I think the most difficult part about going vegan was reading every ingredients label trying to work out if this vegetarian item was in fact vegan, now I didn't learn some of these until I started my course to become a qualified vegan nutritionist, I was so amazed by the amount of ingredients some vegans have no idea about - so I wanted to share them with you all today so you know what to look out for next time you go shopping!


Milk - Anything containing cows milk, goats milk etc or by products including powdered milk, butter, cheese, yoghurts, ice creams etc are to be avoided.

Eggs - Eggs from chickens, quails, fish and ostriches are all avoided.

Casein - This is a protein derived from milk, suitable for vegetarians but not vegans.

Lactose -  A milk sugar.

Whey - A milk by-product.

Collagen - Made from the skin, bones and connective tissues of animals such as cows, chickens, pigs and fish.

Honey - Food for bees, made by bees.

Royal Jelly - Secretion of the throat gland of the honeybee.

Gelatine/Gelatin - Obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments and/or bones and is usually from cows or pigs

Aspic - Industry alternative to gelatine- made from clarified meat, fish or vegetable stocks and gelatine.

Lard/Tallow - Animal fat.

Propolis - Used by bees in the construction of their hives.

Vitamin D3 - This vitamin comes from lanolin or fish oil, meaning it's not vegan friendly.

Lanolin - This is found in many cosmetics, as it's the grease extracted from sheep's wool.

Rennet - This ingredient is used in cheese making, as it's an enzyme found in the stomach of lambs and calves.

Shellac - Obtained from the bodies of female scale insect tachardia lacca.

Albumen/Albumin - Derived from eggs.

Isinglass - This is a substance derived from fish bladders that is used in the making of wine and beer.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids - These are avoided because they are most often derived from fish, algae based alternatives are advised.

Cod Liver Oil - Used in lubricating creams and lotions, vitamins and supplements.

Pepsin - Made from the stomachs of pigs, a clotting agent used in vitamins.

E120 - Also known as Carmine or Cochineal. A red food dye used for colouring food and cosmetics that comes from the cochineal insect (Beetles), produced by drying, crushing and boiling the beetles bodies.

E441 - Gelatine. A gelling agent made from ground up animal bone and skin, often found in confectionary.

E542 - Bone phosphate, ground up animal bones used to keep foods moist.

E901 - Beeswax, as the name suggests, this is wax that's made by bees and is used as a glazing agent.

E904 - Shellac, glazing agent made from the secretions of an insect called the lac bug.

E910, E920, E921 - L-Cysteine and its derivatives. Made from animal hair and feathers, these additives are found in some breads as a proving agent.

E913 - Lanolin, a greasy substance secreted by sheep and other wooly animals. Mostly used in cosmetics, but also used to make vitamin D3, rendering many multi-vitamins and fortified foods unsuitable for vegans.

E966 - Lactitol. A sweetener derived from lactose, which is made from milk.


Beer & Wine - some varieties are made using isinglass (mentioned above), others may use casein, gelatine or egg whites.

Bread - Products such as loaves, pastries and bagels may include L-Cysterine.

Candies, Chewing Gum & Sweets - These may contain carmine, shellac and gelatine.

Crisps & Potato Chips - Crisps themselves are vegan, but flavourings may not be eg. powdered cheese and milk.

Dark Chocolate - Most brands of dark chocolate are vegan, but some do use milk powder in their ingredients so be sure to double check.

Deep Fried Foods - Foods like onion rings might seem vegan but may not be because the batter could contain eggs or even milk.

French Fries - Some places often fry their chips or French fries in animal fats like beef dripping.

Non-Dairy Products - Even though some products may claim to be 'non-dairy' they may still include casein, which like mentioned above is a protein that comes from a milk source.

Olive Tapenade - This often contains anchovies, rendering it unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Pasta - Many types of pasta do contain egg.

Pesto - While this would seem to be vegan, many pesto brands include parmesan cheese in their ingredients.

Refined Sugar - Sometimes sugar is lightened using 'natural carbon' which is in fact 'bone char' made from cattle bones. Instead vegans should opt for evaporated cane sugar or organic sugar, although in The UK most sugar is actually safe for vegans as it's usually beet sugar.

Roasted Peanuts - To help the salt and spices stick to the peanuts, gelatine is sometimes used in the manufacturing process.

Worcestershire Sauce - This sauce may contain anchovies, again making it unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans.


Is there anything on the list you were surprised to see?

If you know of any that isn't listed above, please message me and I'll add it!

Daisy x