View Full Version : Is Enriched Flour Vegan?

Wendell Gee
08-23-2005, 10:29 PM
Hi Everyone.

I have a question about whether enriched flour is vegan or not. Most bread, macaroni, and crackers have the same listing of ingredients: niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid.

Iíve received conflicting information online about whether this list is vegan or not. Most often Iíve read that things like riboflavin can be derived from both animal and plant sources.

Over the past view months I have stopped eating many commercial macaronis, breads, and crackers because I wasnít certain if they were vegan or not.

Now that Iíve discovered this forum Iím hoping someone who views this post will be able to offer some insight. Thanks! :banana:

08-23-2005, 11:16 PM
Most often Iíve read that things like riboflavin can be derived from both animal and plant sources.About Riboflavin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riboflavin):

Riboflavin (E101), also known as vitamin B2 or vitamin G, is an easily absorbed, water-soluble micronutrient with a key role in maintaining human health. Like the other B vitamins, it supports energy production by aiding in the metabolising of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Vitamin B2 is also required for red blood cell formation and respiration, antibody production, and for regulating human growth and reproduction. It is essential for healthy skin, nails, hair growth and general good health, including regulating thyroid activity.
Milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables, liver, yeast, almonds and mature soybeans are good sources of Vitamin B2, but exposure to light will destroy the riboflavin in these natural sources. Any excess is excreted in the urine and as the human body does not store riboflavin it is thought deficiency is common.
In processed foods it is very likely to have been produced synthetically using genetically modified Bacillus subtilis, altered to both increase the bacteria's production of riboflavin and to introduce an antibiotic (ampicillin) resistance marker.
It is difficult to incorporate Riboflavin into many liquid products as it has poor solubility. Hence the requirement for E101a Riboflavin-5'-Phosphate, a more expensive but more soluble form of Riboflavin.About bacillus subtilis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacillus_subtilis):

Bacillus subtilis is a bacterium that is commonly found in soilAbout riboflavin-5-phosphate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riboflavin-5%27-Phosphate):

E101a, a food additive, is riboflavin-5-phosphate. It is used as a colourant and is likely derived from genetically modified organisms.

The molecule consists mainly of the monosodium salt of the 5'-monophosphate ester of riboflavin dihydrate obtained from chemical action on E101 riboflavin. It is rapidly turned to free riboflavin after ingestion.In short, it appears to be vegan unless you consider bacteria to be sentient beings.

08-23-2005, 11:21 PM
About niacin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niacin):

Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin whose derivatives such as NADH play essential roles in energy metabolism in the living cell.
Severe lack of niacin causes the deficiency disease pellagra, whereas a mild deficiency slows down the metabolism, which in turn decreases cold tolerance and is a potential contributing factor towards obesity.
Nicotinic acid was first discovered from the oxidation of nicotine. When the properties of nicotinic acid were discovered, it was thought prudent to choose a name to dissociate it from nicotine and to avoid the idea that either smoking provided vitamins or that wholesome food contained a poison. The resulting name 'niacin' was derived from nicotinic acid + in.Food Sources of Niacin:

Animal products:

* liver, heart and kidney
* brewer's yeast
* chicken
* fish: tuna, salmon
* milk
* eggs

Plant products:

* Seeds:
o nuts
o whole grain products
o legumes
o saltbush seeds

* Fruits and vegetables:
o leaf vegetables
o broccoli
o tomatoes
o mushrooms
o carrots
o dates
o sweet potatoes
o asparagus
o avocados

08-23-2005, 11:26 PM
About ferrous sulfate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrous_sulfate):

Iron(II) sulfate, also known as ferrous sulfate and as copperas (FeSO4) is an example of an ionic compound.
Iron(II) sulfate is prepared commercially by oxidation of pyrite or by treating iron with sulfuric acid.
It can also be used to treat iron deficiency.This is vegan; it's just iron.

08-23-2005, 11:29 PM
About thiamine mononitrate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiamine_mononitrate):

Thiamine or thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is a colorless compound with chemical formula C12H17ClN4OS. It is soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol. Thiamine decomposes if heated.
Systemic thiamine deficiency can lead to myriad problems including neurodegeneration, wasting, and death. Well-known syndromes caused by lack of thiamine due to malnutrition or a diet high in thiaminase-rich foods include Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and beriberi, diseases also common in chronic abusers of alcohol.This is just another B vitamin.

08-23-2005, 11:34 PM
About folic acid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid):

Folic acid (the anion form is called folate) is a B-complex vitamin
Leaf vegetables such as spinach and turnip greens, dry beans and peas, fortified cereal products, and some other fruits and vegetables are rich food sources of folate. Some breakfast cereals (ready-to-eat and others) are fortified with 25 percent or 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folic acid. The table of selected food sources of folate and folic acid suggests dietary sources of this vitamin. In 1996, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published regulations requiring the addition of folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice, and other grain products. This ruling took effect 1998-01-01, and was specifically targeted to reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects in newborns. Since the folic acid fortification program took effect, fortified foods have become a major source of folic acid in the American diet.Another B vitamin. So it looks like your whole list is vegan. :)

08-24-2005, 06:43 AM
I would note that these vitamins are present in whole-grain flours. When flours are refined, sometimes the vitamins, in synthetic forms, are added back in. It is best to eat whole-grain flours where possible, or use half whole-wheat pastry flour or whole-wheat flour and half unbleached white flour.