Pig looking into the camera

The Pork on Your Fork: Unexpected Foods That Contain Pig

Unsuspecting foods that contain animal ingredients


Many people are not aware that various unexpected food and drinks contain animal-derived ingredients such as body parts from pigs. Small amounts can be found in a variety of foods which are skillfully hidden by creative names and vague labelling. FOUR PAWS created a short list to make you aware of some of the more common ones listed as ingredients which explain where pigs are often included.  By checking the ingredients list carefully, familiarising the terms and looking out for words like lard, animal fat, animal glyceride, hydrolysed animal protein, glycerin and gelatin on the label you can reduce your intake of animal-based products.  

  • Wine: Gelatin, a product derived from pig body parts, is used in many wine purification processes.
  • Baking goods: Cysteine is used in many baking goods such as bread, to create a more extensible dough with improved pan flow. Cysteine is most often synthesised from hair, such as pig bristles.
  • Cereal: Many cereals are sugar coated which can also contain gelatin.
  • Yogurt: Gelatin is used in many products, especially in the low-calorie variety.
  • Fruit Gum: Again gelatin is used in the production of fruit gums.
  • Chewing Gum: Stearic acid is used in many chewing gums. It is obtained from animal fats, mostly from a pig’s stomach.
  • Instant soup: Some seasonings in soup contain traces of bacon.
  • Cream Cheese: In some products, gelatin is used as a thickener.
  • Chips: 'Bacon flavour' is used in some branded products to enhance the flavour.
  • Juice: For purification of some juice (especially multivitamin-juice) gelatin is used.

Pay attention to the LabeL on the products

If in doubt, avoid food and drink which contain ingredients you are not familiar with and choose products labeled 'vegan' where you can be fairly certain that its free from all animal derived ingredients. The V-label is a good example.

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