Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
These synthetic fats are produced from glycerol and natural fatty acids, from either plant or animal origin. E471 is generally a mixture of several products, and its composition is similar to partially digested natural fat.
Concern for vegetarians and vegans
E471 is mainly produced from vegetable oils, although animal fats are sometimes used and cannot be completely excluded as being present in the product. The fatty acids from each source are chemically identical. However, vegetarians and vegans, not wishing to consume any animal products, may choose to avoid products containing E471.
- Clarke, Chris (2012). The Science of Ice Cream. Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 55. ISBN 9781849731270.
Mono-/diglycerides are made by partially hydrolysing vegetable fats, such as soybean oil, and palm oil. (Animal-fat-based emulsifiers are not commonly used because they are not suitable for vegetarian and certain religious diets).
- "Which E-numbers and additives are from animal origin ?". Food-Info.net. Netherlands: Wageningen University. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
Chemically the fatty acids from animal or plant origin are identical. Therefore the origin is of no importance for the function in the food. Producers thus normally choose the cheapest oils to make these fats. This is generally some vegetable oil. However, animal fats can not be excluded.
- "Vegan Catering For All" (PDF). The Vegan Society. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.