Vegan Certification for Alcoholic Beverages
There are a number of animal or animal-derived ingredients used in the fining process of alcohol clarification and stabilization and some used as ingredients to the beverages themselves. While fining agents aren’t intended to remain in the final product, there’s no guarantee, but it is guaranteed that these agents often are of animal-origin and require animal exploitation.
The Tobacco and Trade Bureau has almost zero labeling requirements beyond the alcohol content. Trade secrets are protected to the detriment of consumer transparency and nutritional information and ingredient disclosure is not required at all.
Did you know that it is said that there may be close to 70 ingredients that could go into making your liquor?
Many liquors contain dairy derivatives like casein, or cochineal extract, or carmine, which is red dye from crushed bugs, specifically the crushed bodies of pregnant female Dactylopius coccus beetles. Other ingredients found in your liquor or beverage may be “natural charcoal” another term for bone char, isinglass (fish bladder), gelatin (cows elbow, knees, horse hooves, pigs feet, animal bones and tendons), albumin (eggs or dried blood), glyceryl monostearate (anti-foaming agent animal derivative from the breakdown of fats), lactose and lactobacillus (or lactic acid), pepsin (a heading agent derived from pigs), honey (derived from bees), chitin, (derived from the shells of crabs, lobsters, or other crustacean fish), eggs, and even chicken.
Whether you like it or not, these ingredients and more are commonly added to alcoholic beverages as ingredients or incorporated into the beverage making process. If the alcoholic beverage uses the product of animal origin as a processing agent, then it requires technical lab tests and expert analysis to detect the trace amounts of the animal parts that may be left in the final product.
Fining is the process of clarifying wine, beer, or liquor and these fining substances are usually added at or near the completion of processing. Finings remove organic compounds, such as sulfides, proteins, polyphenols, benzenoids, or copper ions, for the purpose of improving beverage clarity, or adjust the flavor and/or aroma.
BeVeg Vegan certification ensures honest ingredient disclosure, audits, and lab tests to keep disclosures honest and accountable. Vegan certified wines means less additives competing with the quality of the grapes.
Fish bladder in your alcoholic beverage may come as a surprise, but think twice before sipping. Over the years, humans have used fish bladders for a wide array of uses from an Asian delicacy to a source of collagen for the food industry, to the production of isinglass for alcohol fining, to the creation of a strong, water-resistant glue, all the way to early condoms.
Vegan Beer / Vegan Cider / Vegan Kombucha
Beer often adds eggs and isinglass (fish bladder) at the brewery to clarify the beverage before packaging. Cask-conditioned ales and pasteurized beers specifically need fining to clear materials like yeast suspended in the liquid. This is often done with isinglass, which in effect makes the yeast sink to the bottom.
Ciders, alcoholic and non-alcoholic are often fined with the use of gelatin (cows elbow, knees, horse hooves, pigs feet, animal bones and tendons).
Vegan Liquor Certification
Spirits and Liqueurs are held to the same disclosure requirements of other alcohol in terms of ingredients and processes — none. This is a problem for the vegan consumer. It is no secret that liqueurs are sweet and often made with sugar, which could be from animal bone char; or the liquor could be red, which may come from crushed beetles, or come vanilla flavored or caramel flavored, which also may not be vegan.
Regulations for the labeling of alcoholic beverages vary widely by country. The only way to be sure is to offer the consumer the global BevVeg vegan trademark certification symbol for alcoholic beverages.
Vegan Wine Certification
Much more goes into making wine than grapes. The Tobacco and Trade Bureau has said there are close to 70 ingredients that can go into your alcoholic beverage, and none of which must be disclosed.
Many wines contain dairy derivatives, crushed beetles used as red dye, sugar made from bone char, fish bladder, animal bones and tendons, eggs, dried blood, secretions from animal anal glands and more that may be used as ingredients, processing aids, or in the process of de-acidification to achieve the finished product.
Vegan alternatives exist for these ingredients and processes like bentonite clay, paper, silica gel, sedimentary rock, and processes like centrifuging and filtering through paper are suitable alternatives that do not compromise final flavor.
Vegan BevVeg App
– Ultimate Vegan Alcohol Guide
A searchable app that allows you to know if your beverage was filtered through or contains animal parts. The app is geared to help the vegan interested consumer who can use the app to make quicker, more informed, purchasing decisions. The app also allows users to log in and help BeVeg further build the BevVeg premiere vegan alcohol app.
Companies can claim their profiles to provide additional information and content for BeVeg to consider as the ultimate vegan alcohol database is built. Companies may also apply for vegan certification from the app directly.
There are more than 1 million listed beverages in the BevVeg vegan alcohol database. If it’s a certified vegan bevveg, the consumer can buy that vegan wine, beer, or liquor through the app! All claimed profiles that certify vegan link to the certified vegan brands online store directly from our app.
Download for FREE in the app store and on google play.
Vegan Wine, Beer, Liquor Application and Audit Procedures
The process consists of disclosing all ingredients and suppliers (there are close to 70 ingredients that can go into wine per the TTB), inquiring about the process of winemaking (including clarification, filtration, de-acidification), and a series of affidavits and legal documents we ask to be signed to ensure all things disclosed are true and correct, and not fraudulently disclosed. The paperwork disclosure process keeps companies legally accountable to their work and responsible for fraudulent disclosure or intentional failure to disclose. If the paperwork process checks out, we send an auditor to the brewery, vineyard, or facility. The auditor has a checklist to follow to ensure vegan quality control. We may also do some onsite lab testing of the liquid or ask you to send it to a verified ISO 17025 lab. The audit and lab testing is important to assess risk for cross-contamination and then confirm no cross-contamination. We consider packaging, storage, wash rooms, pre-bottling procedures and more are compliant with our vegan standard. Based on the audit findings, a report will be written outlining any non-conformities and risk factors, which then determines how often an audit is necessary. If the facility is a dedicated vegan facility, an audit one a year is usually enough. If the facility is determined to have high risk to vegan integrity, there may be additional audits or lab tests required (planned and/or surveillance). All of these decisions are custom-tailored for the client based on audit findings by the BeVeg certifications committee.