Answer: It depends.
Committing to a vegan lifestyle is a huge transition and requires a lot of effort. You can often experience withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings. Following a vegan diet does not mean you can’t occasionally miss the chicken flavor.
Is Artificial Chicken Flavor Vegan?
Few people know the answer to “Is Artificial Chicken Flavor Vegan?” Sadly, the answer to this is a little complex to understand. Mainly speaking, the artificial chicken flavor is conditionally vegan.
Artificial chicken flavors have been observed to be vegan and non-vegan, depending on their ingredients.
When companies use dairy or egg products in their flavoring, they are classified as non-vegan. They rank vegan when their ingredients are not animal or plant-based but chemically constituted.
Thus, artificial chicken flavors are conditionally vegan. Keep reading to know more about the detailed breakdown of these ingredients and their vegan alternatives.
What Are Artificial Chicken Flavors Made Of?
Food labeling regulations for natural and artificial flavors in the United States have a specific outline for artificial flavors.
Plant-derived ingredients include the following items:
- Fruit or fruit juice
- Vegetable or vegetable juice
- Edible yeast
- Herb, bark, bud, root, leaf, or plant-related material
Animal-derived ingredients include the following items:
- Dairy products
- Fermentation products like yeast
These are the specifications indicated for artificial flavors in the US.
Despite being a staple in ready-to-cook meals and snacks like ramen and noodles, artificial chicken flavors have some objectionable ingredients. Some key constituent ingredients in non-vegan artificial chicken flavoring have been listed below.
Synthetic Flavorings, Colors, and Chemicals
Artificial chicken flavors tend to have a high percentage of synthetic flavorings to make the food taste certain. These ingredients are rarely vegan because of the way they are sourced.
Lactose is added in small amounts according to taste in certain artificial chicken flavoring. As lactose is derived from dairy products, its addition makes artificial chicken flavoring non-vegan.
Spices, Vegetable Oils
Companies can add these flavor-enhancing ingredients to alleviate the overall taste of the food. Since all of these components are plant-derived and processed, adding them turns artificial chicken flavoring non-vegan.
Meat/Egg or Their By-Products
Many artificial chicken flavors add meat or meat by-products to their mix to give it a taste of chicken.
In foods like ramen, it is common to spot lecithin in the ingredients, sometimes derived from egg yolks. These elements certainly don’t classify as vegan-friendly, making these flavorings non-vegan.
Ingredients in Vegan Chicken Flavors
Artificial chicken flavors are accepted and can be used in vegan diets. Companies that make these flavors focus on chemically constituted ingredients.
They usually have the elemental composition of the following elements:
- Nature-identical flavoring substances
- Disodium inosinate
- Potassium phosphates
Due to all these ingredients being chemical compounds, it can be hard to trace their source. The only possible non-vegan element in this list is nature-identical flavoring substances derived from several sources.
Are Artificial Flavors Tested on Animals?
Another issue that might raise some concerns for vegans is that most artificial flavors include artificial colors. Since artificial chicken flavors also have coloring, they must be tested to be deemed edible.
The major underlying issue is that artificial colors might be tested on animals. However, it’s not the most common scenario. Most flavors are reported to be tested initially but not again once they’re deemed safe.
Some flavors, like diacetyl used for butter flavor, have been tested more often because of safety concerns.
So, this is a conscious choice you must make as a vegan. Although most artificial flavors are likely not tested, as the evidence shows, there are always exceptions.
Most vegans might regard artificial flavors as vegan, depending upon their conscious choice, but some might not.
The whole decision comes down to whether you want to eliminate any product that might once be tested on animals.
Although people who have embraced a vegan lifestyle cannot consume artificial chicken flavors, they always have alternatives. Many brands have ventured into the market with their vegan chicken-flavored product line with a growing inclination toward veganism.
The popular brands that offer vegan chicken flavors or alternatives are listed below.
Samyang Spicy Chicken Noodles
Gaining popularity with the 2017 Spicy Noodle Challenge, Samyang Spicy Chicken Noodles causes constant conflict in the vegan community. It is often debated whether or not they are vegan.
Though the product claims no animal products openly, it has traces of artificial chicken flavor and lecithin.
The artificial chicken flavor included in it is not a real chicken ingredient. This statement verifies that the Samyang Spicy Noodles are vegan.
Rice and Bean Noodles
We have a solution if you are craving chicken-flavored noodles but are afraid to break your vegan diet. You should check out the International Food market to explore all the vegan products they offer.
The International Food line offers a wide range of rice, bean noodles, and vegan meat flavorings. You can spot these products easily as they are labeled vegan meat flavorings.
These flavorings and noodles can easily combine with a perfectly healthy and delicious vegan recipe. Adding your favorite vegetable broth while cooking these noodles can alleviate their flavor and increase their nutritional value.
Being considered one of the best chicken replacements on the market, soy curls are chewy and flavor-absorbent. This dehydrated soy product is made by infusing the beans in fresh water and stirring them while they cook.
They get dried at lower temperatures that shut in the nutrients, making soy curls a fiber and omega-3-rich food. Soy curls taste best in recipes that incorporate them as a substitute for chicken pieces and strips.
They are excellent flavor absorbers, indicating that they work best in sauce-heavy recipes like curries and stir-fries.
Tofu is regarded as one of the most common replacements for chicken. This bean curd is a classic vegetarian protein source from condensed soy milk pressed into solid cubes.
The processing of tofu is on similar lines to cheese-making. This chewy, fulfilling, and flavor-absorbent food is considered one of the oldest chicken substitutes.
Tofu is the perfect replacement for cubed chicken that you can incorporate in stir-fries, pot pies, and curries. Tofu is a readily available product that you can find at all well-stocked grocery stores next to plant-based substitutes.
This article has established that artificial chicken flavor is conditionally vegan. You have to be cautious while adding things to your cart to abide by a vegan diet. You need to pay more attention to the details in the ingredient list.
Artificial chicken flavor can be sourced from animal and plant-based sources, implying that it can’t always be considered vegan. Eventually, the only way to ensure this is to contact the company representatives.