Is Mustard Vegan?

Is Mustard Vegan

After ketchup and mayonnaise, mustard is one of the most popular condiments in the world. So you might wonder if mustard is vegan-friendly? Most mustards contain only plant-based ingredients, although this depends on the mustard brand. We take a closer look at mustard, its ingredients and how you can find out if your mustard is vegan.

Quick Answer

Most types of mustard are vegan. However, some mustard brands can also contain non-vegan ingredients, so make sure you check the label.

Is Mustard Vegan?

Most types of mustard are vegan, including Dijon mustard and yellow mustard. However, some mass-produced mustard brands may contain non-vegan ingredients.

Mustard manufacturers often experiment with their mustard recipe, and they also produce specialty mustard which may not contain only plant-based ingredients.

The classic yellow mustard is usually vegan as it is made from mustard seed, water, spices, natural flavors, salt and garlic powder.

None of these ingredients are derived from animals, so yellow mustard is vegan as long as it contains these basic ingredients.

On the other hand, Dijon mustard is not always vegan. Dijon mustard is made with white fine and this white wine is typically pressed through filters which aren’t always plan-based. If you want to avoid any non-vegan mustard, then make sure you check with the mustard manufacturer.

Is Maille Dijon Mustard Vegan?

Maille mustard is a classic Dijon which is usually made with vegan-friendly wine. However, many mustard producers won’t confirm if their mustard is vegan due to the risk of potential cross-contamination. While the cross-contamination would possibly be very low, there is still a risk that Maille may not be vegan.

Is Honey Mustard Vegan?

The traditional honey mustard recipe is not vegan as it uses honey as a natural ingredient. However, there are also vegan honey mustard alternatives available that contain honey substitutes, such as maple syrup or agave syrup.

Honey has a distinctive taste, so these alternatives will taste slightly different but they still balance well with the bitter flavors of the mustard seeds.

What Is Mustard Made Of?

What Is Mustard Made Of

Mustard is made with some base ingredients but the key to a good mustard is the mustard seeds. There are a range of different types of mustard seeds, from white, black and yellow to brown mustard seeds.

The mustard seeds are harvested and then steeped in a liquid. Once the mustard seeds have softened, they are ground into a paste. Saying this, some mustard also contains whole mustard seeds.

Vegan Ingredients In Mustard

There are a range of ingredients in mustard that are always vegan. These include:

Mustard Seeds

All mustard seeds are plant-based as they come from the mustard plant.

Water

The mustard seeds are usually steeped in a liquid, such as water. 

Vinegar

Vinegar gives mustard its typical strong flavor. It’s made with acetic acid bacteria and fermented alcohol. Both of these ingredients are plant-based sources, so vinegar doesn’t contain any animal products.

Xanthan Gum

This is a stabilizer which is used to give mustard its consistency and texture. Xanthan gum is made from different sugars which are fermented by bacteria.

Non-Vegan Ingredients In Mustard

Before you add mustard to your favorite BBQ treats, it’s worth checking out the below ingredients which might not be vegan.

White Sugar

Refined sugar is one of the usual ingredients which causes a lot of confusion amongst the vegan community. While sugar is harvested from a natural plant source (usually sugarcane), many manufacturers add bone char to sugar to give it a bright white color.

It’s fair to say that all sugar producers use bone char for their production processes. Unless the sugar is labelled as organic, you cannot be sure that the sugar is fully vegan. So, if you want to avoid white refined sugar in your mustard, then check for this ingredient on the mustard label.

Additives

The majority of products that have been heavily processed contain a range of additives. Whenever you see an E additive on your mustard, you can be sure that it isn’t vegan-friendly.

Wine

While wine isn’t a traditional ingredient in mustard, many producers add it because it gives your mustard a more complex flavor compared to vinegar. You can often find wine in Dijon mustard, for example.

While the wine itself is plant-based, the production process of the wine isn’t always vegan. During the wine making process, yeast and grape juice are filtered through animal-based filters.

Although not all wines use this fining filtering method, it can be difficult to tell if the wine in your mustard contains fully vegan wine.

Verjuice

Verjuice is unripen grape juice with a sour taste. This makes it similar to vinegar, although it is slightly cheaper. As verjuice is processed in a similar way to wine, it is occasionally filtered through animal-derived ingredients.

Honey

Mustard and honey are a beautifully sweet combination but unfortunately the honey in this type of mustard isn’t vegan. If you spot honey on the mustard label, then it’s safe to say that this mustard isn’t suitable for vegans.

How To Tell If Your Mustard Is Vegan

There are a couple of different ways that you can check if your mustard is vegan or made with animal products.

Read The Label

Take a close look at the mustard label. If it mentions that the mustard is vegan or vegan-friendly, then the mustard is suitable for vegans. However, you can also check the ingredients list for any animal-derived ingredients. 

If you are not sure whether some of the additives are vegan, then you can also check with the mustard manufacturer.

Make Your Own Mustard

If you are not sure whether your mustard is truly plant-based, then you can also make your own homemade mustard. This allows you to put in only vegan-friendly ingredients.

Final Thoughts

The majority of mustard brands are vegan, although some may contain ingredients which are derived from animal byproducts. If you want to make sure that your mustard is vegan-friendly, then just check the label on your mustard.

Brandon White
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