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Home > Food > Criteria For Vegan Food

Products that are licensed to carry the Society's trademark or which are listed in the Animal Free Shopper must meet the Society's animal free criteria; i.e. vegan products must, as far as is possible and practical, be entirely free from animal involvement. The listing below specifies what this means in more detail.

Vegetable, mineral or plant/mineral-derived synthetic forms of the substances in this listing are acceptable, as are microbiologically-fermented substances of plant origin

No Animal Ingredients

The manufacture and/or development of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, the use of any animal product, by-product or derivative. Such as:

Additives: Animal-Derived

E120 - cochineal
E542 - edible bone phosphate
E631 - sodium 5'-inosinate
E901 - beeswax
E904 - shellac

calcium mesoinositol
sperm oil/spermaceti

Additives: Possibly Animal-Derived

E101 - riboflavin, lactoflavin, vitamin B2
E101(a) - riboflavin 5'-phosphate
E153 (believed animal-free version only may be used in food) - carbon black, vegetable carbon
E161(b) - lutein
E161(g) - canthaxanthin
E236 - formic acid
E237 - sodium formate
E238 - calcium formate
E270 - lactic acid
E322 - lecithin
E325 - sodium lactate
E326 - potassium lactate
E327 - calcium lactate
E422 - glycerol (glycerine)
E430 (believed to be no longer permitted in food) - polyoxyethylene (8) stearate, polyoxyl (8) stearate
E431 - polyoxyethylene (40) stearate, polyoxyl (40) stearate
E432 - polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate, polysorbate 20, tween 20
E433 - polyoxyethylene sorbitan mono-oleate, polysorbate 80, tween 80
E434 - polyoxyethylene sorbitan monopalmitate, polysorbate 40, tween 40
E435 - polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate, polysorbate 60, tween 60
E436 - polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate, polysorbate 65, tween 65
E470(a) - sodium, potassium and calcium slats of fatty acids
E470(b) - magnesium salts of fatty acids
E471 - glycerides of fatty acids, glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate
E472(a) - acetic acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids, acetoglycerides, glycerol esters
E472(b) - lactic acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids, lactylated glycerides, lactoglycerides
E472(c) - citric acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids
E472(d) - tartaric acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids
E472(e) - mono and diacetyltartaric acid esters of glycerides of fatty acids
E472(f) - mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids
E473 - sucrose esters of fatty acids
E474 - sucroglycerides
E475 - polyglycerol esters of fatty acids
E476 - polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids of castor oil, polyglycerol polyricinoleate; - polyglycerol esters of dimerized fatty acids of soya bean oil
E477 - propylene glycol esters of fatty acids; propane-1,2-diol esters of fatty acids
E478 - lactylated fatty acid esters of gylcerol and propane-1,2-diol
E479(b) - thermally oxidized soya bean oil interacted with mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids
E481 - sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate
E482 - calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate
E483 - stearyl tartrate
E491 - sorbitan monostearate
E492 - sorbitan tristearate, span 65
E493 - sorbitan monolaurate, span 20
E494 - sorbitan mono-oleate, span 80
E495 - sorbitan monopalmitate, span 40
E570 - fatty acids (including myristic, stearic, palmitic and oleic), butyl stearate
E572 - magnesium salts of fatty acids (including magnesium stearate); - calcium stearate
E585 - ferrous lactate
E627 - guanosine 5'-disodium phosphate, sodium guanylate, disodium guanylate
E635 - sodium 5'-ribonucleotide
E640 - glycine and its sodium salt
E920 - L-cysteine hydrochloride
E1518 - glyceryl mono-, di- and tri-acetate (triacetin) calcium hepatonate calcium phytate diacetin glyceryl leucine monoacetin oxystearin any unspecified flavourings

Animal Fibres

- angora, astrakhan, cashmere, mohair, wool

Animal Milks
Animal Milk Derivatives

- casein, caseinates, lactates, lactic acid, lactose

Bee Products

- bee pollen, bee venom, beeswax, honey, propolis, royal jelly

Dairy Products And By-Products

- butter, cheese, whey, yoghurt

Human-Derived Substances

- eg keratin, placenta

Items obtained directly from the slaughter of animals

- fish (including anchovies), game and their derivatives (eg meat/fish extracts and stocks), poultry, meat

Marine Animal Products

- ambergris, capiz, caviar(e), chitin, coral, fish scales, fishmeal, isinglass, marine oils and extracts (eg fish oils, shark oil (squalene or squalane), seal oil, whale oil), natural sponge, pearl, roe, seal meat, shellfish, sperm oil, spermaceti wax, whale meat


- amniotic fluids, animal and fish glues, carmine/carminic acid, catgut, chamois, cochineal, crushed snails or insects, fixatives (eg musk, civet, castoreum) hormones (eg oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone) ivory, lanolin(e), oil of mink, parchment, placenta, silk, shellac, snake venom, some vitamins (eg D3), urea, vellum, and any carriers, processing aids or release agents (see box below) containing/comprising substances of animal origin

Slaughter By-Products

- animal fats (eg dripping, lard, suet, tallow), amino acids, aspic, bone, bone charcoal, bone-meal, bristles, collagen, down, dried blood, fatty acid derivatives, feathers, fur, gelatin(e), glycerin(e)/glycerol, hair, hides (leather, suede etc), hoof & horn meal, oleic acid, oleoic oil, oleostearin, pepsin, proteins (eg elastin, keratin, reticulin), rennet, skins, stearates, stearic acid, stearin(e)


Animal products are sometimes used in instances that are not immediately obvious, for example as:

  • carriers - gelatine may be used to carry beta-carotene and D2
  • processing aids - lactose is often used to fix flavour in crisps
  • release agents - may be used to prevent confectionery and baked goods adhering to manufacturing equipment

The development and/or manufacture of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, testing of any sort on animals conducted at the initiative of the manufacturer or on its behalf, or by parties over whom the manufacturer has effective control.

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