When we investigated the nutritional content of cereal bars, we were surprised to see gelatine listed in the ingredients of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Squares. Are animal products lurking in your food?
As far as Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Squares go, the pork gelatine was in the marshmallows that form part of the bar.
However, at a glance this wasn’t clear to see as it wasn’t obviously labelled on the packaging (it was just listed in the ingredients of the marshmallow).
If I were to buy a cereal bar it wouldn’t occur to me that it might not be suitable for vegetarians.
Is that packet of crisps really vegetarian?
It got me thinking about the ingredients that you might not expect to see in foods. For example, Muller Light yoghurts contain gelatine as do Kellogg’s Frosted Wheats. And a Which? member got in touch to tell us about some cheese and onion crisps that contained rennet and so aren’t suitable for veggies… yes, that’s cheese and onion crisps.
In fact many cheeses, such as Parmesan, aren’t suitable for vegetarians as they contain rennet, used to coagulate the milk, which is from the stomach of calves.
It seems rennet and gelatine are the main ingredients that might trip up unsuspecting veggies. But many manufacturers have removed them from their products – Mars and Snickers no longer contain rennet and Polo mints removed gelatine from their ingredients years back. If some manufacturers can do it, why can’t others?
Of course, there are also the many foods that contain cochineal or carmine, a red food colouring derived from crushed beetles and labelled as E120, a natural additive on food labels.
So, do you know of any other products that you’d expect to be vegetarian, or even vegan, which aren’t because of ingredients used in the manufacturing process?