Is DATEM Vegan?


datem vegan

The word DATEM is a food additive E472e and is an acronym for diacetyl tartaric acid ester of monoglycerides and diglycerides. A long one! It’s a great emulsifier and is mainly added in baked food products as it adds strength to the gluten bonds in a dough. A lot of people see this ingredient on the panel and like to understand if it’s vegan.

Is it vegan? It’s a little complex to understand, but DATEM is usually thought apt for vegan use. It’s a doubtful thing for some vegans because it’s derived from animals but may also be obtained from some plants.

Please note that, although it may be a fishy area for some, foods that have DATEM are not always considered non-vegan just because those foods contain this additive.

Vegans avoid these doubtful ingredients like DATEM that may be vegan if derived from one source but can also be non-vegan if taken from another source.

We will check the various causes why DATEM is mostly thought to be fit for vegan feeding and also the reasons that some people consider it beyond the standard or to be consumed in a restricted manner.

Why Some To Be Non-Vegan consider DATEM

DATEM is sourced from monoglycerides, diglycerides, and tartaric acid. It’s a product of mixed esters of glycerin wherein one or more of the hydroxyl groups of the glycerin molecule are esterified with fatty acids and also diacetyl tartaric acid.

This is only a particular way of telling that the ingredient is produced by the reaction of tartaric acid with monoglycerides and diglycerides.

Both monoglycerides and diglycerides may be obtained from dietary sources. Hence, the monoglycerides and diglycerides are creating a problem for some vegans. They are listed in PETA’s list of ingredients derived from animals.

You may have heard about triglycerides, which is a type of fat in our fat cells. Triglycerides contain three types of fatty acids tied to a glycerol backbone, while monoglycerides and diglycerides have one and two FAs, respectively.

Now, if both these ingredients are mentioned on PETA’s list of animal-derived ingredients, why do many vegans still consume them?

It looks like most DATEM found in baked food products are prepared from vegetable fat.

It’s also significant to understand that PETA’s list is a mixture of known non-vegan ingredients as well as components that have the potential to be non-vegan.

DATEM belongs to the second category. Monoglycerides and diglycerides are manufactured in the industry by reacting triglycerides with glycerol.

The necessary materials used for this reaction can be taken from both from fats of vegetable and animal origin. That’s why some vegan people choose to restrict this ingredient, especially when the source of the element isn’t mentioned correctly on the label.

Why DATEM Is Typically Considered Vegan

DATEM Is Contained in several Vegan Staple Foods

Why is it important to understand? It’s difficult to argue that it is not suitable for vegans when this is found in so many food products that vegans consume.

The only fact that many vegans consume a food product doesn’t make it non-vegan. But, when we are discussing an ambiguous ingredient, it is essential to look at the consensus.

For example, in the case of bread products, most bread is thought of as vegan if they do not have honey, egg, or milk products. Vegans eat this bread so much.

DATEM is put into crusty bread like rye since it gives a chewy, springy texture to them. Just like lecithin in the yolk of egg, monoglycerides and diglycerides are added stabilize and emulsify ingredients, because they attract molecules of water as well as fat.

DATEMhelps baked food products in many ways, like improving the volume and shelf-life of yeast-leavened bread and similar products.

DATEM betters the stability of dough and makes it easier to handle and improves tolerance in the production of yeast-raised bread products.

This additive is mostly used as an emulsifier in Europe for bread because it softens the crumb and strengthens the dough. It also betters the dispersal of shortening within the dough.

DATEM is also used a lot in breakfast biscuits. Low-fat biscuits are made by substituting shortenings with stable fat emulsions along with DATEM.

Hence, this compound is accessible in different vegan staple foods.

Most Vegans Don’t Scrutinize Ambiguous Ingredients Too Heavily

PETA said in their article about a list of ingredients derived from animals, “While we hope this list is helpful, we also like to emphasize that no one can avoid every animal ingredient. Being vegan is about helping animals, not maintaining personal purity.”

So, vegans scrutinize ingredients that may be obtained from both animal and plants, because there’s no method of finding out how they were received short of reaching out to the manufacturer.

Some products will mention “plant diglycerides,” but that’s highly unlikely unless the product is marketed to a health-conscious crowd.

Conclusion

Whether or not to take DATEM or mono- and diglycerides boils down to an individual choice. If you are a strict vegan, you may like to restrict the ingredient. However, eating food products having this additive will not make you non-vegan.

That was the fact file of DATEM. Thanks for reading.

References

  1. F. D. Gunstone (1 January 1994). The Lipid Handbook. Chapman & Hall. Pp. 299–300. ISBN 978-0-412-43320-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=m9J9pTDZEGEC
  2. Robert J. Whitehurst (15 April 2008). Emulsifiers in Food Technology. John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 86–88. ISBN 978-1-4051-4799-6. https://books.google.com/books?id=VJqvj7r8YqoC
  3. DATEM. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DATEM
  4. Animal-derived Ingredients Resource | Living https://www.peta.org/living/food/animal-ingredients-list/
  5. IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the “Gold Book”) (1997). Online corrected version: (2006–) “glycerides.”
  6. Understanding Food: Principles and Preparation (Page 420). Amy Brown – Wadsworth Cengage Learning – 2011
  7. Sonntag, Norman O. V. (1982). “Glycerolysis of fats and methyl esters — Status, review, and critique.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. 59 (10): 795A–802A. DOI:10.1007/BF02634442. ISSN 0003-021X
  8. Hoseney, R. C., Hsu, K. H., Ling, R. S., 1976. Use of diacetyl-tartaric acid esters of monoglycerides. Bakers Dig. 59:28.
  9. Rogers, D. E., Hoseney, R. C., 1983. Breadmaking properties of DATEM. Bakers Digest 57:12.
  10. Lorenz, K. 1983. Diacetyl tartaric acid esters of monoglycerides (DATEM) as emulsifiers in bread and buns. Bakers Digest 57:6.
  11. Food Additives (Page 733). Alfred Branen – Marcel Dekker – 2002. ISBN: 0-8247-9343-9
  12. The technology of Biscuits, Crackers, and Cookies, Third Edition (Page 157). Duncan Manley – Woodhead Publishing Limited – 2000. ISBN 1 85573 532 6.

 

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