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Posted 09 November 2017 - 08:03 AM



At the moment in the UK and the EU there isn't a clear legislation referring to "Suitable for vegetarians / vegans" and although most of the times it is quite straightforward the lack of guidelines makes the issue a bit complicated sometimes.


We are going to use English ale as an ingredient in one of our food products and we discover that they use isinglass (derivative from fish) to filter the ale so in my eyes this wouldn't be suitable for vegetarians but some colleagues argue that it doesn't contain fish. They base their argument on the EU Regulation 1169,2011, saying that if it doesn't need to be labelled as an allergen means that it doesn't contain fish and therefore it should be suitable for vegetarians. In my opinion that isn't right and you could be misleading the customer by saying this kind of product is suitable for vegetarians. I cannot find clear guidelines on the issue, only post from blogs or mass media (including some vegetarians that say using isinglass doesn't make it non veg friendly).


Any opinions or guidance on this topic? Is there any association that provides clear guidelines in the absence of legislation?




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Posted 09 November 2017 - 08:39 AM

Hi LPali


The UK Vegetarian Society would agree that using Isinglass would stop a product being vegetarian, so would not allow it's logo to be used. As for Isinglass not being present in the product, I have a fish allergy and cannot drink beer that has been clarified with Isinglass, so it appears to be present! 


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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:42 AM

Hi LPali ,


If you're not doing it already, you should also test that ale for fish allergen. I think from this test it will be clear if there's any kind of cross-contamination. 


We had a similar issue, so we created a thorough risk assessment and are currently testing every batch for allergens to assure there's no cross-contamination. In case of any doubt, I always check with Vegetarian or Vegan society. 


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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:24 PM

I agree that using Isinglass would stop the beer being vegetarian.

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