When it comes to adhering to a vegan lifestyle, understanding the ingredients and additives in our food is essential. E120, also known as cochineal extract or carmine, is one such additive that raises questions about its vegan status. So, is E120 vegan? Let’s delve into the details.
What is E120?
E120, or cochineal extract, is a natural red colorant derived from the dried bodies of female cochineal insects. It is also known as carmine or carmine cochineal.
What E120 is used for
E120 is primarily used as a coloring agent in the food industry. It provides a vibrant red color to a wide range of food and beverage products, including candies, desserts, beverages, and even cosmetics.
What Foods Contain E120
E120 can be found in various food and drink products that require a red coloring. This includes items like red velvet cakes, strawberry-flavored candies, fruit drinks, yogurt, and ice cream, among others.
Is E120 Vegan?
No, E120 is not vegan. It is derived from the bodies of female cochineal insects. The insects are harvested and processed to extract the red dye, making it unsuitable for those following a vegan lifestyle.
Alternative Vegan Red Colorants
For those seeking vegan alternatives to E120, there are synthetic and plant-based red colorants available. These include beetroot powder, paprika extract, and various other plant-derived colorants that can provide a similar red hue.
E120 and Animal Testing
While E120 itself is derived from insects, the question of animal testing often arises. It’s important to note that animal testing may be conducted to ensure the safety and quality of food additives, including E120. Therefore, for strict vegans, the potential for animal testing associated with E120 can be a concern.
E120, also known as cochineal extract or carmine, is not considered vegan-friendly due to its animal-derived nature. For those following a vegan lifestyle, it’s crucial to be aware of such additives and seek alternatives that align with their dietary choices. Reading food labels and understanding the sources of ingredients allows for making informed decisions and maintaining a vegan lifestyle.