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Is Your Bread Really Vegan?
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Is Your Bread Really Vegan?

Bread is a staple food but before you bite into that delicious sandwich, read this to find out if it’s really vegan.

  • Skip the White 

White bread often contains refined white sugar, which is not vegan because it is made with bone char, taken from cattle. This is used to make the sugar granules white in colour. Avoid white bread - the bonus is that you'll be making your diet healthier.

  • Avoid Dairy

Dairy and baking go hand-in-hand, which might make you suspicious of the bread loaf you’ve just purchased at the supermarket. There could be milk in bread as well as butter. You should therefore stick to vegan brands of bread - these include Cobblestone Mill as well as Arnold Bread which contain vegan options. Another important reason to choose vegan bread is that you will avoid whey and casein, two ingredients that are by-products of the dairy production.

  • Monitor the Omega-3s 

If the bread claims to be enriched with omega-3s, note that these can either be derived from plants or fish. You should check the ingredients list or check with the supplier. There should also be an allergy warning -if fish is listed as an allergen, then you know to stay away from it. 

  • Watch the Ghee 

This butter ingredient is often found in Indian breads, such as naan and roti so you want to be careful with those if you’re vegan.

  • Check Enzymes 

Some enzymes might be present in bread. These could be plant-based or from the pancreatic tissue of pigs. It’s not easy to know which one is in the bread you want to buy, but sometimes the weird words on the ingredient list can tell you if the enzyme is plant or animal-based.

  • Enzymes derived from fungus: lactase and lipase (although this could also be from animal sources)
  • Enzymes derived from vegetables: papain 
  • Enzymes derived from fruit: pectinase 
  • Enzymes derived from animal sources: rennet and  trypsin  


*Image courtesy Artem Shadrin  / Dollar Photo Club

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  1. Support
    Great information! Thanks!
  2. Ezra
    Good article however there is one thing kind of misleading. 'White bread often contains refined white sugar, which is not vegan because it is made with bone char, taken from cattle. This is used to make the sugar granules white in colour.' This seems to imply that only white sugar is sometimes not vegan. This is incorrect, because brown sugar is also often not vegan. Brown sugar is just refined white sugar with added molasses. So white sugar and brown sugar are both often refined through bone charcoal. Also, something not mentioned in this article: Dough conditioners are often used in bread products (and bread-like products such as cookies). These will often not be labeled on the ingredient list in any form whatsoever, so the only way to know is email the manufacturer asking if they use any. (this may apply to enzymes as well, unlabeled since they are destroyed during the baking process). Dough conditioners may be animal derived and examples include l-cysteine (often feather or hair derived), sodium stearoyl lactylate and calcium stearoyl lactylate (both sometimes animal derived), phospholipase (pig derived), and datem (sometimes animal derived).


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