What Is E471 and Is It Vegan?

E471 Chemical Structure
E471 Chemical Structure

E471 is a food additive meant to stabilize processed foods and extend shelf-life. While it’s generally sourced from vegetable oils, it can also be sourced from animal fats.

E471 usually comes from Vegetable oils, but since it can also come from animal fats I’d recommend either contacting the company or searching if the product specifically is vegan, as odds are someone has already contacted the company and found out what source of E471 they use.

Is E471 Safe to Consume?

Yes, there are no safety concerns with consuming E471. While many animal-sourced ingredients are “polluted” in a way with things humans shouldn’t consume, not even the animal-sourced E471 appears to have negative effects, as it’s completely identical to Vegetable-oil sourced E471.

I’d still recommend avoiding animal-sourced E471, obviously, as it’s sourced from animals and isn’t really a by-product either, so it does contribute to animal exploitation.

What Exactly is E471?

As mentioned above, E471 is used to help products stay as they should be (stabilizing the ingredients in them) and to preserve them to some extent. It’s derived from oils/fats and specifically is the Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids of those fats.

So is E471 Vegan?

Generally E471 is, however it’s not always vegan so make sure to check if the product is said to be vegan by websites online (such as this one) which check with the companies their self on the source of certain ingredients that aren’t always vegan (such as E471). Or you could contact the manufacturer of the product yourself if you cannot find information on if it’s vegan or not online.