Is lactic acid vegan?

Having just pounded half a jar of garlic-stuffed olives (so addicting… vampires beware), I noticed that they contained lactic acid.

Now, ‘lactic’ sounds awfully similar to ‘lactose,’ which is ‘a disaccharide sugar that is found most notably in milk’ (thanks, Wikipedia!). Plus, isn’t lactic acid build-up the explanation behind sore muscles– e.g., sore flesh? Is it possible that my beloved olives are not vegan?

I Googled it.

The Vegetarian Resource Group has an excellent list of frequently-asked questions about food ingredients, which confirmed that foods made with lactic acid are indeed vegan:

If it’s lactate or lactic acid, it’s not from dairy (exception – sterol lactate due to the stearic acid). “Lac” ingredients are usually produced by a fermentation process using cornstarch or beet sugar. Lactose is always from dairy.

So, you can eat lactic acid guilt free. Unless it comes from someone’s muscles. Which is gross on so many levels.

4 Responses to “Is lactic acid vegan?”

  1. March 1st, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Ray says:

    Thank you for this information. We found some vegetarian “crumbles” that we like to use as a meat sub. in pasta sauces. I saw lactic acid in the ingredients and thought we missed the mark again. Yours was the most straight-forward answers I ran across. kudos.

  2. March 1st, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Helen says:

    Thanks, Ray — glad you found this post helpful! What brand of soy crumbles are you using? Are they any good?

  3. September 4th, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    casino says:


    Is lactic acid vegan?…

  4. January 17th, 2017 at 11:25 AM

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