Is Crisco Vegan?

Is Crisco Vegan?

It can be difficult to tell what processed foods are made of, like the vegetable shortening product, Crisco. The word ‘vegetable’ might make you think that it’s plant-based friendly, but is Crisco actually vegan?

Crisco is produced using vegetable oils and is free from dairy, lard, and animal fat. As it does not contain any animal substances, Crisco is suitable for a vegan diet.

However, many vegans choose to avoid consuming the product for health purposes. We’ll cover more about the ingredients in Crisco and if they are vegan in this post. You’ll also learn about some of the health concerns associated with Crisco, and whether it still contains trans fat.

Ingredients In Crisco

Crisco currently contains the following ingredients:

  • Soybean Oil
  • Citric Acid (Antioxidants)
  • Palm Oil
  • Fully Hydrogenated Palm Oil
  • Mono And Diglycerides
  • TBHQ

Crisco used to be created using partially hydrogenated oils, but the recipe has since been updated to eliminate trans fat from the item.

The product contains a blend of vegetable oils, notably fully hydrogenated palm oil, a substance that is free from trans fat. 

Is There Animal Fat Or Lard In Crisco?

There are no animal fats or lard in Crisco. Shortening products may have involved animal fats and lard in the past, but currently, the term relates only to vegetable shortening. Many different brands create vegetable shortening products, but Crisco is the leading supplier.

Is There Dairy In Crisco?

Crisco is free from cream, butter, or other dairy products. Crisco’s fat content is derived solely from vegetable oils. 

Is Mono-And-Diglycerides Suitable For A Vegan Diet?

It can be confusing figuring out if mono-and-diglycerides are vegan or not. These can be derived from both animal and plant matter, which makes it difficult to confirm if they are plant-based-friendly. 

Despite this, the VRG (Vegetarian Resource Group) has classed mono-and-diglycerides as ‘generally vegan’. They have looked into the question and have found that most of the mono-and-diglycerides aren’t sourced from animal fat; taken from palm or soybean oils instead.

As the majority of mono-and-diglycerides are vegan, along with the remaining ingredients in Crisco, most vegans will find no issue with consuming the product, believing that it doesn’t contain animal substances.

Is Crisco Suitable For Vegans? 

A product can only be classified as vegan if it is free from animal substances and doesn’t use any animals in the manufacturing process. 

Using the above rule, we currently know that Crisco isn’t produced or made with any animal substances, making it a vegan product.

Is Crisco Unhealthy?

Crisco might be vegan, but many vegans have issues with Crisco due to health concerns. Crisco, along with other vegetable shortening items, are incredibly processed products. They are a far cry from ‘whole’, or ‘green’ foods.

One of the largest health concerns linked with Crisco is its trans fat content, but does Crisco still contain trans fat today? 

Is There Trans Fat In Crisco?

Crisco is recognized for its ingredients, which are vegetable oils, and previously, trans fat. People differ over whether saturated fats have health risks, but practically everyone knows that we should avoid trans fats at all costs.

Even small amounts of trans fats have been proven to increase the risk of coronary disease. Trans fats can be found in dairy and meat, which is why many people choose to avoid consuming these products. In the past, many processed foods used to contain trans fats, though this is not the case anymore.

Crisco and other processed foods, like peanut butter, were often made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. However, the partial hydrogenation process also generated trans fat.

In 2015, the FDA ruled that trans fats were unsafe, giving food manufacturers three years to eliminate them from their products.

They could no longer add partially hydrogenated oils to their food from mid-2018 and had until January 1, 2020, to finish the changeover.

Currently, you won’t see partially hydrogenated oils on the list of Crisco ingredients. Only fully hydrogenated palm oil, along with other vegetable oils, are used to create the vegetable shortening. This means that we can assess that Crisco does not contain trans fat, and is unlikely to in the near future.

Conclusion

Crisco is made from vegan products, as it is free from lard, dairy, and other animal substances. It does contain mono-and-diglycerides, but these are typically derived from oils instead of animal fat. 

Though Crisco is vegan and is no longer made using trans fat, it’s very processed and has no nutritious properties. Whether you’re vegan or non-vegan, it’s best to only use Crisco in moderation. 

Brandon White
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