Today’s focus is on E432, a food additive also known as Polysorbate 20. As an ingredient found in various food and cosmetic products, it raises questions, particularly for those following a vegan lifestyle. Let’s discover more about this ingredient!
What is E432?
E432 is an emulsifier, a compound that helps mix oil and water-based ingredients, which are generally incompatible. It’s commonly used across food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries because of its stabilizing properties.
What is E432 Made Of?
E432 is a compound derived from sorbitol and lauric acid, which undergoes a reaction with ethylene oxide. The point of concern for vegans is that lauric acid can be obtained from both plant (like coconuts) and animal sources, leading to uncertainty about E432’s vegan status.
What is E432 Used For?
E432 is primarily used as an emulsifier in various food products. It ensures that ingredients blend well together, promoting a stable, consistent texture. You’ll find E432 in foods such as baked goods, ice cream, sauces, and beverages, where it enhances texture and prevents separation.
What Food Contains E432?
You’ll find E432 in a wide range of processed foods, including baked goods, sauces, salad dressings, ice creams, and certain beverages. It’s used to improve texture, extend shelf life, and maintain a product’s structure. It’s also found in dietary supplements and cosmetic products.
Is E432 Vegan?
It depends. The vegan status of E432 comes down to the source of the lauric acid. If the lauric acid is derived from an animal source, it’s not vegan. If it’s derived from a plant source, it’s considered vegan. Unfortunately, this information is typically not listed on product labels, so contacting the manufacturer may be necessary.
- Potential Animal Testing E432 – it is in widespread use across multiple industries. It is possible that it has been involved in animal testing during its development or safety assessments. However, specific information about animal testing for E432 is not readily available.
- Animal-Derived Ingredients E432 – As previously mentioned, E432 comprises sorbitol, lauric acid, and ethylene oxide. The potential concern for vegans lies in the source of lauric acid, which could be derived from animal sources.
- Origins and Production of E432 – is synthesized through a chemical reaction between sorbitol, lauric acid, and ethylene oxide. The source of the lauric acid (animal or plant) determines the vegan status of the final product.
E432 in a Vegan Diet
The inclusion of E432 in a vegan diet hinges on the origin of its lauric acid. If it’s plant-derived, it’s suitable for a vegan diet. However, if it’s animal-derived, it’s not vegan-friendly. Since this information is often not stated on product labels, reaching out to manufacturers may be necessary.
Is E432 Safe?
E432 is generally recognized as safe by various food safety authorities, although some people may experience allergic reactions. As always, those with specific allergies or sensitivities should be aware of the ingredients in their food.
E432, or Polysorbate 20, is a prevalent emulsifier used across several industries. Its vegan status is unclear without knowledge of the source of its ingredients, particularly lauric acid. Therefore, for committed vegans, a bit of research or a quick message to the manufacturer might be necessary.