For many vegans, living plant-based and cruelty-free isn’t just a dietary preference; it’s a lifestyle. A fully vegan lifestyle isn’t always as simple as avoiding meat-based products, though. It extends to every aspect of life, often requiring intricate details of where exactly our food comes from and how it’s derived. For example: what exactly is cultured dextrose, and is it vegan?
Unlike the simple dextrose used as a sweetener, cultured dextrose is a preservative used to extend the shelf life of foods like pasta, meat alternatives, and sauces. While in some rare cases cultured they make dextrose without the use of dairy products, they typically form this product from a dairy-based bacteria, making it non-vegan.
Beyond Sushi takes pride in our ability to make vegan living easy, fun, and delicious. Read on to understand more about this product! While you research, order in to enjoy a completely cruelty-free meal.
What is Cultured Dextrose?
Cultured dextrose is a fermented food product that extends the shelf-life of many common foods, including pasta, sauces, meats, meat alternatives, salad dressings, and much more.
As the name might suggest, this product is made from two central components: dextrose and bacteria that create the “culture” of this product. This specific bacteria, known as Propionibacterium freudenreichii, occurs naturally in dairy products. By combining this bacteria with dextrose, food scientists are able to prevent other bacteria and yeast from growing in food products.
Marketed as a safer, more natural alternative to artificial preservatives, cultured dextrose is taking the world by storm. However, the complicated background behind how this preservative is made leaves many cruelty-free citizens wondering if it fits their lifestyle choices.
Is Cultured Dextrose Vegan?
If you’re already experienced in living the vegan life, chances are you are in the habit of reading the ingredients list. If you see cultured dextrose listed among the ingredients of your favorite packaged food, you may need to follow up with further investigation.
In most cases, cultured dextrose is made using dairy products, making it unsafe for anyone with dairy allergies or who chooses a vegan lifestyle. However, many manufacturers are turning away from dairy-based bacteria in their fermentation process, leading to completely vegan products that simultaneously avoid the risks associated with chemically altered preservatives.
For example, the Vegetarian Resource Group recently reached out to GlutenFreeda foods, a company priding itself on “clean,” gluten-free products, after noticing that their vegetarian, dairy-free burritos included cultured dextrose among the labeled ingredients. After brief questioning, the quality manager announced this company’s exclusive use of dairy-free cultured dextrose. As such, they can proudly mark their products as completely vegan, kosher, and gluten-free.
Here’s the short answer to the big question: while some cultured dextrose easily fits into a clean, vegan lifestyle, making sure your favorite products don’t use dairy-based preservatives may take a bit more digging. Use your resources, reach out to the manufacturer, or simply leave that product on the shelf in favor of easier alternatives.
Is Cultured Dextrose Safe?
While this product is already a staple in the processed food industry, the jury isn’t yet out on the safety of this preservative. The United States Food and Drug Administration is still studying this preservative, but it has not officially given it a Generally Recognized as Safe rating.
Some users have reported struggles with fatigue, thirst, and bloating after eating products containing this preservative. However, others claim this additive is still a safer, more trustworthy alternative than sodium benzoate and other chemical preservatives.
Ultimately, whether you are willing to take the risk on cultured dextrose comes down to personal choice. If the allure of convenient, prepackaged food calls to you, feel free to answer, but do so with educated caution.
Cruelty-free Living with Beyond Sushi
Pouring over the ingredients list, searching for unsafe products, and messaging quality control managers can be stressful and exhausting. In the end, remember that there is no “one way” to live a healthy, vegan lifestyle. Every step towards a cruelty-free life is better than the last; there’s no reason that a vegan lifestyle should be one that fills you with anxiety or guilt!
To enjoy a night free from the pressure of preparing your own meals, leave the research up to the experts at Beyond Sushi. Every meal on our extensive menu is prepared completely from scratch using only the freshest, most natural ingredients. With every bite, you can finally rest assured that your meal is prepared to follow the most exacting standards. Not feeling up to a night on the town? Take advantage of our easy ordering system and place an order for pickup or delivery.