insects). Cornstarch and glucose.

Carmine - Animal (insects). Juices, dairy products, ice creams, fruit fillings, pudding and baked goods. Food coloring made from female beetles.

Clarifying agent - Animal (egg, gelatin, fish bladder), milk, mineral. Used to help filter out small particles out of liquids to make the liquid clear.

Cochineal - Animal, insects. Juices, ice cream, fruit fillings, yogurt, pudding and sweets.

Cysteine (L-cysteine) - Human hair. Bakes goods, breads, food supplements. It is an amino acid that is produced by the human body. Hair care products and creams.

Cystine (L-cystine) - Human hair, horsehair. Food supplements. It is an amino acid that is produced by the human body.

Dextrose (glucose, corn sugar) - Vegetable. Animal bones may be use to filter it.

Diglyceride - Animal (cow or hog), vegetable. Baked goods, peanut butter, chewing gum, whipped topping, sweets, drinks, ice creams and shortening. Used to mix ingredients that normally don't mix together, such as water and oil.

Disodium inosinate - Animal (meat or animal), vegetable, fungal. Canned vegetables, spreads, powdered soups and sauces. A flavor enhancer.

Dough Conditioner - Usually mineral, but sometimes animal, vegetable or synthetic. Helps to make dough easier to handle. Such as glyceryl monostearate, potassium bromate, locust (carob) bean gum, monocalcium sulfate, benzoyl peroxide and calcium sulfate.

Duodenum Substances - Digestive tracts of cows and pigs. Vitamin tablets and medications.

Emulsifier - Animal (cow, hog, eggs, milk), vegetable, synthetic. Processed foods, peanut butter, candies, dairy products, baked goods, soft drinks, chocolate and ice creams. It is used to keep unlike ingredients mixed together. Lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, calcium stearoyl, polysorbate and monostearate.

Enzyme - Animal (cow, hog), eggs, vegetable, fungal, or bacterial. Cheese and baked goods. Protein added to food to change it. Rennet, which is used in the process of making cheese, may be derived from either an animal or vegetarian source. Examples are rennet, papain, pectinase, lactase, trypsin, protease and lipase. Pipsins, lipases, trypsins usually come from animals.

Folic acid (pteroyl glutamic acid, folacin) - Usually synthetic or fungal. Could be animal, vegetable. Enriched food such as baked goods and macaroni. B-vitamin complex.

Fat - Animal (cow or hog), vegetable. Tallow, lard, soybean oil and cocoa butter.

Fatty acid - Animal (cow or hog), vegetable, synthetic. Used in lipsticks, food, cosmetics, detergents and soap.

Flavor enhancer - Animal (meat or fish), vegetable. Monosodium glutamate, disodium guanylate, disodium inosiante and soy sauce. It gives food a flavor, but has little or no flavor itself.

Foaming agent - Usually animal or dairy-mineral. Sodium caseinate. Used to make food foam.

Gelatin - Hooves, cartilage, bones of animal. Jellybeans, marshmallows, yogurts, ice cream, cakes and frosted cereals. Shampoos and cosmetics, coating on pills and capsules. On photographic film. Used as a thickener.

Glucose (Dextrose) - Fruits or animal tissues. Soft drinks, frosting, candies and baked goods.

Glycerin - Glycerol Byproduct of soap manufacturing (usually is animal fat). Cosmetics, foods, toothpastes, mouthwashes, ointments, chewing gum, medicines and soaps.

Glycerides (Mono-, Di-, Tri-glycerides) - Animal fat (cow, hog), vegetable, synthetic. Processed foods, baked goods, peanut butter, jelly, ice cream, chocolate, chewing gums, candies, beverages, shortening and whipped toppings. Used to mix ingredients that normally don't mix together, such as water and oil. Most of them are vegetarian, but some may be animal-based.

Glycerol (Glycerin, Glycerine) - Usually vegetable, may be animal (cow, hog). Candies, baked goods, marshmallows, sweets and soft drinks. Preservative that helps retain moisture.

Guanine - Scales of fish. Shampoo, nail polish, and other cosmetics.

Invert sugar (Colorose, Inversol) - Vegetable. This sugar may be processed with cow bones. If derived from sugar beets, it is not usually processed with cow bones. Baked goods and candy. Often non-vegetarian.

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

Isinglass - Fish. Alcoholic beverages (white wine and chardonnay) and some jelly deserts.

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

Keratin - Usually animal (chicken, hair and nails of). What the amino acid tyrosine is often made from.

Lac-resin (shellac) - Animal (insect secretion). Candy, fruit, pills. Combined in making wax.

Lactic acid - Animal, milk. Pickles, frozen desserts, fruit preserves, candy, olives, yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut and chewing gum and foods produced by fermentation. Skin fresheners. Sometimes in beer.

Lactose (saccharum lactin) - Milk sugar from mammals. Used to sour milk, medicinal diuretics, laxatives baked goods, medicines and baby formulas.

Lactylic stearate - Salt of stearic acid from tallow. Dough conditioner.

Lanolin - Fat from sheep's wool. Chewing gum, cosmetics and ointments.

Lard -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. Tortillas (sometimes), refried beans, processed foods, chewing gum, some baked goods and piecrust (sometimes). It is sometimes used in the production of maple syrup, but not usually by the larger producers.

Lanolin Oil - Glands of sheep, extracted from their wool. Skin care products, cosmetics and some medicines.

Lecithin - Phospholipids from plants, animal tissues or egg yolk. Mainly from eggs and soybeans. Usually vegetarian. Baked goods, margarine, soft drinks, chocolate, candy, cereal, vegetable oil sprays and cosmetic. Lipsticks, hand creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, medicines and eye creams. Waxy substance.

Linoleic Acid - An essential fatty acid. Cosmetics and vitamins.

Lipase - Enzyme from the tongue and stomach of animals (hog, cow), fungal. Cheese, ice cream, chocolate, cream and margarine. Used in making cheese and digestive aids.

Luetein - Yellow coloring from marigolds or egg yolks. Food coloring for processed foods.

Magnesium stearate - Animal (cow, hog) - Mineral, vegetable-mineral. Sugarless gum, candy and pills. Used as a preservative or to mix ingredients that normally don't mix together, such as water and oil.

Maple syrup - Vegetable but may be processed with an extremely small amount of animal (cow or hog) or with butter. This is usually now only done by traditional, smaller producers. Most larger producers use a compound from a synthetic source to reduce foaming. Pancake syrup, candy, cereal. Holsum, Spring Tree and Maple Groves do not use animal-derived products to process their maple syrup.

Methionine - Usually from egg and casein (dairy). Texturizer and for freshness in potato chips. It is an essential amino acid.

Modified starch - Vegetable. Pie filling, gravies, desserts and sauces. Corn that has been altered. Animal products are used in making oleic, which is often used in making adipic acid, which is used to alter corn to make starch.

Monoglyceride - Animal (cow or hog) fat or vegetable. Baked goods, peanut butter, chewing gum, whipped toppings, sweets, drinks, ice cream, shortening, margarines, cake mixes, candies and in cosmetics. Used to mix ingredients that normally don't mix together, such as water and oil.

Myristic acid (n-tetradecanoic) - Usually animal (cow or sheep). Processed foods, baked goods, ice cream, candy, cocoa flavoring, butter, chocolate, gelatin desserts and butterscotch. Component of fats used in food.

Natural coloring - Usually vegetable. Animal (insects). Processed foods, baked goods, beverages, candy, cereal, ice cream, pasta, dry mixes, margarine.

Natural flavoring - Vegetables, animal (meat, fish, eggs, milk). Processed foods, baked goods, drinks, salad dressing and cereals. An additive to give flavoring to food.

Nutritive sweetener - Vegetable, animal (insect), synthetic. Sucrose, molasses, aspartame, dextrose, corn syrup, fructose and honey. Sweeteners that have more than two calories per gram.

Oleic acid (oleinic acid) - Animal tallow, vegetable fats and oils. Cheese, candy, synthetic butter, beverages, baked goods, ice cream, vegetable fats, oils, soaps, lipsticks, cosmetics and nail polish. Fats that bind or flavor food.

Olestra (Sucrose polyester, Olean) - Vegetable, synthetic. Often gotten from inedible tallow. Tortilla chips, potato chips, cheese puffs, crackers, lipsticks, nail polish, , creams The sucrose used to process it may be filtered by cow bones. A fat substitute. Derivatives: Oleyl Oleate, Oleyl Stearate

Palmitic acid (n-hexadeconoic) - Animal (cow, hog fats), vegetable oils, palm oil. Usually non-vegetarian. Baked goods, cheese and butter flavoring shampoos, shaving soaps, creams. Helps ingredients that don't normally mix together, such as water and oil. Derivatives: Palmitate, Palmitamine,Palmitamide.

Pepsin - Hog's stomachs. Cheeses, vitamins. A clotting agent. Polypeptides: Obtained from slaughterhouse wastes.

Polysorbates - Derivatives of fatty acids. In cosmetics, foods.

Pepsin - Enzyme from a pig or cow stomachs. Rennet to make cheese, digestive aids and vitamins. An enzyme that helps break down proteins. A clotting agent.

Polysorbate - Animal, vegetable, synthetic. Derivatives of fatty acids. Baked goods, gelatin products, chocolate, ice cream, candy, soft drinks, nondairy creamer, salad dressing, spreads, artificial toppings, pickles and cosmetics. Used to mix ingredients that normally don't mix together, such as water and oil.

Processing aid - Animal (cow, hog), egg, milk, vegetable, synthetic, mineral. Sugar, juice, beer, wine. Something added to foods during processing, and then is mostly or completely removed. It can be used to get rid of unwanted flavoring or coloring or aid in filtering.

Propolis - Resinous substance that comes from bees. Supplements and found in "natural" toothpastes

Protease - Animal, vegetable, fungal, bacterial. Rennin, papain, lactase, pepsin, bromelain, trypsin. Dough conditioning, beer. A general term for enzymes that break down proteins.

Rennet - Animal (usually cow Enzyme from calves' stomachs.), vegetable, bacteria, molds. Cheese, custard. Rennet is used in the processing of cheese. In many soy cheese brands.

Rennin - Animal (usually cow), vegetable, bacteria, molds. Cheese, custard. Rennin is used in the processing of cheese.

Resinous Glaze - Excretion of certain insects. Candy glaze, in hair lacquer.

Simplesse - Milk, egg Ice cream, yogurt, margarine and salad dressings. Fat substitute. Egg may be used to process it.

Sodium stearoyl lactylate - Animal-mineral (cow, hog), milk, vegetable-mineral. Baked good mixes, pudding mixes, pancake mixes, instant rice, coffee whiteners, shortenings, margarine, dehydrated fruits or vegetables. Used to condition dough or to mix ingredients that normally don't mix together, such as water and oil.

Stearic acid (n-octadecanoic) - Animal (cow, stomachs of pigs, and sometimes from dogs and cats from animal shelters), vegetable. Food flavoring chewing gum, soaps, deodorants, creams, cosmetics and hairspray. Steroids, Sterols: Animal glands, vegetable. In creams, lotions, hair conditioners. Used in hormone preparation.

Sucrose (sugar) - Vegetable. May have been processed by using cow bone filter.

Surface-active agents (surfactants) - Such as sorbitan monostearate. Animal, vegetable, synthetic. Processed foods, cheeses, peanut butter and salad dressing. A general term for a food additive to process them.

Surface-finishing agents - Animal, vegetable, synthetic. Fruits and baked goods. Beeswax, shellac wax, gum acacia, carnauba wax and paraffin. Put on food to make it look shiny. Normally vegetarian.

Suet (Tallow) - White fat from kidneys and loins of animals. Margarine, shortening, pastries, cake mixes, cooking oils, soaps, candles, cosmetics, rubber, waxed paper and crayons.

Tallow (Suet fatty acid, Stearic Acid) - Fat from cattle, sheep, sometimes vegetable. Margarine, shortening, pastries, cake mixes, cooking oils, soaps, candles, cosmetics, rubber, waxed paper and crayons. Animal fat that is used to make baked goods more fluffy or to reduce the foam during the production of maple syrup, yeast and beet sugar.

Tyrosine (L-tyrosine) - Animal (chicken feathers). Dietary supplements, suntan products. It is an amino acid that is produced by and needed by the body.

Urea, Carbamide: Excreted from urine and body fluids. Synthetically. In hair colorings, deodorants, mouthwashes shampoos, hand creams. Browning agents for food such as pretzels. Derivatives: Imidazolidinyl Urea, Uric Acid

Vitamin A (A1, retinal) - Egg yolks, fish liver oil, vegetables, carotene in carrots, wheat germ oil, and synthetics. Supplements, "natural" cosmetics. Skim milk, milk, dietary infant formula, margarine, certain cheeses. Hair-dyes, cosmetics, creams, perfumes. Exist in milk, fish oil and eggs. Yellow and orange vegetables contain an ingredient that is transformed into this vitamin.

Vitamin B12 - Found in all animal products Usually animal source. synthetic form is vegan Fortified foods and supplements.

Vitamin D-3 - Vitamin D can come from fish liver oil, milk, egg yolk, etc. Vitamin D-2 can come from animal fats. Alternatives: plant and mineral sources, synthetics, completely vegetarian vitamins, exposure of skin to sunshine. Many other vitamins can come from animal sources. Examples: choline, biotin, inositol, riboflavin, etc.

Vitamin D (D1, D2, D3) - D1 is produced by human skin when exposed to the sun, animal, vegetable Usually from animals. Cosmetics, lotions, creams.

D2 (ergocalciferol) - made from yeast or plants.

D3 (cholecalciferol, calciferol) - Comes from lanolin or fish liver oil Vitamin D-3 is always from an animal source. Fortified foods and supplements. A vitamin needed for bone and teeth development.

Wax - Vegetable, animal (insect- or cow), synthetic. Put on vegetables and fruits as a protective coating. Candy, chewing gum. Usually vegetarian.

Whey - Watery liquid that separates from milk Cakes, breads, cookies, candies, crackers. In cheese-making.

*  *  *


Are NATURAL FLAVORS always vegetarian ????

The definition of natural flavorings and flavors from the "Code of Federal Regulations" is as follows:

"The term natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrosylate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf, or similar plant material, MEAT, SEAFOOD, POULTRY, EGGS, dairy products, or FERMENTATION PRODUCTS thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional."

In other words, natural flavors can be pretty much anything approved for use in food. It's nearly impossible to tell what is in natural flavors unless the company has specified it in the label. A few of the vegetarian or vegan oriented companies are doing this now, BUT THE  OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE FOOD MANUFACTURERS DO NOT.

The companies actually HIDE the ingredients under the natural flavors mostly in a way of preserving the product's identity and uniqueness.

So, what is a Vegetarian to do ?

Call the company and ask them what's in the flavorings. It is highly unlikely that they would reveal it. But, if they do, good for you. Else look out for other brands. 



Gelatin can be made from cows, pigs, fish and other animals. It is animal protein used especially for its thickening and gelling properties.

It is often used in candies, puddings, YOGHURT, marshmallows, sour cream, frozen desserts, cheese spreads, soft drinks, pill capsules and juice.

Is Kosher gelatin vegetarian?

Unfortunately NO.

Kosher gelatin can be made with fish and/or beef.

Is there a vegetarian gelatin ?


There are "gelatins" that are vegetable or synthetic in the market. In most cases it would be clearly mentioned. If not, buy it at your own risk.

For people who are really after gelatin......

Emes Kosher products is one company which produces vegetarian gelatin made from a type of seaweed. But don't forget that not all kosher gelatin is vegetarian.



Published with the kind permission of Stephen Knapp


Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana) is the President and Treasurer of the Vedic Friends Association ( He has been researching Vedic spirituality and comparative religious study for over 30 years in a variety of settings. He has directly engaged in those spiritual disciplines that have been recommended for hundreds of years. He continued his study of Vedic knowledge and practice under the guidance of a spiritual master to get the insights and realizations that are normally absent from the ordinary academic atmosphere. Through this process he has been initiated into the genuine and authorized spiritual line of the Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya sampradaya, or disciplic succession, under the sanction of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. He has also extensively travelled throughout India to most of the major holy sights and more, and is known for his slide shows on his travels to the holy places and spiritual festivals of India (even nicknamed "the slide show acharya"), and for his lectures on the Vedic and Indian philosophy. He has written several books on the science and spiritual practice of Vedic culture and Eastern philosophy.



Visit his website, at:

You can email him at: [email protected] 


*Click Here* to see books, from Vedic Books, authored by Stephen Knapp



Copyright 2006 © Stephen Knapp. All rights reserved




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