Is Cream Of Tartar Vegan?

Is Cream Of Tartar Vegan

Have you ever wondered exactly what cream of tartar is and how it is made? Or asked yourself is cream of tartar vegan? 

We’re going to take a look at this versatile ingredient and find out how it is made, if it is vegan and what uses it can be put to. 

How Is Cream Of Tartar Made?

Cream of tartar is made from tartaric acid which is a byproduct of the winemaking process.

As the juice of grapes ferments in casks, potassium bitartrate is deposited and crystallizes on the interior. This is then collected and made into cream of tartar. 

Potassium bitartrate can also be made when fresh grape juice is chilled over a long period of time. 

What Is Cream Of Tartar?

Despite its name, cream of tartar is not creamy. It is a fine, dry powder that is pure white in color. It has a pH of 5 which makes it about the same level of acidity as vinegar and lemon juice.

Both of these can be used as a cream of tartar substitute in an emergency. 

Most often it is used to keep meringues from collapsing as it strengthens the bubbles which are whipped into egg whites.

Although, it has plenty of uses for baking, cooking and even cleaning. 

If you are looking for cream of tartar in the store it is most often found in the spice or baking good aisle

Uses For Cream Of Tartar

Is Cream Of Tartar Vegan?

There are many uses for cream of tartar, the majority of them in the kitchen for cooking and baking purposes. For example, it is used for:

  • Stabilizing meringues or whipped cream
  • Preventing sugar from crystallizing
  • Anti-caking agent
  • Thickening agent
  • Retains boiled vegetable’s color

As a component in baking powder, the acidic qualities of cream of tartar activate baking soda for the purpose of leavening.

In terms of taste, cream of tartar has a slightly tangy taste but is used in such small quantities that it does not impact the flavor of the dishes it’s included in. 

In non-food applications cream of tartar can be used for cleaning up metal and rust.

Mixed with white vinegar it forms a paste that brings the shine back to copper, brass, stainless steel and even porcelain. 

Why Cream Of Tartar Is Vegan?

Cream of tartar is vegan as there are no animal products involved in its creation. It collects as a precipitate on the inside of wine barrels and then crystallizes.

This deposit is removed from the wine casks and used as a baking ingredient and cleaning product. 

However, there is a part of the wine making process called fining.

This is a practice of adding a fining agent to the wine while it is still in the cellar to remove any impurities that could affect the color, aroma or bitterness. 

These fining agents are often animal derived such as egg whites, casein from cows milk or gelatin. Because of the inclusion of these substances in the production of some wines, these wines cannot be classified as vegan. 

Some vegans claim that the potassium bitartrate collected from such casks cannot be considered vegan either. 

However, these claims are in the minority as a lot of wines are made without fining or without using animal products as fining agents.

Vegetable plaques, limestone or even clay can be used to fine wine instead and so the wine can be labeled as vegan. 

Vegan Cream Of Tartar Brands

If you are concerned about whether the cream of tartar you use is vegan then there are some brands that are explicitly vegan.

  • Unpretentious Baker 
  • Pure 
  • Earthborn Elements 
  • Badia 
  • Natural Craft
  • 365 Everyday Value 

By using one of these brands you can be sure that the source of the cream of tartar is 100% vegan. 

Products That Contain Cream Of Tartar

Apart from being used in many recipes in the kitchen there are products which contain cream of tartar as an essential element. 

  • Some cleaning supplies contain cream of tartar as it is a mild acid
  • Used in cosmetic bubble bars or bath cookies to stabilize the other ingredients 
  • Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar

Final Thoughts

Cream of tartar is a very versatile product, used in the kitchen for baking and around the house for various cleaning purposes. 

As a vegan friendly ingredient it can be used as a leavening agent, as a thickening agent and to preserve the color of vegetables when you boil them.

Brandon White
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