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Ingredients guide : What is in our food ?

Welcome to the ingredient guide and food glossary of With this guide we would like to list all ingredients used in foods, to state their use and/or origin as well as the suitability for certain allergies, intolerances or religious groups. Whenever there is additional information available of Food-Info the appropriate link will be provided.

Not only ingredients will be listed on this list, but also other components that may be naturally present in foods, as well as general words that can be found on a food product label.

This list was started on February 28, 2008 and will be continuously updated. If you miss an ingredient or component in this list, please let us know and we will add the list.

For the E-numbers (additives) see the E-number section of the site (see menu above). All the E-numbers are listed in the tables below with their chemical/common name, but not listed under their E-number.

Whenever known we will add suitability of the ingredient for the most common allergies, intolerances or similar (nutritional) disorders. These data are an indication of use only, it is always possible that individual people react differently !
Whenever in doubt, always consult your doctor or a skilled dietician !

Select the letter of the ingredient/compound that you are looking for:
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Ingredient/Component Description Suitability (indication)
Lac, Shellac See the E-number list: E904  
Lactic acid A weak acid, used as a acidulant or preservative. Commercially produced from molasses by bacteria. It is naturally present in most fermented foods, such as acid dairy products (yoghurt, cheese..), sauerkraut, olives, salami etc, but not in milk Lactic acid salts are called lactates and are also used as preservatives. E-numbers : E270, E325, E326.

Suitable for all religions, vegans and vegetarians. Can be used with cow's milk allergy and lactose intolerance.

Lactitol A sweetener derived from milk sugar. See also E966 Suitable for all religions, vegetarians but maybe not vegans. Not allergenic
Lactose Lactose or milk sugar is a disaccharide, which is present in the milk of all mammals, but is not found elsewhere in nature. It consists of glucose and galactose. It has a slight sweet taste. Suitable for all religions, vegetarians but not vegans. Not allergenic, but lactose-intolerance is very common..
Lanoline See the E-number list: 913  
Lecithin An emulsifier, mainly isolated from soy, but can also be isolated from egg yolk. In the EU the source (soy, egg) has to be mentioned on the label. E-number E322. See also here. Soy lecithin can be used by all religions, vegans and vegetarians. Egg lecithin can not be used by vegans. The product is non-allergenic, but may contain traces of egg- or soy-protein.
Linseed and -oil
Linseed is the same as flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum), which is mainly cultivated for the production of linnen. Lineseed is used in bread and many traditional products in the regions where it is cultivated. Linseed oil is widely used, but the main applications are not in food. In food linseed oil is used in bread and as a baking oil.
Suitable for all religions, vegans and vegetarians. Allergic reactions may occur, as all plants may cause allergic reactions.
Lithol Rubine BK See the E-number list: E180  
Locust bean gum See the E-number list: E410  
Lutein See the E-number list: E161b  
Lycopene A red colour and carotenoid. Present in many plants, but mainly in tomatoes. Commercially used as a red colour and functional food, see also E160d Suitable for all religions, vegans and vegetarians. Not allergenic.
Lysozyme See the E-number list: E1105 is an initiative of Stichting Food-Info, The Netherlands

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