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Is lactic acid vegan and lactose-free?

Is lactic acid vegan and lactose-free?

Is lactic acid vegan and lactose-free? That's a good question! You're probably asking yourself this because of an intolerance or dietary change, right? I remember asking myself the same question in the supermarket when I was switched from vegetarian to vegan am. This is because probiotic lactic acid is found in many foods such as yoghurt, cheese, tomato juice and sauerkraut and its name on the list of ingredients naturally suggests that it has something to do with animal milk or could have health consequences.

In this article, I would therefore like to briefly explain what lactic acid is and whether it is suitable for vegans and lactose intolerant people. Let's go!

What is lactic acid anyway?

First things first: lactic acid is only called that because the chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele isolated it from sour milk in the form of a brown syrup and discovered it that way.₁

However, lactic acid is found in both plant and animal foods and is a natural preservative and acidifier. Quite simply because it is able to prevent bacteria from multiplying and give food an acidic taste. This is exactly what happens in the process of lactic acid fermentation, in which carbohydrates break down into acid. This produces a sour milk product, for example, and makes sauerkraut last longer.

So is lactic acid vegan?

The name does not necessarily suggest it, but In most cases, lactic acid is vegan and has no connection to the Factory farming. Since plant-based raw materials are generally cheaper than animal-based ones, they are fortunately preferred in industry. In rare cases, however, the lactic acid bacteria may be grown on a culture medium that contains components of cow's milk.

However, the ingredient "lactic acid" in otherwise vegan foods is always suitable for vegans, so you don't need to worry. So just keep looking at the full list of ingredients in the food in the supermarket.

Good to know: Did you know that also Animals die for milk have to? In the linked article, I show you why this is unfortunately the case.

Which vegan foods contain lactic acid?

Vegan food with lactic acid

You may need to take more probiotic foods such as lactic acid (e.g. as part of a Lactic acid cure) to eat. Of course, you can also do this with vegan products from the supermarket. So I'll just list a few of them here, which generally contain lactic acid:

  • Cream VEGA (crème fraîche alternative)
  • Pesto Basilico (Barilla)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Vegetable juices (e.g. tomato juice or beet juice)
  • Bread drink
  • Kimchi
  • Miso (Japanese spice paste)
  • Olives
  • Gnocchi
  • Tempeh
  • Sour cucumbers
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sour sweets

Tip: Also feel free to check out the many vegan milk alternatives which I will present to you in a separate post.

Is lactic acid also lactose-free?

Do you have lactose intolerance or a milk allergy? Then you don't have to worry about lactic acid either. Because it has nothing to do with milk proteins and also nothing to do with lactose and is therefore normally not only vegan but also lactose-free. It is therefore safe to consume lactic acid if you have a lactose intolerance.

Lactic acid is vegan and lactose-free!

The lactic acid is merely a decomposition product of lactic acid fermentation and generally suitable for vegans and lactose-intolerant people. However, there are rare exceptions, which is why you should take a closer look at the ingredients list from time to time.

I hope that I have given you your vegan lifestyle and prevent possible symptoms of intolerance. Do you have any questions or suggestions about lactic acid? Then, as always, feel free to write me a comment!

Stay animal-friendly and healthy,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: You want to know, why vegans do not drink milk? You can find out exactly in the linked article!

₁ Surinder P. Chahal, John N. Starr: Lactic Acids. In: Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2012.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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