21+ Surprising Foods You Didn’t Know Contain Pork

Many common foods like bread, ice cream, yogurt, and even chewing gum may contain hidden pork ingredients such as gelatin or pig enzymes, which can be surprising and unexpected.

Strawberry yogurt ice cream

In modern times, our food often contains hidden ingredients and additives. Surprisingly, some of our daily snacks, foods, and drinks may contain pork. Pork is used in various forms, including pet foods and other products. While we may associate pork with bacon, rashers, and pork popped chips, there are other foods that also contain pork, which we may not be aware of.

Surprising foods that contain pork which is not common sense, include some brands of bread, tortillas, donuts, and pudding in the form of L-cysteine, which soften the dough more. In addition, most sugared cereals, candies, ice cream, and chewing gum also contain gelatin derived from pork. The products are usually foods that use gelatin as a hardener or thickener – the reason there are so many snack foods that contain pork.

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Ice Cream May Contain Pork

Breyers, Vanilla All Natural Ice Cream, Pint (8 Count)

The beloved ice cream is among the best, most delicious, and most famous sweet treats. Ice cream can be bought on the street at the ice cream van, next to the beach at the ice cream parlor, or served in a five-star restaurant with a volcano cake or other delicatessen. Either way, any of these ice creams, no matter the price, could contain pork.

Gelatin is excellent for ice cream because it slows the melting and crystallization and gives you time to enjoy the ice-cold treat, especially with an ice cream cone.

Magnum, for one, does not contain any pig fat or gelatin from pigs and is 100% vegetarian. Instead of using pig fat or animal product emulsifiers, they use plant oils and plant-based ingredients.

Yoghurt May Contain Pork

Although yogurt is more of a liquid substance, some manufacturers don’t need gelatin to thicken it. However, a few different brands and types of yogurt might contain pork in the form of gelatin. Most natural, no flavored yogurt doesn’t have added sugar and gelatin, which gives you a better chance of not having pork.

Greek yogurt doesn’t have gelatin, and you can make your own fruit yogurt by mixing fruit pieces or fruit preserves with plain greek yogurt to ensure no pork by-products are in the mix.

Cream Cheese May Contain Pork

Cream Cheese with a bacon flavor has a high chance of pork portraying the porky taste. Still, it can also contain gelatin to thicken the composition of cream cheese. As a result, cream cheese must be thicker to spread on a cracker as a snack. Some cream cheeses don’t use gelatin and might use vegetable derivatives instead. 

Low Fat Butter May Contain Pork

Full-fat butter can stand its ground and keep the texture, but low-fat butter does not. So to ensure low-fat butter has the same consistency as full-fat butter, the manufacturers like to add gelatin to thicken it and give it the same texture as full-fat.

Bread, Donuts, and Tortilla Wraps

You can establish whether the manufacturers used pig in bread, donuts, or tortilla wraps. The ingredient is called L-cysteine, and manufacturers get it from the protein in pig hair, which works great to soften the dough. 

If you fry donuts in lard, aka pig’s fat, the outside is crispy and the inside soft, exactly as we like our donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts is a famous brand that follows this method. Their donuts are delicious, and the crispiness is precisely what makes their donuts stand out.

Salad Dressing May Contain Pork

You might be unaware of this, but you are having your salad with a side of pork if you use a salad dressing made from animal fats. Although this is not common, it is cheaper than plant oils and still gives an excellent taste to the recipe. Inspect the label to ensure your salad dressing is pork-free, or make your own at-home healthy version of a salad dressing with known ingredients.

Energy Bars and Jelly Sweets

CLIF BARS - Energy Bars - Chocolate Brownie - Made with Organic Oats - Plant Based Food - Vegetarian - Kosher (2.4 Ounce Protein Bars, 12 Count) Packaging May Vary

Most jelly sweets like jelly babies, wine gums, licorice, and marshmallows have porcine gelatin that might be derived from pig collagen. The protein in the pig parts can be an easy and cheaper option to add to energy bars and protein bars for bodybuilders or gym-goers who would like to bump up the protein.

Not all sweets contain gelatin derived from animals, specifically pig, by-products. You can find many options here to know which sweets are “pig-free” or vegan.

Peanuts and Peanut Butter Might Contain Pork

Peanuts and peanut butter usually won’t contain any gelatin. It is a vegan product, and suppliers will always try to adhere to this. However, some brands use gelatin to ensure the salt sticks to the peanuts better. Thus, if you see a label with gelatin, this might be the issue.

Another reason might be that they manufacture the peanuts in the same factory as other animal products, and the chances of contamination are slight. Still, they need to report it on the label.

Cereal May Contain Pork

The sugared cereal will most likely contain gelatin or bone char. Bone char is extractions from the bone of animals, pigs or cows, to refine the sugar and give it a white color. Keloggs Rice Krispy’s is an example of a cereal that uses pork gelatin in its product.

To avoid cereals with pork ingredients, opt for a vegan cereal. These would typically state that they are vegan, although some regular cereals are vegan by accident.

Cheerios and Doritos Contain Pork

Note that only some Doritos and Cheerios products contain pig enzymes called porcine. You will see it on the label as any of the casein, whey, or animal-derived enzyme ingredients on the list can show pork enzymes.

Cheeses May Contain Pork

Powdered cheeses on chips, boxed macaroni and cheese, or any store-bought item that doesn’t have 100% dairy cheese may contain pork enzymes. On the other hand, manufacturers use some animal enzymes, usually cows, in the early stages of cheese making. So if the label states animal enzymes, they might have used pork instead of cow.

Pizzerias buy cheese in bulk and usually buy the best-priced cheeses to profit from their sales. These cheeses might use pig enzymes as it is easier to get and cheaper to extract. If you don’t mind pork, you won’t have to worry about eating out, but if you do, you might have to ask the manager a few questions first or make your own pizza at home with ingredients you know are pork free.

Thus, if you need clarification on the cheese you buy, read the label. For example, if it includes animal-derived enzymes or something in that line on the label, it contains pork or cow.

Canned Refried Beans Contain Pork

This might only be true for some of the brands and types of canned refried beans, but many brands use hydrogenated lard in these canned beans. Lard is melted pig’s fat; you can buy it in bulk. Because the pig’s fat is easy to use and gives the desired result when frying foods, many also use it in their dishes.

Is That Calamari Really Fish?

Although illegal, some restaurants sell calamari-looking rings that are not calamari at all. They are made from pork rectum and fried in the dough to look like calamari. You might find it on a menu called “pork bung.” 

Chewing Gum May Contain Pork

The chewing gum you chew for hours and hours might contain pork. Stearic acid is derived from pig fat to give gum chewiness, and the gelatin ensures its thickness. Therefore, any gum with the combination of the following ingredients has most likely pork in it – Glycerine, Capric acid, Stearic acid, or Lanolin. 

Examples of brands that use pork in their products are Orbit, Bubble Yum, Bubbaloo, and many more brands.

Instant Soup May Contain Pork

Instant soup might contain flavoring from pork, but you would know this if you chose a bacon flavor. Also, there might be traces of gelatin to thicken some soups. Jellied soups will undoubtedly have gelatin, and the chances are good that it comes from pork.

Tomato Sauce May Contain Pork

Traditional tomato sauce is thick and creamy and takes hours to put together. The recipe starts with bacon to get the desired flavor in the end product, your pork source. Not as bad as to think you have pork skin in your sauce. You can opt for a marinara sauce to go vegan without the hint of pork.

Some Chocolate May Contain Pork

Most chocolates do not need to add gelatine or pork fats, as the cocoa sets out enough to do the job. But, on the flip side, Nestle agreed that they use pig’s fat in the cream of their chocolate to make the famous KitKat.

Sausages May Contain Pork

Apart from pork sausage containing pork meat, other sausage types might use pig fat to get the juiciness you would want in a sausage. Most brands try to stay true to the meat they portray in the product, but adding pork fat might sometimes make the product better. If unsure about the ingredients, read the label, especially if you would not want pork in your sausages.

Baked Goods Contain Pork

The one thing we sweet teeth love is a piece of baked pie or pudding or pastries. Pigs fat is excellent for baking, making the dough soft and flaky. If you don’t have a problem with pork, you won’t even taste it, and you can enjoy your pastries, but if you are trying to avoid pork, this could be a problem. 

Pastries at a restaurant or bought in a store cannot always show all the ingredients.

Fried Foods Might Contain Pork

Some fried foods like fried noodles, vegetables, and puddings are popular to be fried in pig’s fat. This is a favorite product to use for frying, but it isn’t healthy at all. For this reason, people shy away from frying in pig’s fat, and the chances are less that you would be served fried tempura vegetables.

Some Drinks May Contain Pork

Believe it or not, the gelatine derived from pork can be a clarifying agent in cloudy drinks such as juices, beer, and even wine. This is because it bonds with bitter ingredients and tannins to give you the perfect-looking drink without a funny taste.

Is There Pork In Food?

Many foods contain pork. The beloved ham, bacon, sausages, and pork chops are meat that comes from the pig itself. Furthermore, different pig parts can be broken down into elements used in food, such as gelatine or bone char.

What Are All Pork Products?

100% pork products include pork steaks and chops, pork ribs, bacon, ham, and sausages. We also get foods flavored with pork, such as bacon chips, bacon soup, or anything containing animal-derived gelatine.

Does Peanut Butter Have Pork In It?

Peanut butter does not have pork in it. However, pork elements can end up in peanut butter in two ways. First, when it is made in a factory where pork is also processed. Second, when using peanuts with gelatine to make peanut butter.

Do Skittles Have Pork In It?

Skittles used to contain gelatine from pork. However, after the boom of vegans and vegetarians, the original and sour flavor now includes no animal products. Instead, the gelatin necessary is derived from synthetic products or plant-based ingredients.

What Candy Has Pork In It?

Many of the candies we know and love contains gelatin derived from pork. These include gummy bears, candy corn, marshmallows, Nerds, and chewing gum.

What foods have hidden pork in them?

Pork can be found in various food items, including snack foods like puddings, jellos, chips, crackers, cookies, donuts, and marshmallows. Additionally, certain brands of cake, frosted cheese spreads, yogurt, butter, and ice cream may also contain pork. Glycerin, carrots, and collagen are some forms in which pork can be present in these products.

What candy contains pork gelatin?

The candy that contains pork gelatin includes gummy worms, red candies (made with red dye derived from dried female beetles), Nerds, and Altoids.

Does gum have pork in it?

Gum typically does not contain pork, although there are some exceptions. Animal-derived ingredients, such as gelatin, may be used in certain chewing gum products to achieve a desired texture, especially in pellet gum.

Is Pepperoni beef or pork?

Pepperoni is primarily made from a combination of ground beef and pork, with pork being the more commonly used ingredient. It is a type of dried sausage, similar to salami.

Are hot dogs pork?

Hot dogs are not exclusively made from pork. They are typically made from a combination of beef and/or pork trimmings, although some variations may be made entirely from beef. The production process and flavors differentiate hot dogs from traditional pork franks. Therefore, hot dogs can be considered a subset of pork franks.

What is spam made of?

Spam is made of a combination of pork and ham meat, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite, which is a food preservative commonly found in bacon, hot dogs, cured meats, sausage, and smoked fish. The recipe for Spam has remained largely unchanged, except for the addition of potato starch in the 1990s.

Does pepperoni contain pork?

Pepperoni contains a combination of ground pork and beef blended with spices and flavorings, and it is cured with salt and sodium nitrate to prevent the growth of unwanted microorganisms.

How do you avoid pork products?

To avoid pork products, it is crucial to carefully read labels on packaged foods. Look out for ingredients such as hydrolyzed animal protein, gelatin, and monostearate, as these proteins are derived from animal fats. Additionally, be aware that pork can also be found in certain detergents, cleansers, dish liquids, and soaps.

Does ice cream have pork in it?

Ice cream does not contain pork. However, some ice creams may contain gelatin, which is derived from the skin, ligaments, tendons, and bones of cows or pigs. Gelatin is used as a thickening agent in certain ice creams, marshmallows, puddings, and Jell-O.

Does Jello have pork in it?

Jello contains gelatin, which is typically derived from pigskin, cow bones, hides, and connective tissues.

What are pork enzymes?

Pork enzymes are enzymes derived from pigs that are used in the development of certain cheese flavors. These enzymes can be sourced from vegetables, microorganisms, or animals, depending on the specific cheese being produced. In some cheese seasonings, porcine enzymes are utilized to create the desired cheese characteristics.

Final Thoughts

Although some foods might not clarify whether they contain pork, you can identify some ingredients as pork derived. Gelatin, lard, animal glyceride, glycerine, and hydrolyzed animal protein. All these come from some part of a pig.

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