Is 471 vegan?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is 471 vegan?” and will discuss the composition of E471. Moreover, we will discuss whether E471 is halal or haram?

Is 471 vegan?

Maybe 471 can be vegan or not. 471 are mono- and diglycerides fatty acids. Natural fatty acids from plants and animals are combined with glycerol to make synthetic fats known as E471s. It is possible to inquire directly with the product’s maker about whether or not the item is vegan.

Mono- and diglycerides and their derivatives account for about 70% of the production of food emulsifiers in the world. Overall, bakery is by far the field of greatest application. Approximately, 60% of all monoglycerides are used in bakery − 40% in bread and 20% in sponge cakes and cakes (5).

What is E471?

E471 is a fatty acid emulsifier used in a wide range of food products. In addition to their major function of producing and stabilizing emulsions, food emulsifiers (or surfactants) contribute to numerous other functional roles. Oil separation in peanut butter is prevented by use of a monoglyceride or high melting fat. In some products, such as ice cream and whipped toppings, one of the dispersed phases is air. Foam stability is a critical functional property in these systems. Strengthening of dough and retardation of staling are vital considerations to processors who bake bread. In a cake emulsion, aeration to produce high volume, foam stabilization, softness, and moisture retention are achieved by using an emulsifier blend (1).

Natural fatty acids from plants and animals are combined with glycerol to make synthetic fats known as E471. E471 is a compound made up of several different components, and it resembles partly digested natural fat in its chemical makeup.

Glycerol monostearate, or GMS, is an organic compound that serves as an emulsifier. White, odorless, and sweet, GMS is a hygroscopic flaky powder. Fat bloom on confectionery and truffles is prevented. It may be used in any water-based product, but it is especially suggested for water-fat blends. As a by-product of fat breakdown, it may be found in human bodies and fatty meals. Baked goods are often enriched with this ingredient, which lends a sense of “body” to the dish.

The two most prevalent commercial preparations of mono- and diacylglycerols are (1) Direct esterification of glycerol with a fatty acid, and (2) Glycerolysis of natural or hydrogenated fats and or oils. The glycerolysis procedure is more economical because fats are cheaper than fatty acids and less glycerol is required. Fats and fatty acids are insoluble in glycerol and, in the absence of solvent, elevated temperatures are required to force the reaction to proceed. Direct esterification may be catalyzed either by acids or bases. The ratio of glycerol to fatty acid determines the concentrations of mono-, di- and triacylglycerols in the final product. In a typical batch procedure, fatty acid, glycerol and catalyst are stirred at 210–230 °C. Water is continuously removed by distillation, causing the equilibrium to shift toward products. Progress of the reaction is monitored by periodic measurement of the acid value. When the reaction is complete, the catalyst is neutralized to stop equilibration, and excess glycerol is removed by distillation at reduced pressure (1). 

A popular use is to make ice cream and whipped cream smooth. Along with its anti-caking and preservation properties, GMS is used in the food additive business for a variety of other purposes. When it comes to industrial applications, it may be used as an emulsion agent for oils, waxes, and other solvents; a protective coating for hygroscopic powders; an additive and control release agent in medicines; and a resin-lubricant. Cosmetics and hair care products also include it.

How Dangerous Is Glyceryl Stearate As A Cosmetic Ingredient?

Hydrolyzing a sufficient oil feedstock is all that is required for the manufacturing process of glyceryl stearate. Most of you can easily replicate this procedure in your kitchen. As a result, the method is both environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. Because it is nontoxic and easily degraded by microorganisms and people alike, it is an excellent biodegradable material.

Glyceryl stearate is one of the most used surfactants used in cosmetic products. Glyceryl Stearate is reported to be used in 5153 formulations. In 1982, the Expert Panel for Cosmetic Ingredient Safety (Panel) published the Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Glyceryl Stearate; based on the data presented in that assessment, that Panel concluded that Glyceryl Stearate is safe for topical application to humans (4).

It is a by-product of the breakdown of fats, and therefore, it is a very fundamental process that is taking place in your body right now. Glyceryl stearate is a by-product of the breakdown of lipids. Glyceryl Stearate is safe to use on the skin, so there is no need to worry.

Uses of E471

E471 is often used in baked products, such as bread, cakes, and pies, as an anti-staling agent. Custard powder, ice cream, and margarine spread are additional sources of it. Potato chips and dessert toppings also include it. It is also used in dairy-based ice cream and frozen yogurt, blended spreads, pastries, and sweet goods, frozen desserts, sandwiches and wraps (3).


In rare cases, E471 may include animal products that are not acceptable for vegetarians, vegans, or those who adhere to halal diets. Make sure to look at the food package to see whether it has a specific stamp that indicates it is suitable for vegetarians.

Is E471 halal or haram?

If the fat is made from soy, it is considered Halal. A product made from hog fat is considered Haram. If the fat comes from another animal, such as ‘beef fat,’ the results may be different. Otherwise known as “non-zabiha” beef, it is considered Haram. When a ‘zabiha’ animal was used, it was considered Halal. There are occasions when the components indicate “halal beef” or have a Halal symbol on the label, but this isn’t always the case.

Is emulsifiers permissible in the diet of Muslims?

Emulsifier-related Halal concerns If the source of origin of MAG and DAG is not stated, the halal status of E471 emulsifiers is in dispute. With the rise in the usage of E471 in specific culinary items, such as coffee and mayonnaise, the problem has become more relevant.

These additives are produced commercially mostly from some animal (mostly from lard) and plant (mostly soybean) sources which are the major sources for industrial production nowadays. The absence of origin details of mono- and diglycerides and other food additives cause difficulties for customers to be sure and clear about the source of the product (2).

E471 emulsifier good or bad health

EFSA experts concluded that E 471 is safe to use in food at the disclosed levels, and there is no need to define a numerical acceptable daily intake (ADI) for this ingredient. It found no evidence of genotoxic, carcinogenic, or reprotoxic effects based on the data examined.

FDA and WHO indicate mono- and diglycerides additives as safe and no limitation for adults but for infants under the age of 12 weeks should have some limits. So the limits of mono and diglycerides in infant formula and weaning foods were indicated as 4 g/L and 5 g/kg respectively by The Scientific Committee (SCF). Recommended daily intake of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (E471) should be around 0.8-3.5% of daily fat intake. Based on the reports on mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids as food additives, no safety concern was indicated (2).

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In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is 471 vegan?” and discussed the composition of E471. Moreover, we discussed whether E471 is halal or haram?


  1. Hasenhuettl, Gerard L., and Richard W. Hartel, eds. Food emulsifiers and their applications. Vol. 19. New York: Springer, 2008. 
  2. Kara, Hasan Hüseyin, and B. O. R. Yasemin. A review on: production, usage, health effect and analysis of mono-and diglycerides of fatty acids. Helal ve Etik Araştırmalar Dergisi, 2019, 1, 40-47.
  3. Cox, Selina, et al. Food additive emulsifiers: a review of their role in foods, legislation and classifications, presence in food supply, dietary exposure, and safety assessment. Nutr Rev, 2021, 79, 726-741.
  4. Fiume, Monice M., et al. Safety Assessment of Monoglyceryl Monoesters as Used in Cosmetics. Int j toxicol, 2020, 39, 93S-126S.
  5. Gioia, Luis Carlos, José Ricardo Ganancio, and Caroline Joy Steel. Food additives and processing aids used in breadmaking. Food additives. Rijeka, Croatia: IntechOpen, 2017. 147-166.