Reading labels can be hard enough when starting out but in Europe there is a lists of ingredients using E numbers displayed on all food labelling. Below is a list of those additives that are almost always from animal sources.
The sources below almost always come from animal sources.
E120: Carmine, also known as cochineal, carminic acid or natural red 4. Crushed up beetles used as red food colouring
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. Another 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 an improving agent
E913: Lanolin. A greasy substance secreted by sheep and other woolly animals. While mostly used in cosmetics, it’s also often 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