The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Is Glycerine Vegetarian?

Posted on March 05, 2010 by The VRG Blog Editor

A reader asks:

Some flavorings say they have “glycerine” in them. Is glycerine from animals or vegetables?

Jeanne Yacoubou, MS, VRG Research Director responds:

Glycerine can be animal- or plant-derived. It is also possible to produce glycerine from petrochemicals.

If plant-derived, glycerine is probably from soybeans. Animal tallow is a common animal source. I have received statements from several major manufacturers of glycerine. My general impression at this point (early 2010) is that it is typically derived from plant materials when used in food but one cannot always be sure, especially in cosmetics and bath and body products. It is best to ask the product’s manufacturer when in doubt.

Readers may wish to subscribe to our free email newsletter for updates on ingredient sources, as well as look here for additional information. Our “Guide to Food Ingredients” is available for purchase as well: http://www.vrg.org/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=8

3 to “Is Glycerine Vegetarian?”

  1. Caitlin says:

    Thank you so much this helped a lot I was almost not going to have christmas cake and I was feeling let down I had a look at lots of other websites (including this one) and most of the websites said it was only in soap, shampoo and body products we got the gylicerine out and it said suitable for vegetarians so yay i got Christmas cake thanks again.

    p.s. i am only young and becoming a vegetarian my mum has to cook lots of different meals now hehehe poor her

  2. Roberta Hirsh says:

    I just read that the glycerin in Coke is derived from beef tallow.

  3. David Arthur Garrett says:

    Is there any way that The Vegetarian Resource Group can get the FDA to get in gear and mandate that all ingredients be made clear to the consumer including at all restaurants? Specifically stating if ingredients are from plants or animals (which animals). E.g., what exactly are “natural flavors”? Consumers who keep these businesses going have the right to know. We all know that Congress could care less and won’t ever do it.



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