Red Flag Ingredients Indicate Food May Include Pork: Hidden Pork

It’s simple to recognise the pork product being utilised when you see a platter of eggs and bacon, a sizzling rack of ribs, or a meal of pork chops. There are hidden pork products in many foods, including some candies, baked goods, and even chewing gum.

Pay attention to the ingredients list when purchasing anything if you’re attempting to avoid eating pig. We have compiled a list of some of the largest red flag items that suggest the presence of hidden pork.


Gelatin is an additive that thickens liquids and has no flavour or aroma. It is frequently manufactured from the bones, skin, and connective tissues of cows and pigs. Several popular foods on the market, including Jell-O, several ice creams, puddings, gummy candies, and marshmallows, include gelatin.

To assist the salt or other seasonings attach to the peanuts, gelatin is frequently placed on them. Additionally, it may be included as an ingredient in some beers and wines, toaster pastries, vitamins, and medications for motion sickness. For alternatives without pork, look for goods that are vegan or that are thickened with pectin or agar-agar.

Acid Stearic

Pig, sheep, or cow fat is used to make stearic acid. It is a solid, at room temperature, fatty acid. It melts at a temperature of about 158 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s frequently used to make soap, candles, and cosmetics. The Los Angeles Times notes that some chewing gums also contain it. It aids in softening the gum for simpler chewing.


L-cysteine is frequently found in commercially produced bread, bagels, tortillas, pie crusts, pizza dough, and pastry. The conditioner for dough is this amino acid. By dissolving the dough’s proteins, it shortens the time required for mixing.

Hog hair is usually used to make it. Human hair or avian feathers are other potential sources. Find baked products free of L-cysteine or alternatives created with vegan L-cysteine by carefully reading the ingredients list to prevent the possibility of consuming a substance originating from pork.


Many bakers have a hidden technique that they use to make their pie crusts extra flaky and crisp: lard. Refried beans and other baked foods frequently include it as well. You might discover that some chefs prefer to substitute lard for butter or oil while preparing meals. It is what? Pig fat is converted into lard.

According to The Salt Cured Pig, it can come from any section of the pig. Visceral fat found inside the loin and around the kidneys is where high-grade lard is derived from. The fatback could possibly be the source. Rarely does lard impart a pig flavour. For instance, it often imparts a buttery flavour to baked foods.


Some aged, hard cheeses, like Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola, and Parmesan, list rennet among their constituents. To make these cheeses, rennet, an enzyme, separates liquid milk from solid curds. The fact that rennet-containing cheese isn’t at all vegetarian often shocks vegetarians.

The most prevalent source of this enzyme is the stomach lining of goats or young cows. Pigs may also produce it. According to Science Direct, Pecorino de Farindola cheese is an aged cheese made in Italy that specifically uses pig rennet.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More